For the past year, Mankato Area Public Schools has worked with the Minnesota Education
Equity Partnership (MnEEP) to develop an equity vision and framework for the school district.
This process has been completed, and below is a brief overview of the process and the
recommendations that have been crafted by community stakeholders and MAPS staff for your
consideration at the July 19 School Board meeting.
You will note one bolded area, under the ‘MAPS Values/Commitments’ section.
Recommendations in this area will be shared in final form once input and feedback are collected
from stakeholder groups.
The Equity Vision and Framework Process
In the summer of 2020, Mankato Area Public Schools (MAPS) called upon the expertise of the
Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) for assistance in a formal and collective equity
planning process in the school year 2020-2021. MAPS dedicated itself to do a deep evaluation
of how the system was centering racial equity in their policies and practices, and the degree to
which cultural community groups have provided input on equity, inclusion and school systems
The MAPS-MnEEP partnership involved key “learning stops” over the last year: a
pre-assessment race equity review (with over 117 stakeholder interviews and/or survey input);
a District Leadership Training staff and administrators retreat (with 45 participants); a series of
equity committee meetings guiding best approaches to stakeholder engagement (with 12
committee members); guidance to the teaching and learning department; six parent/guardian
visioning sessions (with 84 total participants); five youth visioning sessions (with 29 total
participants); and a final MAPS stakeholder strategic retreat (with 23 participants in working
Based on the learning stops and community feedback, deep engagement with representatives
of the Mankato Latinx, Somali, Sudanese, African American, Asian American and American
Indian community and students, MAPS cultural liaisons, administrators and staff, and nonprofit
partners, five recommendations have been developed for your consideration.
MAPS Mission Statement
MAPS current mission, “Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world,” was
reviewed at the strategic retreat for an update with new and refreshed racial equity input.
While the statement honors the past, the working groups concluded that a new statement
could be more inspirational and reflect the urgency of equity with the community—and impact
on an ever-changing global society.
In adopting a more inclusive mission statement, the School Board recognizes its role in
embracing each learner and its responsibility to serve them.
“Mankato Area Public Schools (MAPS) is committed to working together equitably, with
families and communities, so that each learner has the knowledge and skills to be successful
and contributing citizens in a diverse global society.”
MAPS Vision Statement
The working groups concluded that the current vision statements do not capture a “future
state” that reflects what was heard from parents and students around ideas of inclusion, dignity,
equity and what is being committed to for each child. Parent visioning sessions lifted up the
reminder that families sending their children to MAPS want an assurance that their children are
treated with respect, love, and to know that they are truly heard and valued.
In adopting a new vision statement, the School Board acknowledges the value of each learner
and family in the MAPS system.
“MAPS vision is that every learner will be seen for who they are inclusive of: race, national
origin, home language, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion. MAPS
learners will experience a school environment that builds their voice and agency. Learners
and families will be seen and heard. MAPS will assure that each learner has the skills to enter
society with a joy for learning, a positive vision for the future and the ability to navigate the
world with hope, dignity and their multiple talents.”
The working groups discussed that MAPS current values need to be infused with more equitable
and inclusive terms, and be more actionable as promises and commitments. It’s also important
to consider how a set of values will be translated and understood in each cultural context in the
MAPS actively works to be:
● Intentionally Inclusive
● Visibly Equitable
● Committed to Excellence
● Accountable for Results
MAPS will reach its mission and vision when:
● Each student is ready for kindergarten.
● Each student is reading well by 3rd grade.
● All achievement gaps are closed.
● All students are college and career ready by graduation.
● All students graduate.
● Each (student, staff, family) feels safe, is welcome and is
treated with dignity and respect.
MAPS Race Equity Lens
A racial equity lens is a vital decision-making tool, at the policy and practices level, because it
slows down decisions to consider who has been historically excluded in shaping a specific policy
or practice–and yet has experienced disproportionate impact by such decisions. When
implemented with fidelity across the system, more inclusive and equitable conclusions can
By applying an equity lens to its work in policy, finance and governance, the School Board
commits itself to examining multiple perspectives to assure decisions are rooted in an equitable
MAPS Racial Equity Lens Guiding Questions
- Who benefits or is advantaged by the current system? What is
the impact on this group of people?
- Who is disadvantaged? What is the impact on this group of
- How is it a systemic and/or institutional issue?
- Is it out of line with our Equity Vision? How does it represent our
- Why hasn’t it been addressed? Or, how has it begun to be
- Overall, what are the main concerns, and what are some
potential action steps that could be taken to correct them?
MAPS Equity Definitions
A school community is strengthened by clearly defining the use of key terms and concepts
included in a racial equity framework. Work groups reviewed terms and definitions presented
during the process, including individual racism, institutional racism, structural racism, racial
equity and antiracism. In addition to adopting definitions to this listing, work groups agreed
that MAPS would benefit from developing an equity glossary with an expanded listing of
concepts and definitions to guide and advance further race equity work in the areas of policy,
practice and positive student and community narratives at MAPS.
Individual Racism: refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that
support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can be deliberate, or the individual
may act to perpetuate or support racism without knowing that is what he or she is
doing. (Source: Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building. Maggie
Potapchuk, Sally Leiderman, Donna Bivens and Barbara Major. 2005).
Institutional Racism: refers specifically to the ways in which institutional policies and
practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. The institutional
policies may never mention any racial group, but their effect is to create disadvantages
for people from groups that have been historically oppressed. (Source:
- Structural Racism: Structural racism is racial bias across institutions and society. It
describes the cumulative and compounding effects of an array of factors that
systemically privilege white people and disadvantage people of color (Source: Race
Equity and Inclusion Action Guide, Annie E. Casey Foundation).
Race Equity: Race equity is a new condition that brings about clear remedies for
historic and present day barriers producing racial disparities and disparate impacts.
Race equity is not merely a value; it is a systemic and structural shift, and is actualized
fairness and justice. (Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation).
- Antiracism: Antiracism education is the active process of identifying and dismantling
racist attitudes, systems, structures, policies, and practices to advance a more racially
just future where the humanity of everyone is valued and uplifted. (Source: Ibram X.
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