Return to Headlines

Community Conversations/Listening Rounds: Superintendent Update

April 5, 2021

En español

Community Conversations/Listening Rounds Update from Superintendent Bonser & Leadership Team

On April 1, 2021, Plano ISD began the first Community Conversations/Listening Rounds with elementary and secondary parents. These Board and Plano ISD administration small-group listening rounds will continue throughout the month of April with students, staff, community and parents. As previously communicated, at the conclusion of the listening rounds, the Board and administration will discuss what was learned at a duly called Regular School Board Meeting.  

One point noted from the first day of listening rounds is that parents want more detailed communication about what actions Plano ISD takes when reports or claims are made regarding bullying/harassment. The district is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students at school, and we want parents to know we take all reports and claims seriously. Below you will find information regarding our Action Plan, which we will  continue to update in order to keep you informed. 

The District sincerely thanks the parents who participated in our first six Community Conversations/Listening Rounds for the feedback, honesty and support and look forward to the upcoming sessions in the days ahead.  

Sincerely,

Sara Bonser and the Plano ISD Leadership Team

ACTION PLAN UPDATE

Plano ISD rejects bullying in all forms and acts of bullying, harassment and racial hatred will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our families, students, staff and our community to serve the best interests of all Plano ISD students.

The following summary of actions is provided in our continued effort to keep our Plano ISD community updated regarding the District’s efforts to address concerns regarding bullying, harassment and/or acts of racism. 

Previously Communicated Actions: 

  • March 2, 2021 – March 16, 2021: Investigated an off-campus event pursuant to provisions of David’s Law. Conferences held with the parents of students’ involved and campus and district administration.
  • March 8, 2021: Authorized independent investigation into 2019 bullying/harassment claims as well as a review of District policies and procedures. This investigation is ongoing as of today.  
  • March 9, 2021: Hosted a press conference and issued a related press release to provide the Plano ISD community an update.
  • March 11, 2021: Updated/sent District resources for parents and students, including but not limited to, the Parent Guide for Addressing Bullying /Harassment Concerns.

Updated Action Steps:

  • March 11 – 12, 2021: Held additional required training for all campus administrators on policies and procedures related to bullying/harassment.
  • March 15 – 16, 2021: Held required refresh training for all counselors on policies and procedures related to bullying/harassment.
  • March 16, 2021:  Conclusion of off-campus bullying investigation.  The investigation sustained cyberbullying findings and consequences were issued per the Student Code of Conduct. While the District is unable to release specific consequences due to the confidentiality of student information, the District does have the options for discipline available under the Student Code of Conduct which may include but are not limited to, suspension, placement in an alternative education program, and expulsion. Counseling services and support were offered to all students involved. A districtwide communication was sent informing families of the conclusion of the March 2 investigation and action steps the district was initiating as a further response. 
  • March 19, 2021: Began inviting parents, students, staff and community members to participate in Listening Rounds.
  • March 31, 2021:  District administration participated in a “Community Conversations” virtual Town Hall hosted by the Collin county NAACP and moderated by the Education Director of the Texoma Region Anti-Defamation League. During this public online event, district leaders shared Plano ISD’s policies on bullying, communication with parents and action steps moving forward.
  • April 1 – 30, 2021:  To gather input regarding continuing improvement, the district is hosting “Listening Rounds” with parents, students, staff and community members with Plano ISD trustee members and district administration in attendance.
    • Community meetings may include, but are not limited to:  Plano ISD Council of PTAs; NAACP-Collin County; LULAC; the Plano Multicultural Outreach Roundtable; Plano Area Rotary Clubs; Plano Community Forum; Junior League of Collin County; North Texas GALA; and Plano Area Alliance of Black School Educators.
    • A joint Summit on Bullying and Harassment will be hosted by Plano ISD, Plano Police Department and Collin County Juvenile Services. We are tentatively planning for a late April Summit date. Details will be sent when confirmed.
  • Beginning Week of April 12:  Refresh training for Board and Staff on Bullying/ Harassment. This training is completed annually. 
  • April/May 2021: Social Emotional Learning (SEL) opportunities and restorative resources for all parents that support an inclusive school environment, caring, compassion and empathy focused on the whole child.
  • April/May 2021: Student training on discrimination / bullying / harassment procedures and complaint process. This training is to be completed annually.
  • May 2021:  Discussion of Community Conversations/Listening Rounds in open session of duly called Board Meeting.
  • May 2021-Summer 2021:  Develop new strategies to include in the 21-22 District Plan of Work as part of the District Improvement Plan. 
  • August - September 2021:  Board approval.

STRATEGIES & ACTIONS TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH STRATEGIC PLAN
AND DISTRICT IMPROVEMENT PLAN DURING 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

The District’s diversity, equity and inclusion work continue to be a priority of the Plano ISD Strategic Plan

June 2020:  The Board of Trustees passed a resolution in June affirming the ideals of equity, unity and healing, with a commitment to work on solutions for developing and nurturing an inclusive culture of empathy and caring.

Professional Learning  for PISD Staff:

  • Cultural Proficient Relationships: Implicit Biases Module (for all existing staff 17-18): Understand implicit bias and build positive relationships between and among students, staff, and parents.  Promote ongoing conversations around critical issues, be proactive and accept individual responsibility in cross-cultural interactions.
  • Stories Matter Module (for all existing staff 19-20): Examine issues of identity, diversity, beliefs, values and how that shapes our decisions and behaviors. Understand how unconscious biases can negatively impact our interactions. Test strategies to interrupt unconscious biases. Draw connections among the ideas of this workshop, other PISD initiatives, and our daily work. New staff received components of this training in 20-21.
  • Extension Activities - Conversation Maps (created for 20-21): The goal of these extension activities is to create culturally proficient relationships where conversations serve as an opportunity to identify student and staff needs and educational practices.

October 2020:  Board approved goals for the Diversity Advisory Committee:

  • Conducted Equity Audit Survey for students, staff and parents (January 2021)
  • Hired  Plano ISD’s first Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (January 2021)
  • Proposed professional learning for all staff on Cultural Responsiveness (March 2021)
  • Developing Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (May-August 2021)
  • November 2020:  Board approved new courses for 2021-2022 school year, including African American Studies and Mexican American Studies to be offered to 11-12 grade students.
  • February 2021: Recommendation to eliminate one alternative school in the District and convert building to Wraparound Service Center
  • July 2020-Present:  Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) training  to support students needing intervention in the areas of student behavior, discipline, attendance and academics. 
  • Fall 2020-Present:  Expansion of wraparound services for students and families.  

Read previous district statments regarding this topic.