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Diversity:

Our Gift and Our Future


A Plan for Closing the Achievement Gap in Burlington Schools


Burlington, Vermont June 1, 2012

June 1, 2012 Dear Friends, Racism, bullying and harassment have no place in a school setting where all children have the right to feel safe and excel in their education. Our goal our duty is to eradicate cultural, racial, and other barriers that stand in the way of student achievement. This is a problem that afflicts every community. But we have the ability and the talent in Burlington to solve it here and lead the nation. A major task is to ensure that children of all cultures and backgrounds are successful in our schools. In the attached report you will see an initiative to aggressively institute an environment of cultural competency, leadership training and many other steps to improve the way we connect with students and families at all levels. In the coming years I intend to eliminate race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation as predictors of academic performance, discipline, and co-curricular participation. We will enter the coming school year with momentum generated by training and professional development during the summer. By September 1, I expect that procedures and policies about equity and diversity, introduced in the final weeks of the previous year and developed during the summer, will be common knowledge on the part of administrative and teaching staff. I personally will be undergoing a series of leadership trainings on this topic. I plan to meet with students throughout the school year to assess progress on my commitment. The diversity of our students is a gift to this community. Any fear of this diversity will be addressed with both sensitivity and firmness. There is no turning back from a total commitment to this cause. We now must work together and share in this opportunity. In that spirit I welcome any participation, feedback, and input on this plan from members of the community, now and in the coming months. My door is open. Please feel free to contact me any time at superintendent@bsdvt.org. Sincerely,

Jeanne Collins, Superintendent

PHONE: 802-865-5332 ~ FAX: 802-864-8501 ~ WEBSITE: WWW.BSDVT.ORG


EEO: This material is available in alternate formats for persons with disabilities. To request an accommodation, please call 1. 800.253.0101 (TTY) or 1.800.253.0195 (voice).

