Equity and Education Support Systems

Embedded in our mission
is a commitment to practices that consider the whole child and that protect the right of every person under our care to feel safe, respected, and valued. We understand that each of our students is unique and that one-size-fits-all approaches are not enough to help them reach their greatest potential. We affirm each student's uniqueness by seeing assets rather than weaknesses, by opening doors even when the world outside closes them, by saying out loud that their lives matter, and by acting on this belief even when it gets difficult. 
 
Our work is grounded on a simple roadmap that acknowledges that no real change will happen until our individual behaviors translate into a larger culture in our schools and community. We start by recognizing the power of information, data, research, stories, and voices, and by using this power to create ambitious goals for ourselves through planning and policy. The following graphic illustrates this approach:
Policy at Milton
Did you know
that we have brand new policies that aim to improve access and belonging for students? Multiple policies have been approved over the past year that deal directly with what goes on in the classroom and the way we support our students, especially those in vulnerable positions. Other policies, especially our comprehensive Equity Policy, are currently being considered and expected to be discussed before the summer.
We invite you, whether you are a parent, teacher, student, or community member, to become involved and to join the ongoing conversations.
Because enacting and adopting a policy is only the first step toward much larger change (see Milton's Equity Strategy above), we invite you to join us and learn about what policy changes mean to you and how you can become involved in what comes next. See below for current opportunities:
 
Our Roadmap to Change
After several months of gathering input from stakeholders and engaging in a deep exploration of our own structures, systems, and community realities, the MTSD is ready to present a series of concrete actions and commitments in the form of larger sections of a proposed policy. We divide this work into 6 major areas including:
  1. Actions related to the Board and District Leadership
  2. Actions related to Access, Inclusion, and Professional Growth
  3. Actions Related to Curriculum and Instruction
  4. Actions Related to Data, Assessment, and the Distribution of Resources
  5. Actions related to Discipline
  6. Actions related to Athletics and Student Activities
Some highlights in each of the sections are included below. For full details about each section, click on the corresponding name.

Communication

Article Announcing the Release of First Equity Policy Draft

Milton Town School District moves forward with Equity Policy, seeking feedback from the public after extensive drafting process
Alek Fleury
Milton Independent
 
The Milton Town School District’s Equity Policy is in the next stages of policy review and an ongoing draft is now available for folks to review.
The policy comes as a result of an extensive amount of work from multiple people including the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, spearheaded and led by Wilmer Chavarria, the district’s director of equity and education support systems. [READ FULL ARTICLE]

Article on Student Involvement in Policy Creation at Milton

 Youth and Adults Work Together to Create Milton Town School District Equity Policy
 Milton High School, Milton, VT
By: Christie Howell (UP Program Associate)
 
“Short, shy, and shallow.” These are the words Wilmer Chavarria, Director of Equity and Education Support Systems, uses to describe the school equity policies he researched when he was tasked with creating one for the Milton Town School District. Chavarria collected a number of policies, and “looked to find major themes and unique aspects, but saw quickly that they were useless.” What was missing, he says, were the voices of multiple stakeholders, which made the policies seem shallow and inauthentic. Over the past few months, Chavarria has been meeting with Milton students, parents, teachers, and staff to ensure that their policy is more than just words, that it instills a sense of belonging that is integral to the fabric of the school district.  [READ FULL ARTICLE]

Letter Regarding The Judicial Decisions on Two Major National Cases

[Our Responsibility in the Classroom]
November 24, 2021

Dear School Community,

I normally try not to directly send messages community-wide, but I think it is important to recognize that this past week our nation has witnessed two major precedent-setting events that should be part of the conversations in our classrooms. If you'd like some guidance, please continue reading.

As we try to digest the verdicts coming out of Kenosha and Georgia on a personal level, I also invite you to be ready to open spaces in your own classrooms for dialogue and reflection about what this means for all of us, both here and everywhere. However, topics such as these come with their dose of controversy, and the fear of attacks on our own professionalism can ultimately silence us or prevent us from facilitating productive dialogue no matter your subject or grade level.

I understand this, but I also remind you that you are in a unique position to facilitate this type of reflection in a way that rather than replicating the animosity of adults, can model the type of courageous, honest, and authentically loving dialogue that ultimately equips our students with the civic tools to face the questions of their time. This is a privilege... [READ FULL LETTER]