Board Report, June 8, 2020

Board Report: Council for Diversity and Inclusion
June 8, 2020 Meeting
Submitted by Samantha Jouin, School Board Representative to the Council for Diversity and Inclusion

The Council for Diversity and Inclusion met for the fifth time this year on June 4.

While we officially welcomed Dr. Daniel Goffredo to the Council as the new superintendent, we also said good bye and thanked our student representative, Diana Tiburcio, who graduated last week. The high school is actively working to recruit two new student representatives for the Council. We look forward to welcoming those students next year.

As part of the meeting, Council members spent time reflecting on the past year, including some of the information that was learned and some of the new questions that have been raised as a result of the Council’s work. The council spent much time over the past year reviewing qualitative and quantitative date to identify areas of focus.

One of the district efforts that was highlighted was the development of a committee of teachers and administrators who began meeting last fall to focus on hiring, recruitment, and retention of diverse teachers. Members of that committee attended several forums hosted by Villanova University and The Delaware Valley Consortium for Equity and Excellence which addressed ways to promote greater diversity in hiring practices. Additionally, the committee met with a consultant to help hone its approach to hiring more diverse candidates.

In addition, the Council received an update about other district-wide efforts this year that focused on diversity and inclusion. Those include:

  • Curriculum work to embed units in grade 8-12 English courses, and the development of a new high school English elective focused on diverse voices;
  • Preparation for the implementation of Responsive Classroom in the 2020-2021 school year;
  • Increased professional opportunities on equity through a partnership with Delaware Valley Consortium for Equity and Excellence;
  • Revisions to gifted screening;
  • Increased translation for communications; and
  • BASIS training for stakeholders (Belonging and Sociocultural Identities in Schools).

Moving forward, the District will be participating in an Equity Audit, conducted by the Penn Coalition for Educational Equity. The timing of the audit will depend on when we return to a normal school schedule, as a large part of that work is classroom observations and interviews. The District will also continue to conduct BASIS training for all staff. Meetings of the Council will resume next school year. An area of effort will be to form subcommittees that will report back to the whole Council.  Finally, work in the 2020-21 school year will include the development of a comprehensive communications plan that informs and involves the Great Valley community and promotes the work happening district-wide to further the Council’s mission. Minutes from Council meetings are available on our website at www.gvsd.org/cdi.