150 COLCHESTER AVE.. ~ BURLINGTON VT 05401

JEANN COLLINS ~ SUPERINTENDENT

INTRODUCTION By October 2012, the Burlington School Board will present a strategic plan to the community. That plan will be informed by the findings of the Task Force Report on Equity and Diversity along with additional community input. While we look forward to the results of that excellent work, we cannot afford to wait until October to respond to the issues of equity and diversity in our schools and by extension, our community. We need a bold approach that affords every student the opportunity to graduate from high school with the academic and social skills needed to thrive in our economy and society. This work will not be easy, and it will take time. Beginning immediately, we have to shift gears and move forward with laser focus and clarity of expectations. We must do this work within our existing resources. We do not expect any additional support from the federal government, and need to honor the generosity and support we have received from Burlington residents in the recent budget vote. The essence of our values in the Burlington Schools is to embrace the differences among our students and their families. That racial, cultural, religious, economic, and educational diversity is a gift which must be central to the mission of our District. The diversity of our students and their families defines who we are as the Burlington Schools. We need intentional leadership and an organizational structure that embraces these differences and provides us with concrete ways to respond effectively both to the widely recognized achievement gap and the tension in the climate of our schools. As the Task Force Report on the Recommended Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Burlington School District clearly says, our response to diversity cannot be an add-on to an existing framework. It must be the core of the mission of our schools. I agree with that statement and endorse it wholeheartedly. To this end, my plan begins with equity. Equity shall become the lens through which we do our work. It must be a core value of our District. Every aspect of the Burlington School District will be seen through the lens of equity, from curriculum to human resources, budgeting, professional development, parent involvement, hiring and retention. In the next year, working under current contractual obligations, I intend to re-imagine our organizational structure to better support the District's work to close the achievement gap of our students through the lens of equity. This plan has five major components: A Welcoming Climate for All Students: A school climate that does not tolerate racism or bullying while improving the complaint process, communicating it to parents and students, and holding all faculty, administration, and staff accountable as mandatory reporters.
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Professional Development: Educate district staff on how to be a culturally responsive teacher, team member or administrator with ongoing opportunities to discuss racism and cultural differences among our community. Organizational Change: Revisit our top organizational structure over the next year to ensure we have the right people in place to close the achievement gap and address social and educational equity in the District. Where there is racism and cultural bias that hurts our students, we will address it. Recruitment and Retention: Continue the work begun on Affirmative Recruitment and increase our focus on Retention to ensure we are developing and maintaining a diverse and culturally competent faculty in all of our schools. We have set a goal of 20% candidates of color in each pool and we clearly communicate the criteria that must be met to work in the Burlington schools, with a special focus on cultural competence. Data Collection: In order to assess where more work is needed and evaluate progress, we need to implement and share data collection in the areas of: achievement of students and identification of gaps that may exist; incidents of harassment or discrimination and their follow-up as well as discipline referrals to review for disparities that may exist; and hiring and retention of a diverse and culturally competent faculty. CLIMATE We must immediately improve the climate in our schools through direct conversation and explicit expectations with faculty, parents and students. Recently I gathered all administrative staff to emphasize this Districts rejection and resistance to racism. I asked the principals to meet with all staff in their buildings before the end of the school year to convey the message of no tolerance of racial intolerance and all expressions of hatred and bullying in our schools. Follow up will include revisited and strengthened complaint procedures under the newly approved Board policy on harassment. Each school is mandated to identify two designated employees to respond to complaints and carry out investigations. Training on the updated complaint procedures will take place for all administrators and designated employees on June 21 at an all-day retreat. Training will include the specifics of the procedures, how to communicate complaint procedures to parents and students, the role of all employees to report incidents witnessed, how to respond to complaints in a manner that is respectful and open, and how to follow-up. In addition, we will expect that every incident reported will be logged, with follow up, for review by the Equity Climate Team I will describe later in this plan. In the first month of school, all faculty and staff will be trained in the new procedure and how to respond. Employees must report incidents observed and will be held accountable for doing so.
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The new procedures and processes for responding to complaints will be implemented the first day of school in August, with the goal of immediate change in our climate. This step will require additional support from the Board, since expectations are enforced administratively. Our immediate concern must be for the safety of all of our children, particularly children of color , cultures new to the Burlington community, and underrepresented populations. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Our affirmative hiring practices that have been put into place over the last two years ensure that we are hiring culturally competent quality faculty. However, cultural competence is not a one-time designation. With our rapidly changing demographic, we must continually improve our skills. Professional development is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each person needs personalized learning and growth opportunities. Working with Dr. Bill Howe, an education consultant for culturally responsive education, multicultural education, gender equity and civil rights at the Connecticut State Department of Education and Dan Balon, our Diversity Director, we are designing a professional development plan for the District to commence this summer. Dr. Howe will begin with overview training for administrators on June 22, right after the training on the complaint procedures as noted above. On August 13 and 14, he will continue this work and include the Board and key staff personnel as we embark on a year-long professional development plan. Teachers will be introduced to this work at the August 24 Welcome Back Orientation. Professional development will continue throughout the year and will be mandatory. Attendance and participation will be part of all employee goals and performance review. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE To underline the recognition of the core value of equity in the Burlington Schools, I am reorganizing the structure of central office departments that are responsible for the various aspects of equity in the District. This reorganization is independent of particular personnel currently responsible for particular functions. We will find for each position the person best able to bring both passion and competence to their responsibilities. Henceforth, rather than being one of many offices in the District, equity will be central to fulfilling the mission of our schools. I am going to use the coming year to re-imagine how the District is organized to better reflect this vision. I will be working with the Board, senior leadership and within our contractual resources to put in place a structure that better suits the needs of our students today. The first step will start with the Office of Diversity and Equity. I envision three prongs to this office: 1. The Director of Diversity, who will focus on diversity, education and professional development for students and staff. This individual will work closely with Dr. Howe to develop the plan for the District, will be in schools and classrooms talking with teachers
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This office will function as a whole. All positions listed exist in one form or another in the District already, but will require some shift in responsibilities and minor funding changes to make happen. An essential aspect of this plan is the creation of an Equity Climate Team, to be led by the Director of Equity. This Team will consist of the designated employees in each school and the Positive Behavior Coach for the District. The Team will meet monthly to review all incident logs and discipline reports from each school, analyze them for inequities and follow through, provide technical assistance to each school, and develop strong, consistent investigation duties throughout the District. This Team will report data results to the superintendent monthly, and an aggregate report of these findings will be presented to the Board and made available publicly at regular intervals throughout the year. This will ensure that we are taking incidents seriously, consistently responding to all incidents in the District, and providing consistent, thorough and timely investigations and support at each school. PARENT OUTREACH One way to ensure we are meeting the needs of all students and families and creating equitable policies and educational opportunities is through parent involvement, with a focus on student achievement. To this end, we will continue our work with the Family School Partnership teams at each school, as led by a District Family School Partnership Coordinator. In addition, our Bilingual Liaisons will be used in greater capacity for parent outreach throughout the district to ensure parent voices are heard, services are understood and we are working together for the success of our students. AFFIRMATIVE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION The District has achieved moderate success in recruiting diverse faculty with the implementation of our intentional affirmative hiring processes. For years, the District made attempts but did not institutionalize them. We share the goal of having a qualified, culturally competent and diverse faculty that represents our students of color. We strive for candidate pools of 100% culturally competent candidates and 20% candidates of color from which to choose the most qualified teacher. This process is the first sustainable process in the Burlington
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and students, and will continually assess our professional development needs, reporting to the superintendent on a regular basis. The goal is to have visible results of a climate that is respectful and welcoming, and one where the adults as well as the students can learn and grow and be successful; 2. A Director of Equity, who will connect with families and students to address issues of concern early on and will lead the Equity Climate Team, as described below; and 3. A Recruitment and Retention Specialist, who will continue the work we have begun on our affirmative recruitment process, working to achieve the goal of a 20% pool of diverse candidates for each teacher position posting. This individual will take on the retention work that needs to be done as outlined in our recent pilot study on retention of faculty of color.

