By Katie McCue and Elizabeth GartrellMayport, Florida—It’s a busy Monday morning for the teachers at Mayport High School, the first-grade school on the school’s South Beach neighborhood.
The school has just wrapped up its sixth year, and its first year was the school year.
Since its start, teachers have been busy preparing for a new year.
As Mayport’s new superintendent, Mary Loesch, prepares to begin her first day at the school, she has been working on ways to make the school more inclusive.
The plan includes a hiring program that will give more women and minority teachers positions.
Loesch says she’s hoping to change the way schools look at diversity.
“The biggest challenge for me is that when we talk about diversity, the focus is always on white people,” she said.
“But if we look at the bigger picture, it’s about all students.
And that’s what we’re really trying to address.
We’re trying to make sure our schools are welcoming and welcoming to all students, not just the white kids.”
For the past five years, the school has been making changes in the classroom.
As part of the initiative, a new teacher-initiative has been created to promote diversity.
It includes a plan for more female teachers, who are a critical part of Mayport students’ academic and social development.
Loech says it’s been an incredible experience to work with so many teachers who have different backgrounds.
“It’s been really rewarding and inspiring to see what’s happening in the world in terms of diversity and inclusion,” she told ABC News.
“We’re not just making things up, we’re actually making things that work.
It’s really great to see how our schools can be a force for good, not only in Mayport but across the country.”
For example, Mayport has made it easier for children of color to access early childhood education, including programs to make it easier to enroll in kindergarten.
And while teachers have made some changes, the curriculum has not.
The most recent year that the school was in session, the number of students who were attending classes was the lowest it had been in 15 years.
And the school still had an under-represented population of students of color.
Mayport’s diversity plan has received support from the local community and state lawmakers.
“We really want to see more kids of color in our classrooms,” said state Rep. Steve Sisolak, D-Middlesex, a Mayport resident.
“The school board wants to make that a reality.”
Loescke says her plan will make Mayport a better place to grow up, and for the future of the community.
“When I talk to students, I tell them I want them to grow into this community,” she explained.
“And that’s why we’re so committed to making sure that we make sure that our schools reflect the diverse community in this community.”
The Mayport School District plans to make some of the changes that Loescak has proposed in a pilot program.
For example, the district will hire an all-gender curriculum to replace the current gender-neutral curriculum.
Loesche says that would include students from different backgrounds and genders.
The district also is introducing a new policy that will make sure all teachers have a safe space to talk about race, class, and race and gender.
And it is considering requiring students to wear a helmet during classes.
While Loescake is proud of what the school is doing, she says that it needs to improve its educational environment for all students and families.
“Mayport is not perfect,” she added.
“I’m not perfect, and I think we have a lot of work to do.
But I’m proud of where we are and where we’re headed.”
For more local news, follow ABC News Channel News Investigations at https://abcnews.go.com/sections/investigates/special-reports/local-news/local