Columbia Heights Public Schools

An Important Message from Columbia Heights Public Schools

CHPS Students, Families and Community

As we reflect on the beginning of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s trial, Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) recognizes the strong emotions this may bring up in students, families and staff, especially those impacted by racial injustice and for those who live in areas that experienced protests last spring. This trial is one of many reminders of the centuries-old systemic racism in our country.

Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) is committed to providing education and support for the whole student. Our classrooms are spaces where students develop an understanding of history, culture, social relationships, communication skills and their personal agency. We know how important it is for the District to provide a safe space for students to express themselves in a variety of ways, to listen and to learn from each other. We also understand not all students will share openly in class, but they are always listening for how their lives and experiences are acknowledged, respected and honored. Superintendent Zena Stenvik recently met with a group of parents, students and staff to listen and learn about how schools might authentically provide support students and staff throughout the duration of the trial.

It is important for students to know CHPS staff understand how much this trial impacts their lives. Classroom conversations will be developmentally appropriate to the age of the students, and our Student Support Team is prepared to provide additional resources as needed.

We know there is tremendous resilience, joy, brilliance and beauty in our students, families, staff and communities. We build on these qualities through our curriculum, instruction and support for our students and are committed to our mission of “Creating Worlds of Opportunity for Each and Every Learner” where “All Belong, All Succeed.”