Coalition on Diversity & Equity seeks members

New WICSD Coalition on Diversity & Equity seeks members
Posted on 07/16/2020
 

A letter from Superintendent, Dr. Aaron Johnson: To benefit our students and community, the West Irondequoit CSD is committed to cultivating a welcoming environment that appreciates diversity, strives for inclusivity and fights for equity. This moral imperative is reflected in our commitment to opportunities like the Urban-Suburban Program, Mosaics Club, Pathways to Teaching program and being the spark that created Roc2Change, Student Summits on Race. We are working hard to embed and sustain culturally responsive practices into our classrooms and build a restorative community. With that said and considering recent events and community feedback, we know that we’ve only scratched the surface. We must go deeper to recognize implicit bias and correct systemic flaws in our organization that give advantage to some over others.

Click this link for a summary of the feedback and thoughts gathered through the student/family circles on racism we held in June and below are details on our launch of a new WICSD coalition. Your feedback was clear: We must listen more, ask more questions & include people in our plans and actions who reflect the district's student body while also diversifying our staff. The new Coalition for Diversity and Equity is an important first step. Our efforts must be informed by a representative group to ensure that the vision we define is accurate and considers all aspects of our demographics.

Thank you for pushing our district to a deeper level, one in which racism has no place and the rich history and culture of all people, and specifically our black, indigenous and people of color, is honored and appreciated.

APPLICATION FOR NEW COALITION

Our new Coalition for Diversity & Equity will be a collaboration between the West Irondequoit Central School District, parents and community members. It will serve as an advisory group to the Superintendent regarding systems, practices, policies and experiences related to equity, access, and diversity. The Coalition will engage in the following: 

  • Systemic movement toward culturally relevant and restorative practices in areas such as curriculum, student and staff conduct, school culture and climate, etc.
  • Research practices that support the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and staff
  • Review of district data related to student performance and outcomes, especially related to diverse populations
  • Additional areas as identified by the Coalition

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral to a thriving community of learners. West Irondequoit CSD is deeply committed to empowering students to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion as they embark on achieving their Peak Performance. The Coalition’s purpose will be to review research and practices in order to formulate suggestions so that all West Irondequoit schools are welcoming, affirming and validate all students’ cultural backgrounds and individual identities.

Coalition Composition:

  • West Irondequoit Community (members representing a variety of stakeholder groups including parents, local government, higher education, community, local activists, etc.)  
  • PTSA Representatives (K-6 & 7-12)
  • District Administrators
  • Building Administrators
  • Office Professionals 
  • Paraprofessionals 
  • Student Service Team Members (K-6 & 7-12)
  • Teachers (representatives per building)
  • Students 
  • Board of Education members
  • Chairpersons (K-6/7-12 Directors of Instruction, 1 Community member)
  • Superintendent of Schools

The committee will meet regularly during the school year. Additional meetings will be established as needed by the chairpersons. Committee goals will be developed via a collaborative process, based upon data gathered. The chairpersons will develop agendas based upon the priorities of the committee and with input from members. Agendas will be sent to members prior to the meetings. Membership terms will be staggered over a 2–3 year period to allow for continuity.   

Coalition Member Responsibilities include:

  • Regular meeting attendance
  • Adherence to collaboratively established group norms
  • Active listening and participation through meetings
  • Representation and communication with constituency group(s)
  • Participation on relevant sub-committee or ad hoc committees, if needed
  • Review of data/information aligned to the purpose and goals of the committee
  • Respect recommendations made by consensus and adhere to collaborative decisions

Membership Selection Process:

Initial call for membership will be communicated to all WICSD staff, families and community members.  An open application/screening process will be used to evaluate potential members, based on their ability to advance the mission of the coalition. We are committed to ensuring that, at minimum, the composition of this committee mirrors the make-up of our student population.

The District Cabinet team will screen applicants and select membership based on a rubric. 

If you’re interested in joining, please fill out the Coalition Membership Application at this LINK.