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Auburn BOE 4-9-2019

Laurel Ullyette, president of the Harriet Tubman Center for Justice and Peace, addressed the Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education with other members of the center around her during a board meeting Tuesday.

AUBURN — The Auburn Enlarged City School District is looking into diversity and implicit bias training for staff and social justice lessons for students.

On Tuesday, Laurel Ullyette, chairperson of the Harriet Tubman Center for Justice and Peace, addressed the Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education during the public comments section of a board meeting with center members by her side. Ullyette said that in light of concerns on implicit bias tests seventh-grade English students took, "our organization would like to encourage the district and the community to carefully consider a long-term strategy for dealing with this and future incidents."

Ullyette said the center would like the district to develop strategies for "incorporating and managing diversity, inclusion and equity in dealing with with students, staff and the community," including through curricula.

Auburn superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo responded, saying he and Auburn Junior High School Principal David Oliver have been busy "strategizing and planning" because the district always wants students to be "well-rounded" and "have open dialogue." He said the district is looking at different curricula that could be implemented, such as one on social justice that was shared with them from Cayuga Community College that could be adapted for different grade levels.

Pirozzolo said after the meeting that the district is looking into diversity and implicit bias training for staff and cost-effective ways to implement the training and units and lesson plans on social justice for students. He said he thinks, "there could definitely be lesson plans designed by next year," though he believes these lessons must be age appropriate for students and that he is "going to leave it up to" assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Krista Martin, principals and teachers on what the most appropriate paths are.

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Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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