Conference aims to transform lives

To the editor:

Last week’s edition of the Sun Thisweek painted our district very negatively at a time when we need our community the most. I have contacted the paper asking for balanced and accurate stories instead of articles and headlines that incite and sensationalize issues. I want to be sure all community members have access to accurate information.

In response to the article, I would like to clarify a few points: While the conference was held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside, the group did not stay there. The students shared three rooms at an alternate hotel at a much lower cost. It was not a “trip,” but an educational opportunity. The conference was chosen due to its history of promoting higher education for underserved populations. I would also like to clarify that this opportunity was not funded through the district’s general fund. It was planned and funded from the Educational Equity & Excellence Service’s college readiness grant, which focuses on closing the achievement gap and follows the district’s strategic plan. These dollars must be used for these purposes in order to transform young lives and close the opportunity and achievement gaps.

This was an incredible opportunity for seven young men from an underrepresented group of students to learn how to be leaders in our district and in their lives. It is unfortunate that this story was spun to be negative when it should have been portrayed as the transformational opportunity that it was and will continue to be.

Minnesota has one of the largest achievement gaps in the country. In the past four years, our students of color have increased by 200 students. We now serve over 1,500 students of color. Although we have made great progress in narrowing the achievement gap, a gap still exists. Different people need different opportunities to succeed which is what our vision of world-class, personalized learning for every student means.

I hope community members will consider learning more and I invite you to come and hear them speak at the next board meeting on March 12.

Dr. Lisa L. Snyder
Superintendent, Lakeville Area Public Schools

  • Jackie Craig

    Thank you Dr. Snyder. I look forward to the March 12th meeting.

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    Please explaie why these men are underserved or unrepresented, and further, please explain why this was a male only trip. Are there no underserved women? Are the women in the district discouraged from taking on leadership roles in their communities and lives? Despite all other issues here, you are sending a bad message about equality, and affirming that negative message with this Letter to the Editor.

    Dr. Snyder, you gotta a lotta ‘splaining to do!

    • Martina

      Considering the theme of this year’s BBCB was ‘Rebuilding the “Village” for African American and Latino Males in Higher Education’, I can see why only males were taken. Maybe they didn’t want to do a co-ed trip just yet? I have no doubt that there will be opportunities for females too.

      I understand what you are saying about gender equality issues, but this is the only thing that hit the news. There could just as easily be girl’s groups too.

    • Raj M

      And Rosie will explain to us why there is no minority participation in Ice Hockey.

      • Rosie from Rosemount

        Raj M,

        No, I will not explain such. I don’t even know if minorities compete in the hockey program.

        You really have issues, budd-o.

        How do you know I am not a minority? Have you ever met me? You are a bias and prejudice person. Nice job labeling people whom you have never met nor even seen.

        • Raj M

          I did not label you and i don’t care what race or sex you are I asked a simple question.

          Why get so tied about an approx $10K expense when the hockey program costs the district multiples of that amount every year ?

          I’m asking the same questions of the hockey program that you are asking of the participants of this conference. You can apply any label you want but thats your perogative

          • Rosie from Rosemount

            Hey Raj,

            I bet if money wasn’t wasted by our state education system here:


            you could have all the money you want for everyone to play hockey.

            Y’all have a good day now.

            Bah BYE!

          • Raj M


            So u point to a link about some charter school that educated largely somali immigrant kids. Do you think no other charter school in the state has had issue ?

            Or, do you limit your concerns towards specific groups ?

  • Love the water

    Why not disclose what hotel they actually stayed at? Why no females? It still doesn’t smell right.