SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–  Springfield Public Schools has created an Equity and Diversity curriculum, which is now a part of the district’s strategic plan.

“Diversity is important and it’s not something that is going away and it should also be celebrated so people feel safe and heard and seen,” school counselor Robyn Fondren said. 

Fondren is a Springfield school counselor.

“Because I think when we know more and we learn more we do better…” Fondren said. 

This is the district’s second year to undergo equity and access training, which involves relevant and recent topics like the death of George Floyd.

“It’s important because our students see it our families see it hear it, they also not only see it but they experience it on a day-to-day basis,” Fondren said.  

She says this is the part where we all must lean into discomfort in order to learn and grow.

“I know, as a person of color, there’s been many times in my life where I seen or been around things and just wished that somebody would just say something,” Fondren said.

“These are difficult topics there difficult deeply-entrenched issues in our society and the only way we can make progress together is if we become okay feeling uncomfortable sometimes,” Stephen Hall of Springfield Public Schools said. “We’re all a part of the same team and we’re working toward the same goal.”

SPS Is also working to recruit and retain people of color.

“Many times with the under-resourced and underrepresented groups they don’t see people who look like them, have the same culture as them,” Fondren said.

Fondren says the ultimate goal behind these efforts is to create better people – something she says is a constant and on-going journey.

SPS has more than 3,000 employees, all of which receive this training no matter what their role is within the district.