SPS Equity Audit Letter to Families - January 14, 2020
Dear SPS Families,
As you know, our district goals and strategic priorities are built on the premise that all students and families matter. As a school district, we must be inclusive in our efforts to increase achievement opportunities. We have decided to seek out our district’s strengths and areas of improvement related to these goals. We have partnered with Dr. Cathy Cummins and Kiesha Lamb of Assabet Valley Collaborative (AVC) to help us with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion through a formal Equity audit process.
What is an Equity audit? An Equity Audit is an assessment of the diversity, equity, and inclusion within an entity.
Equity audits are cause for introspection along with opportunities for celebration and improvement. Over the next few months, SPS will partner with AVC to organize small groups of SPS students, staff and families to share their insights directly. The goal is to get a more well rounded assessment of our strengths and areas of improvement from a variety of perspectives; especially from perspectives that are not always heard or received. Your perspective really matters and AVC is willing to accommodate your needs in order to hear your voice.
All schools will be visited, students will be chosen to participate in interviews and/or small focus groups. Everyone’s voice and actions matter, however with limited time, the auditors will target groups based on the district’s goals.
We hope this Equity audit will provide quality information on the following essential questions:
How do SPS students and staff experience being learners in the district?
What root causes might explain the data for minoritized groups (amongst students, families and staff) within the district?
What do our minoritized groups need to experience success, safety, and a sense of belonging?
What does minoritized mean in this context? Some groups are minorities only in certain settings, not in relation to the groups they originate from or belong to. AVC has adopted the use of the language “minoritized” instead of “minority” to acknowledge the various identities and the power dynamic of the setting on the specific individuals and groups.
Scheduling will be the first phase of the audit process and additional communications will follow as needed. Please let us know by Tuesday January 21 if you are interested in being a part of a focus group by clicking on this LINK. Someone will reach out to you for scheduling. Please follow up any questions with Kiesha Lamb at email@example.com or at 508.768.5007
Thanks for all you do, every day, to support and empower your child(ren) in Shrewsbury Public Schools.
The SPS Equity Audit Steering Committee
Meg Belsito, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services
Amy Clouter, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
Noelle Freeman, Director of School Nursing
Barb Malone, Executive Director of Human Resources
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