Culture & Climate In Support of Equity

The district has established specific goals and is taking action steps to ensure that the district's Culture and Climate support equity for all.

Goals
  • Build a system-wide culture of equity where all students and staff feel safe and respected, know that they matter, and that they add value

Action Steps
  • Students will be in culturally responsive classrooms, have the ability to share cultures/holidays, engage in an SEL curriculum (and high school specific - lead conversations, programs and activities with training in Courageous Conversations and student assemblies on specific topics on race and equity)
  • Faculty will post signs of safety and visuals of cultures, greet all students, ensure all cultures are celebrated, implement culturally responsive teaching, be mindful of literature, be culturally sensitive toward families, participate in recommended IDEAS courses, assist with various clubs in helping students advocate for equity
  • Each building will give parents the opportunity to participate in various activities, visit schools during events (community meeting to hear from students regarding work in areas of racial equity); participate in events in which PTCs considered equity and culture in their event and budget planning; participate in events after thoughtful setup (possible survey at beginning of the year); participate in ALL School Read activities; communicate efficiently with staff and students (email, phone, etc.)
  • Administrators in each building will establish a Culture and Climate Committee; ensure PD related to equity is in place in an ongoing manner; provide transparency and common language for parents to use at home (conversations/training); provide support to staff to purchase culturally responsive materials; evaluate staff equitably; cultural sensitivity toward families; join the conversation

Implementation
  • Members of Culture and Climate sub-committee met with Principals on Feb 28, 2019
  • Created Culture and Climate Building Survey; reviewed results with individual principals and solicited their feedback on next steps
  • Aggregated survey and interview data to identify equity practices throughout the district and to develop recommendations
  • SURVEY RESULTS: 3 Schools have Culture & Climate Committees; 5 schools have mechanism to track racial incidents; schools analyze incidents at different times; 5 schools feel signage does not reflect students in building; 5 schools have not held an event on the topic of race; all 8 schools offer PD to faculty and staff in their buildings; all 8 schools need tools and strategies to implement culturally responsive pedagogy
  • RECOMMENDATIONS: Form Culture & Climate Committee in every school; Ensure signage reflects all students in the building; Analyze data to intentionally drive actions to address needs of marginalized students (MetroWest Survey, District Survey, Building-Based and/or Classroom Equity Survey, Attendance Tracking through Nurse or Guidance); Use existing leverage points (SIP, Building-based PD, SEL Leader/Committee, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Family & Community Engagement); Provide safe spaces and pathways for students to gain meaningful connections with adults, including students of color living in Needham

 

Next Steps for Committee

  • Create Rubrics ("Look Fors") that coincide with individual buildings (by end of April)
  • Collect evidence for data analysis and resources to share across district (by end of May)
  • Collaborate with SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) Committee to examine and align SEL framework with culturally responsive practices
  • Use District survey for monitoring students' perspectives on the following measures: sense of belonging, efficacy, sense of safety; use findings to inform focused work at the school level specific to each school's culture
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