schools and likely in Vermont that has embedded cultural competence into the hiring process itself and attempted to remove all bias from the choice of the final candidates. As affirmative recruitment is in its early stages, we need to continue this important work. More than just recruitment, however, the District needs to focus on retention of the candidates we do hire. A recent pilot study identifies challenges and institutional barriers to successful retention of adults of color in the District that we must address. Retention efforts are the responsibility of every adult in this District. From the support of administrators, to mentors for each teacher, we need to intentionally focus on changing our climate to one that is inclusive of adults. The Recruitment and Retention Specialist will work with our Curriculum Director to assign mentors, and will work with the mentors to ensure we are meeting the needs of our new faculty of color, meet with new teachers and administrators throughout the year to determine if support is adequate and timely, and will report back to the superintendent on findings throughout the year. DATA AND ACCOUNTABILITY We are in the process of determining appropriate data points for analysis of achievement gaps and disparities in our system through the creation of an Annual Equity Report Card. The Diversity Director has begun this work and will continue it. The report will be released annually, starting in October 2012. It will be used to identify where achievement gaps and disparities exist in the District, helping us set goals to eliminate them. The Equity Climate Team data review will add to this report. Through the work of this Team, we will collect data on all incidents of racism, harassment and discrimination in the District, and review all discipline data through the lens of equity regarding race, poverty, and English Language Learners. Aggregate summaries of this work will also be shared with the Board and the community, and we will be held accountable for progress on this data. There has been disagreement in the past over data that has been released. We have been working on improving our data system. With the roll out of the Munis software for business and human resources, along with the work in our technology office on setting standards for data, we will continue to improve our data reporting and will hold schools accountable for the data entry at the school level. ELL PROGRAM Our ELL staff has begun work on a Strategic Plan that uses data to identify the progress of our students who are newest to English, and to set goals and track progress. This summer, ELL staff will review the current service delivery model, along with criteria for entering and exiting each level of service delivery, and ensure all of our students have equal access to educational opportunities at an appropriate academic level. We will use data to review the effectiveness of our varied models of support, including sheltered content classes, which are intended for students who newly arrive in the country at high school, and to identify any barriers to access
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to mainstream classes. Progress on this plan will be published as part of the Annual Equity Report Card. For oversight and responsibility, I Coordinator of English Language Learning (ELL) will be promoted to a Director of ELL, which will be a promotion to a position of greater responsibility. This role will work to implement the Strategic Plan on ELL Services, monitor and report on data and review our current models of ELL services in all of our schools, beginning with the high school. ACHIEVEMENT GAP SUMMIT As we improve our own data keeping and analysis, we will lead an Achievement Gap Summit for local school Districts and beyond as recommended by Diversity Now. We anticipate also attracting non-educational partners to this summit, many of whom work with our students and families before and after school and during the summer. Burlington School District has learned much along the this journey of equity in our schools and can make a difference throughout the rest of the state in closing the achievement gap for all students and in eradicating racism in the public schools. I anticipate the first summit to be held in early winter 2013. CONCLUSION Our goal is to close achievement gaps in the Burlington schools and create welcoming school climate without racism, discrimination, harassment and bullying to the best extent possible. Working closely with Dr. Howe and our new Diversity and Equity Office structure, BSD will also close the communication gaps between school, home and community. I want to thank the ad hoc Diversity Task Force for the researched best practices recommendation that were presented in their October 2011 report to the Board. This document played heavily in this plan development, as did other community leader voices in Burlington. I welcome community feedback, input and participation as we work together to improve the outcomes for all our students. Please contact me directly at superintendent@bsdvt.org. I absolutely believe that if we work together as a community in this effort, Burlington can surely lead the state, and even the country, as a model to address equity and racism in public schools. I look forward to that opportunity. APPENDICES APPENDIX A: TIMELINE AND WORK PLAN APPENDIX B: CHECKLIST FOR PROFESSIONAL TEACHING HIRES APPENDIX C: DEFINITION OF RACISM FROM TASK FORCE REPORT APPENDIX D: COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY & EQUITY BOARD POLICY APPENDIX E: DR. BILL A. HOWE BIOGRAPHY
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APPENDIX A: MEASURABLE ACTION STEPS


