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Using a Racial and Cultural Equity Lens

We are committed to viewing and analyzing all of our work through a racial and cultural equity lens so that each individual can learn, grow and excel. We will partner with families and the community to better identify and eliminate barriers that can interfere with each individual's opportunity to excel.

As outlined in our strategic plan, all learners will have access to rigorous learning opportunities. We will strive to have all students achieve high-level academic outcomes that are not predictable by race, culture, socioeconomic status, language, gender, ethnicity or any other characteristic. Learners–both students and staff–will acquire an awareness of their own identity, value others' similarities and differences, and gain a deep understanding of how all of us intersect with our global society.

We believe:

  • in inspiring our students to grow, adapt and discover their place in the world
  • all children have a right to quality education, high standards, rigorous curriculum and powerful instruction
  • in providing instruction that supports the different ways people learn
  • that valuing our diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives fosters unity and empowers all
  • the collective efforts of students, home, school and community form the foundations for excellence
  • that core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility will be modeled, taught and nurtured
  • it is everyone's responsibility to provide a safe, supportive and engaging environment

We will:

  • provide a high quality, competitive educational program
  • accelerate achievement for ALL students
  • engage family and community members as partners
  • ensure an environment where ALL belong

Our Equity Policy

All students deserve a safe, supportive school environment to thrive academically and developmentally. The purpose of our equity policy is to provide an environment in which all students achieve high-level academic outcomes that are not predictable by race, culture, socioeconomic status, language, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, migratory status or any other real or perceived demographic characteristic.

We are committed to viewing and analyzing all of our work through a racial and cultural equity lens that intentionally subverts the policies and practices of institutional racism. Through this ongoing anti-racist work, we will identify and interrupt practices and policies that elevate white supremacy and/or perpetuate institutional racism in any form in order to ensure all our students succeed. Educational environments are enriched and improved by the contributions, perspectives and very presence of diverse participants. We will provide a high quality, personalized educational program with rich opportunities for all students in a real community where each individual is welcomed and belongs.

An Open Letter to Our Community

What We Stand For

To our students, families, staff and the greater Richfield community,

Throughout history, there have been times of increased struggle and heartache in the fight for social justice. The civil rights movement is not a chapter in History class. It is here and it is now. 

As we read headline after headline about Black men and women being killed by police, about hate crimes towards the Asian community, about racial violence directed at the Latinx community, about increased violence experienced by members of the LGBTQIA+ community, about the continued exploitation of indigenous lands, about the continued discrimination experienced by members of our Muslim community, about the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and about the countless other acts of aggression toward marginalized people everywhere, we know that we still have a long, long way to go.  

As educators, it is our job to support and empower students through these challenging times. To uplift them, to believe in them and to give them the tools they need to face the world as it is and to join us in the fight to make it a better place. We teach critical thinking, digital citizenship and other social-emotional skills that will help students now and into the future.

As a District, we will stand with our students and staff as they work for change. Whether that is through affinity groups, curriculum changes, policy updates or taking a knee at an athletic event. We will listen to and respect their voices when they tell us what they need or how we can do better. 

We believe the rich and vibrant diversity of this community is one of our greatest strengths. But being a diverse community is more than just demographic data. It’s people. And it takes work. It is taking time to build relationships, form bonds and truly get to know one another. It is having empathy for the experiences of others, no matter how different they may be from our own experiences. It is respect, compassion and understanding.

We are asking you to join us in this work. To make this world the place our children and grandchildren deserve, it will take all of us working together; students, families, school staff and community residents. All of us.

As we head into the next few weeks, there will be a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial and we will learn more about the death of Daunte Wright. There will be protests and news reports. It will be overwhelming at times, especially for our Black students, families, staff and community members. We want you to know that we see you, we hear you and we support you. 

As the civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer once said, “nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”


Richfield Public Schools Leadership

Dr. Steven Unowsky, Superintendent
Dr. Latanya Daniels, Assistant Superintendent
Dr. Mary Clarkson, Executive Director of Special Programs
Craig Holje, Chief Human Resources and Administrative Officer

Stacy Theien-Collins, Richfield High School Principal
Maria Graver, Richfield High School Assistant Principal
Carrie Vala, Richfield High School Assistant Principal
Kasya Willhite, Director of Richfield College Experience Program
Dr. Carlondrea Hines, Richfield Middle School Principal
Ryan Finke, Richfield Middle School Assistant Principal
Steven Flucas, Richfield Middle School Assistant Principal
Colleen Mahoney, Centennial Elementary School Principal
Marta Shahsavand, Richfield Dual Language School Principal
Nancy Stachel, Sheridan Hills Elementary School Principal
Amy Winter, Richfield STEM Elementary School Principal

Download PDF in English

Download PDF in Spanish

Innocent Classroom

During the 2016-17 school year, we began implementing Innocent Classroom from the Minnesota Humanities Center. We continue to train all staff in this important program.

Innocent Classroom:

  • transforms classrooms and relationships
  • deepens relationships with staff and students, particularly our students of color
  • increases equity throughout the District
  • undermines the impact of societal negative stereotypes, low expectations and bias
  • provides an environment where all students are free to achieve

Title IX

Title IX protects people of all sexes, genders, gender expressions and sexual orientations. Title IX prohibits sexual harassment in educational settings. It states that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106)

We are committed to promoting and protecting the safety and security of every member of our community. Sexual harassment of any kind is antithetical to this commitment. More information about Title IX can be found on the United States Department of Education website.

Materials used to train our Title IX coordinators, investigators, decision-makers and alternative dispute resolution facilitators can be downloaded here:

Title IX Training Materials

Title IX Coordinator


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