Dubuque school district looks to address disparities in learning opportunities

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - The second graders at Prescott Elementary School had a special guest join them in class today, Dierre Littleton, the district’s new director of equity. Littleton is new to the area, so he is spending an entire week in every public school in Dubuque.

”I have been very busy as it pertains immersing myself in the culture,” he mentioned. “I think when we are doing equity, diversity, belonging and inclusion work it is important to understand the culture, to understand the needs.”

This week he is getting to know students, parents, and staff at Prescott Elementary. Even though he said he is having fun doing it, he knows the job he needs to do and why it is important to do it.

”I think equity should be infused in the fabric of everything that we do and just looking at those disparities and inequities and finding innovative ways to where we can make a difference in the lives of students and parents and families and our staff here,” he explained.

Littleton said that he plans on doing a lot of listening for the next couple of weeks.

”Education in equity is ‘every child, every day’ and so that is what my goal is,” he said. “It is to be cognizant of what that looks like as I move forward in my agenda.”

The new director of equity said he is slowly figuring out what the needs are and then use that evidence as a tool to make proposals for what equity initiatives the district will pursue. Littleton recognizes, though, issues on race in schools have become highly politicized. He said he wants Dubuque parents to be sure of one thing.

”We have their best interest in mind and just using that as a tool to guide our initiatives here at the Dubuque Community School District,” he said.

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