Amy Winter Named New R-STEM Principal!
Dear R-STEM Students, Staff and Community;

I am proud and excited to announce the hiring of Amy Winter as the new principal of the Richfield STEM School.
When we began the search process, I was professionally pleased knowing that we had an internal candidate who would be an excellent option for our district. We received 70 applicants for the position and conducted 13 interviews. The skills and dedication of Ms. Winter shined throughout the process and she rose to the top of our candidates. Amy has been a long time leader in Richfield as a parent, art teacher at Sheridan Hills and administrator at Richfield Middle School. Amy has led large systemic improvements at our middle school and is excited to bring her leadership to R-STEM. An additional point of pride is that Amy is a current member of our leadership team who has worked very hard to develop within our school system. It is a positive sign for our team that we are able to grow our own leaders for tomorrow to become leaders of today!!
In her interview, she shared her great interest in expanding her leadership in Richfield, a school district where she has a deep and long-term dedication. She is committed to STEM education and continuing the direction of our innovative choice school. We welcome Amy Winter to R-STEM and know that she will be exceptional in her return to our elementary team.

Best Regards,
Steve Unowsky
Please click here to download complete letter
 
 
Richfield Technology in Our Classrooms
 
 
Early Childhood Education Success Story!
Early intervention – ideally before preschool – can make a big difference in childhood development; and in most cases, it's free, convenient and effective!

In Minnesota, it’s easy to access early intervention services, thanks to Help Me Grow MN, a statewide milestones-education initiative that also connects parents to special services. 

Read here about one Richfield success story.
Click here for information on enrolling in Early Childhood.
 
 

May 11, 2017

In Richfield Public Schools we are deeply engaged in the important work of racial equity and continually demonstrate our commitment to that work through our policies, practice, and everyday leadership with students, staff, and families. Equity is at the core of all the work we do, every day. Examples include the following:
  • Leading inclusive equity events and taking actions that have been recognized across the metro for their inclusiveness
  • Achievement results that have accelerated progress for students of color and are helping to eliminate the learning gap
  • Providing the opportunity for teachers to engage in research-based equity learning throughout the year
  • Focusing on hiring practices that help to bring leaders of color into our district, which has tremendous impact on student learning
  • Taking great pride in the fact that Richfield Public Schools' teachers and leaders stand for social justice and the rights of every one of our learners

Recently, inaccurate statements about Richfield Public Schools were posted on Facebook and other social media platforms. The statements contained allegations against Richfield Public Schools. This communication is the official district response to those allegations.

It is important to remember that, while individuals may make the decision to share whatever information they choose, employees' private data comes with certain rights. As a district, we are not able to, nor would we want to, publicly share private personnel data, which often includes discipline data. We are, however, able to directly address the inaccurate statements that were made regarding January 13. The following are the facts as they occurred:
  • On January 13, a small group of staff met with administration to discuss the option of wearing Black Lives Matter shirts to work. The staff expressed their desire to show support and equity for students.
  • Staff at the building was trying to quickly organize an equity action that included only a small group in the invitation to participate.
  • Administration shared the viewpoint that not including the entire staff could result in the division of staff.
  • Staff was discouraged from taking action at that time.
  • The small group of staff complied with the administration request.
  • The following week, administration, in collaboration with teacher leaders across the district, organized a district-wide equity event that was an inclusive opportunity for all staff.
  • This event included participation from community members. Throughout this process, no discipline of staff was ever discussed, nor was any discipline taken.

Richfield Public Schools has been recognized across the metro area for its social justice work, and for working toward the inclusiveness of all students, families, staff and community members. We are dedicated to continuing this work and communicating our collective efforts across all audiences.

Sincerely,
Steven Unowsky, Superintendent

 
 
 
Unofficial Transcript from Superintendent Unowsky's Speech
 School Board Meeting May 15, 2017
"I would like to welcome you to Richfield Public Schools. My name is Steve Unowsky and for the past three years I have, been the superintendent of this district. Many of you are here for the first time. Given the number of questions I have received over email, I am going to try to address a number of topics regarding our organization, leadership, and staffing. A discussion of our district begins with our students. We are a small suburban district of approximately 4300 students. We are proud of our diversity, including over 72% students of color, along with one of the highest percentages of English Language Learners in the metro area. We are led by a governance based board with a clear set of priorities and values including accountability, transparency, and equity. They define a clear vision of equity for our organization to follow. We engage in open discourse and dialogue that brings multiple perspectives to the table. We accept and expect non closure in our work. Equity in Richfield Public Schools is much more than training. While we openly engage in Innocent Classroom work, readily access the WMEP equity offerings and have engaged in countless equity-based trainings, it is the actions that we take every day that are at the core of our equity work. Equity takes many forms in Richfield Public Schools. Over the past three years we have seen improvements in student achievement, staffing, leadership, services and social justice so I will share a little more about each of those areas.

Equity toward student achievement:
Student learning and success are at the center of what we do, with signals that we are making real progress for our students of color.  Our graduation rate has grown.  African American students now graduate at a rate 15% higher than the state, Latino students at a rate 7% better.  On the MCA, we have seen a reduction in the achievement disparity between our highest and lowest groups of students.  We have overhauled our Gifted and Talented programming and seen a 10% increase in the number of students of color being identified and served.  We have increased and improved access to rigorous, college credit bearing courses. 
As a result, we have increased enrollment in these courses by over 180 students of color.  With our high school transformation next year, these numbers will exponentially increase.  We have implemented systemic and structural supports that have led to a 40% reduction in 
fails within our high school.  We have interrupted systems that were not truly serving our commitment to equity.  
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Dear Students, Families and Staff of Richfield Public Schools,

 

In light of ongoing national conversations around immigration. race and community safety, I’m writing to assure our community  that Richfield Public Schools remains fully committed to ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone, regardless of race, gender, class, religion, culture, disability, sexual orientation or any and all differences.  

 

The mission of our work in the District is “Richfield Public Schools inspires and empowers each individual to learn, grow and excel.”  We continue to remind our students and families that student needs and success are at the center of all of our work.

 

Our mission, goals and board policies align on the following work:

  • Ensuring an environment where all belong and are treated respectfully
  • Focusing on individual students and staff in the organization to support their success,
  • Providing an equal educational opportunity for all students.
  • Respecting differences and differences of opinion

 

In my conversations with the Board of Education, as well as ongoing conversations and observations throughout our schools, I am confident this commitment remains at the center of our work.  Please know that Richfield Public Schools remains fully focused on serving ALL students and families to achieve success.

 

We thank you for the continued opportunity to serve.

 

Sincerely,

Steven Unowsky,
Superintendent Richfield Public Schools

 


 
 

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