A group of parents represented by African Immigrant Services applauded the Osseo school board for approving the district's first racial equity policy.

The school board voted to approve the plan at its Nov. 22 board meeting. In a news release, the African Immigrant Services called the policy an unprecedented step representing the district’s commitment to closing the achievement gap.

“AIS will continue its collaboration with the district to accelerate the implementation of this policy, even while recognizing some of the challenges and legitimate community concerns that emerged in the final hours of the adoption process,” Abdullah Kiatamba, executive director of African Immigrant Services, said in a statement.

The district hopes that the policy will make a dent in closing the achievement gap. The policy includes district responsibilities such as hiring employees with diverse backgrounds and providing culturally responsive training for staff.

The group collaborated with the district on the policy. African Immigrant Services brought in more than 200 parents of color, district and community leaders to weigh in on the district’s equity needs, according to the news release.

Parents with the group packed into the Nov. 22 meeting to await the district’s vote on the policy.

 “The passage of this policy marks a major victory for AIS, the district leadership, and the community of parents and stakeholders”, Fata Acquoi, AIS education organizer, said in a statement. “We must continue to work with our community to deepen and sustain the impact of this amazing work.”

While the group supports the district’s decision, leaders of the African Immigrant Services' group say more needs to be done.

Following the election, graffiti with racial slurs appeared on a Maple Grove Senior High School bathroom.