Adams 12 Five Star Schools will hire a consultant to review equity and inclusivity in the district for students and staff of color. The board of education expressed its continued support for the …
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Adams 12 Five Star Schools will hire a consultant to review equity and inclusivity in the district for students and staff of color.
The board of education expressed its continued support for the review that it called for last fall. Recently, the district held stakeholder meetings to determine a scope, which staff presented to the board at a Feb. 17 meeting.
There are nine major areas the consultant will focus on, including discipline practices, staff training, performance management practices, curriculum and partnerships between schools and local law enforcement. The consultant will primarily focus on diversity, equity and inclusion for racial and ethnic minorities, although it will also look at other intersecting identities, such as LGBTQ+ identities or if someone is experiencing homelessness, for example.
The overall review will be done through surveys, interviews and focus groups with students and parents, among other stakeholders. The consultant will also be asked to review data, policies and protocols.
“That's what all this work is intended to do, is to make sure we're providing equitable treatment, opportunities and outcomes for all of our students,” Superintendent Chris Gdowski said at the Feb. 17 meeting.
Technically, the groundwork began in 2018 when the district formed a district equity leadership team, explained Rochelle Garcia-Gomez, the federal programs title coordinator. Thereafter, Adams 12 created a leaders of color network and began partnering with the Latino Leadership Institute to facilitate bias training workshops for staff.
Then, last fall, after the board called for a formal review, district executive teams, the leaders of color network, superintendent student leadership council and parent focus groups met to provide feedback to help determine the review's scope.
Board directors said they were with the process so far, especially because it has sought student input. “In the same way that we're seeing that adults are ready to have these conversations, our students are too,” said Director Jamey Lockley.
The district hopes to hire a consultant next month, who will then conduct the review into the fall. By October, the board hopes to implement an equity plan based on recommendations the consultant made.
Gdowski said, “I'm excited to see what we learn. Even though I know some of it, we won't want to hear. But we need to hear it and then we can move into the action stage to make the improvements … after we have started a thoughtful and honest review of where we stand.”
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