The Granville school board and administration have addressed a debate over the kindergarten curriculum involving family diversity and tolerance that has snowballed on social media in recent days.

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At the heart of the debate – a theme echoed over and over again by the many participants in the September 20 meeting who spoke about the issue – was whether teaching issues of social inflection, family dynamics and personal choice should be the domain of schools or home schooling.

On September 22, Granville Superintendent Jeff Brown spoke about the materials in question.

“The unit is developmentally appropriate for a kindergarten class,” Brown said. “The topic is very broad looking at the diversity of types of families that are part of our community and that are represented in our classrooms and in our school community.”

The program examines “the diversity of family dynamics,” said Brown. “This includes divorced families, stepfamilies, same-sex families, nuclear families. All types of different families.

Those who opposed the program at the September 20 education council meeting said schools should limit their educational role to teaching “basics” such as math, science, history and education. the composition.

But others who spoke in favor of the Kindergarten program and its teachers said that if such educational offerings had been available when they were in the Granville school system, their life trajectory and mental health would have been made available. could be greatly improved.

One of them said: “Teachers are an integral part of the intellectual and social education of our students. “

Before commenting to the audience, Granville Board of Education Chairperson Dr. Jennifer Cornman read a statement: “Our District Vision Statement is: Granville Exempt Village School District Graduates Are Well Prepared and empowered to be thoughtful, productive and contributing members of their communities. , and are equipped with the critical thinking and self-reliance skills necessary to succeed in our ever-changing world.

Cornman concluded, “As we work to achieve this vision, we expect our staff to be role models and children to display and embrace the values ​​of acceptance, inclusion and compassion. We, as a school district, believe we have successfully incorporated all of these values ​​while upholding the vision of our district. We value teachers who instruct our students in a consistent and masterful manner. Our staff are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all of our students and families.

Also ahead of public statements on the topic, Granville Schools Superintendent Jeff Brown read a statement outlining the district’s approach to choosing learning materials and its commitment to fostering inclusion and empathy. from the students.

Brown read, “Our experienced staff spend time studying and analyzing national and state standards, quality children’s literature, and district approved programs. As a team, they work collaboratively to develop units and lesson plans that align accordingly.

The district statement noted that the family unit that sparked a discussion on social media “was planned using the aforementioned criteria, while incorporating developmentally appropriate literature for all students.”

The statement said: “The learning objective of the thematic unit is to celebrate the diversity that all families bring, while providing a representation of the diverse family dynamics that exist in and outside our community.”

The statement Brown read concluded, “The board and administration support family unit and teacher education in promoting inclusion, acceptance and empathy.”