Addressing equity is one of the five Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District goals this academic year. We are continuously searching for new ways to improve the enriched learning environments at our schools, eliminate disproportionality, and build equity for all students – and I wanted to share an update on one of these initiatives.
In January 2019, the District engaged Perception Institute as a collaborative partner. In working with school districts, Perception’s team utilizes a research-based approach to develop recommendations and targeted professional development activities, to support districts in achieving their goals of equity across their school communities. The collaboration between Jamesville-DeWitt and Perception Institute included a comprehensive online survey of District educators’ attitudes and experiences regarding racial and ethnic differences, which was disseminated in the spring of 2019.
The result of this research is an in-depth report that provides an overview of the research in two main categories:
Educator survey: Assessing attitudes toward racial and ethnic diversity, managing diversity in schools and classrooms, and highlighting diverse perspectives in classroom instruction.
District data: Academic performance, academic opportunities, and disciplinary outcomes by race/ethnicity, economic, and special education status.
The District will use the data collected and analyzed by consultants from Perception Institute to inform professional learning – specifically to ensure students feel safe, supported, and included and that we are cultivating diversity, equality, and inclusion on our campuses.
We also have several additional equity initiatives that have recently concluded, are in progress, or are planned for the near future – these include:
Recently held professional development on implicit bias, stereotype threat, and racial anxiety
Curriculum Council working to ensure that we have rigorous, effective, and culturally literate curriculum, instruction, and assessments
Continued professional development for administrators, teachers, and staff on culturally responsive education
Professional development to ensure that all students are supported socially and emotionally
Administrative support for curriculum, instruction, and equity
The District stands united in support of all students and staff members, regardless of race, religion, country of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or ability. We will continue to shares updates regarding our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through public forums and our e-newsletter, which will be available on our website.