THE PLAN
POLICY
Updated district harassment policy. Administrators trained in implementation and investigations. Administrators trained in immediate response to a complaint. All faculty and staff, including SROs, trained in implementing the policy and immediate response. Ensure complaint process is clear and available to all parents, in multiple languages. Develop anti-bullying policy. Ensure policy and complaint process is accessible to parents in handbooks, on web, in schools with specified time frames and appeal process as well as who to direct complaints to. Provide in multiple languages. Offer training to parents and liaisons in the complaint process. Set up email address and/or phone number to receive complaints outside of school hours. Have a number of monitors and monitor it daily. Ensure each school has two designated employees to receive and respond to complaints. Track data on complaints made and report all data to the Diversity and Equity Director and the superintendent monthly. Ensure non-discrimination statement placed in all official publications and the web of the District to include name, title, and phone number of the Title IX coordinator. District level ombudsman role available to assist parents/students in complaint process. Include education for students in the response to harassment, bullying and discrimination.

Jun-12

Jul-12

Aug-12

Sep-12

Oct-12

Nov-12

Dec-12

Jan-13

Feb-13

Mar-13

Apr-13

May-13

Jun-13

Ongoing

Annually

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Professional Development on culturally responsive education and multicultural education is mandated for all faculty, staff and administration. On responses to incidents observed and complaints. Year long focus with kick off in August at welcome back meeting. Administrators to receive training with Board and teacher leaders. Teacher leaders include BEA executive committee, Equity Council. Equity Council assists principals in bringing training to individual schools systematically. Training offered to parents and community leaders. Parent training on educational rights, civil rights, and how to effectively file a complaint. Training for students on how to file a complaint, and how to stop when observing an incident. Develop sustainable training plan. Superintendent to participate in professional group with other white professional leaders focused on equity in leadership.

AFFIRMATIVE RECRUITMENT & RETENTION


Hire new affirmative recruitment and retention specialist. Continue current work on affirmative recruiting with data on recruitment and hiring pools. Continue current hiring practices, reviewing after each season to see if changes are needed. Report out to the Board in October of each year of successes and failures of each candidate search. Continue to evolve mentoring plan, to identify more completely what information must be imparted in orientation, frequency of meetings with mentors, check ins and exit surveys. Provide exit surveys to each teacher who exits the district to get data on retention climate. Continue mid-year and end-of-year check-ins for new teachers to support and tweak as needed. Gather student voices superintendent will hold forums and find ways to meet with students to hear their perspective on the outcomes of these steps.

Diversity: Our Gift and Our Future

One-Year Timeline (June 2012)

THE PLAN
CURRICULUM
Use PLC model to review student achievement on regular basis in each school, with summary progress monitoring reports to superintendent on quarterly basis by each school. Map out diversity within the curriculum to identify gaps and articulate cultural diversity focus within the curriculum to the public. Implement annual welcoming and inclusive walk through to include environment, curriculum and library materials to be done by FSP with report to superintendent. Establish minimum expectations for every building as a hallmark of excellence on diversity.

Jun-12

Jul-12

Aug-12

Sep-12

Oct-12

Nov-12

Dec-12

Jan-13

Feb-13

Mar-13

Apr-13

May-13

Jun-13

Ongoing

Annually

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS


Finalize and implement the ELL Strategic Plan with SMART goals. Review models of ELL service to ensure students are placed where academically capable, not just for English proficiency. This may include assessments in academic skills at transitional points. ELL Director and staff. Use data to track progress and effectiveness of ELL strategic actions and programs with annual progress report. Explore what it would take to require ELL professional development or district certification of all teachers in the district. Develop a plan with barriers, cost and implementation timeline.

ACCOUNTABILITY
Annual Equity and Inclusion Report Card to report on data for achievement gap. Implement District Equity Team led by Equity Director. Promote ELL Coordinator to ELL Director to give more direct line of authority to principals and ELL staff. Include multicultural climate rubric for administrator walk throughs and require quarterly reports to the superintendent. Incorporate cultural competencies into teacher evaluation system.

