Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

Purpose/Committee Charge

It is both our moral and ethical responsibility as well as a top priority of the MTSD to provide Equity Access and Opportunity for every student and to eliminate racial inequity in our educational and administrative system. A passion for and a commitment to equity for all students begins with a heightened awareness of the systems, structures, beliefs, and practices that create barriers to Equity Access and Opportunity. It then shifts to a heightened engagement and the willingness to change.

Research indicates that racial disparities exist in virtually every key indicator of child, family, and community well-being. Individual, institutional, and structural impacts of race and racism are pervasive and significantly affect key life indicators of success. Without question, poverty and other social issues impact student achievement too. Statistically, however, even within the same economic strata, there is an achievement gap based on race. (Singleton, 2015)

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion matters in an organization. We live in a diverse world. If we want all our students to graduate prepared for success as engaged citizens locally and globally, then it is essential that all members of the organization - staff, students, and families, are able to show up as their full selves and work, teach, learn and take part in a safe, inclusive and affirming school.

Essential Questions

The MTSD Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Committee will begin with the question: How effective are our policies and procedures in creating an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and affirming school environment and workplace that results in:
  1. Honoring, supporting, and retaining our diverse talent.
  2. Education excellence and positive outcomes for all students, especially for traditionally underperforming students.

Methodology

  • Examine existing MTSD policies, procedures and practices and relevant data
  • Categorize and prioritize
  • Conduct a gap analysis of disaggregated subgroups
  • Draft policy and procedural revision recommendations for the MTSD Board of Trustees

Process

  • Monthly Meetings
    • 2 Hours
    • Common purpose and understanding of the work
    • Scope of the work
    • Share and Refine
  • Monthly Tasks - May be done independently, offline collaboratively, collectively online.
    • Data Collection
    • Knowledge Acquisition
    • Drafting Recommendations for Revisions

EDI Terminology

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • Diversity - variation
  • Equity - All the ways we can ensure that all students and families, regardless of their background, have access to the services, programming, and resources to be successful and that those characteristics will not be a factor or predictor of their success within our system. 
  • Inclusion - putting diversity together for equity

Common Language of Equity (VT Superintendents Association and VT School Board Association)

  1. Equity means that a student’s success is not predicted nor predetermined by characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, family, economics, class, geography, disability, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or initial proficiencies.
  2. Equity means that every school provides a high-quality curriculum, programs, teachers, administrators, co-curricular activities, and support services.
  3. Equity goes beyond equality where all students are treated the same. Achieving equity may require unequal distribution of resources and services.
  4. Equity involves disrupting inequitable practices, acknowledging biases, creating inclusive, affirming, and culturally proficient school environments for all stakeholders, and employing practices that ensure all students will learn.

Common Language Around Race (Singleton, 2015)

  1. Race - socially constructed meaning attached to a variety of physical attributes, including but not limited to the skin and eye color, hair texture, and bone structure
  2. Racism -the belief and/or the enactment of beliefs that one set of characteristics is superior to another set  (extended definitions)
    1. Conscious or unconscious, intentional or unintentional enactment of racial power grounded in racial prejudice by an individual or group against another individual or group perceived to have a lower racial status (singleton)
    2. Combination of individual prejudice and individual discrimination on the other hand, and institutional policies and practices on the other, that result in unjustified negative treatment and subordination of members of a racial or ethnic group. Prejudice, discrimination, and racism do not require intention. (Pine and Hilliard: 1990)
    3. Systematic mistreatment of certain groups of people on the basis of skin color or other physical characteristics carried out by societal institutions or by people who have been conditioned by society to act consciously or unconsciously in harmful ways toward people of color. (Weissglass (2001)
    4. Institutional racism is the power to create an environment where that belief (racism) is manifested in the subtle or direct invalidation (or subjugation)  of the subordinate ethnic group through society’s institutions. (Lindsey, Robins, & Terrell: 2003)
    5. Education institutional racism - “rarely is intentional discrimination taking place, instead, it is the unquestioned assumptions on the part of schools by those who have positional power about the attitudes and abilities of students of color and their families. 
  3. Racist - any person who subscribes to these beliefs and perpetuates them intentionally or unconsciously
  4. Equity is a “belief, a habit of mind; it is a moral imperative. In education, equity addresses the needs of each individual child; it is the operational belief and practice that each child is provided with opportunities and the level of support required for them to learn, achieve and succeed.

Committee Membership

  1. Superintendent - Facilitator
  2. 1 Administrator from each school
  3. 1 Faculty member from each school
  4. 1 District Office Leader
  5. 4 Student Representatives
  6. 4 Community Representatives

Meeting Time

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • December 3, 2020
  • January 5, 2020
  • February 2, 2020
  • March 9, 2020
  • April 13, 2020
  • May 4, 2020