Communications & Community Engagement

The district has established goals and is taking steps to ensure that the district's Communications and Community Engagement support equity for all.

Goals
  • Engage staff, students, families, and community members to promote equitable and inclusive practices for students, families, faculty with sensitivity to needs of traditionally marginalized youth
  • Build an inclusive parent engagement model where everyone is welcomed including Needham residents, Boston resident parents/guardians, parents/guardians of English learners, and newcomers
  • Clearly communicate vision, goals, actions for equitable and inclusive educational experience in the Needham Public Schools

Action Steps
  • Define "equity" - importance of language and a common understanding to support this work
  • Explore and define what it means to be a METCO district
  • Strengthen relationship with marginalized families; e.g., ease of student registration/enrollment process for all families
  • Ensure language on website and written communications are inclusive
  • Update staff, students, families after REAL Coalition meetings on progress toward goals
  • Contact Needham Times and Needham Channel to expand reach of our communications

Implementation
  • Information included in the 2018 Performance Report mailed to all Needham households and businesses; see pages 8-9 and 14 
  • Equity Audit video filmed March 2018 in NHS TV Studio; available on Needham Spotlight
  • Portrait of A Needham Graduate, a shared vision of the future for our Pre-K to 12 students, drafted as a framework for equity in education
  • Launch of this District webpage dedicated to sharing our equity plan including its goals and action steps, along with district progress in terms of successes, ongoing challenges, and needed resources
  • Video of Superintendent with high school staff and students available on Needham Schools Spotlight entitled Creating Awareness about Gender Equity and Sexual Harassment in the Needham Public Schools
  • Plan for joint meeting/community conversation in partnership with Human Rights Committee; opportunity to share what community is doing that complements work being done by the District; tentatively scheduled for April 25 or May 2, 2019
  • Partnership with MetroWest Health Foundation - team looking at social and academic inequality in the school experience and providing a safe and healthier environment for all our students; Supported by $20,000 MetroWest grant for interventions to decrease students' psychological and biological distress associated with racial discrimination
  • Preliminary discussion on communicating what it means to be a METCO district (website updates in development)
  • Superintendent's Updates to faculty including steps being taken to ensure an equitable and enriching learning experience for all students (ongoing series of Superintendent's communications to staff)

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