Teachers discuss diversity, equity and inclusion in schools

On the year’s first Superintendent’s Conference Day, Sept. 2, DCS staff participated in workshops focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). It was led by instructor Anna Munoz from Generation Ready. These workshops are part of the district’s efforts to meet its goal of fostering a culture that all district stakeholders believe is safe, welcoming and inclusive.

The workshop, which continued during the second Superintendent Conference Day, Sept. 7, focused on how labels and perspectives impact students and staff in our school system.

Staff were asked to participate in a series of reflective activities with colleagues.

“This seminar gave our staff a great opportunity to talk about important issues that arise when working with young people,” said one staff member. “It is my hope that we utilize the skills learned here.”

Another teacher added, “I’m really determined to see my students for who they could be.”

School districts across the country are taking a closer look at their DEI policies, protocols and priorities in an effort to create more positive learning environments for all. The district has contracted with Generation Ready for at least two years. The company works with many districts to provide the process for them to create sustainable DEI programs.

A steering group of district staff members participated in a three-day training earlier this summer. The next step for the district will be to conduct “equity walks” around the district to identify areas in which students might struggle because of their particular identities. Special attention will be paid to ensuring that special education students are able to succeed in all environments.

Staff development will continue on conference days and after school throughout the year. The district’s hope is to create a districtwide equity plan this year.