CLIMATE
Require each administrator to discuss current issues of equity and race with faculty. Create tools for reports of incidents outside of school hours, such as email and phone message. Teach students tools to respond to incidents. Create superintendent listening tour for student and parent voices. Continue Family School Partnership Teams at each school with annual action plan for student achievement. Continue implementation timeline of Positive Behavior Support system in each school with discipline data to be reviewed at school level and by Equity Team. Provide access to an ombudsman to work as independent contractor outside of the district structure who reports directly to the superintendent. Develop a code of ethics for all faculty and staff to review, understand and sign annually. Locate the Bilingual Liaisons at BHS campus for easy access to students and teachers as a resource and to ensure community communications are occurring. Liaisons will be deployed district-wide, but will have a home base at BHS.

ADVOCACY
Work with the Board to advocate for legislation that requires statewide data on teachers of color and requires each district to work towards a goal of a faculty as diverse as its student body, with an annual report to the Commissioner. With the Board, advocate for statewide affirmative recruitment officer at the DOE. Lead a regional fall symposium on equity and student achievement to share best practices across the state and beyond. Ensure the Board has access to regular reports that demonstrate progress, such as annual equity report card to include data from the Civil Rights Data Collection, affirmative recruitment and retention, student achievement, as well as progress reports on this plan. Advocate with the Board for resources needed to meet the needs of all students with an equity lens and to address school climate.

Diversity: Our Gift and Our Future

One-Year Timeline (June 2012)

APPENDIX B Burlington School District Principal and Directors Checklist for Professional Teaching Hires 2012-13 The Burlington School District is committed to developing a faculty and staff demographic that is consistent with student demographics. Current student demographics include a student population that is over 25% students of color, and nearly 20% English Language Learners. The District seeks to achieve a culturally competent school community that reflects the voices, perspectives and differences that arise from our diverse community and the world. To this end, the BSD seeks to achieve a goal of 20% faculty of color and 100% culturally competent faculty and staff. This process is intended to help improve and achieve these goals. I - Posting Process Principal/Director identifies open position and sends Request to Post to HR Specialist. Subject to superintendent (school board) approval and identified budget line Principal reviews Reduction in Force (RIF) Recall list, if any, with HR for eligible employee recall, per negotiated agreement 1. If RIF recall exists, HR notifies teacher and position closes 2. If no RIF recall exists, planning for a search begins Principal determines staff Search Advisory Committee (referred to in rest of checklist as SAC). Principal chairs the SAC. Principal ensures that all faculty have received the "Affirmative Recruitment training through Equity Office for Employment and Retention. Annual training must be completed before interviews begin. This training works to reduce bias in the search process. Principal submits criteria grid for evaluation of candidate applications. District critical criteria must be in the grid. Value added criteria at the school level must be approved by the Recruitment and Retention Specialist. Using the criteria grid, HR posts and advertises position for a minimum of 10 school days with a goal of increasing diversity of the candidate pool, including but not limited to: HR Office Equity Office and Principals Internal Posting Informal networking Website BSD/SchoolSpring List serves Commercial papers/magazines Colleges/Universities
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II. Application Review/Screening Process Applications and resumes are received on SchoolSpring 4. Hard copies of resumes will not be accepted. Candidates will be referred to SchoolSpring Section I of Diversity Data Form is completed using SchoolSpring filter to collect demographic data on candidate pool. If the total candidate pool prior to prescreening is not at least 20% people of color, principals need to contact the superintendents office. The superintendent will make the decision on expanding the search upon recommendation of the Recruitment and Retention Specialist. The Principal provides SAC with the District charge to ensure clarity about SAC roles and responsibilities in the hiring process. The SAC reviews eligible (those who have passed all the prescreening critical criteria) candidates' applications using the appropriate District Criteria Grid for Evaluating Professional Teaching Candidate Applications to determine candidates for interviews (elementary, middle, or high school). The Principal determines the number of qualified candidates to interview based on their candidate pool and desired characteristics.

Principals complete the schools Summary Criteria Grid that lists the scores for all candidates on all the criteria. Principal completes Section III of the Diversity Data Form.

For any candidates of color or candidates with a score of 4 or 5 on Cultural Competence who will not be interviewed, the Principal must provide explanatory evidence in the Diversity Data Form for review by the superintendent and Equity Officer before moving forward with recommendations. III. Interviewing Process Principal contacts successful candidates and schedules interviews. SAC develops interview questions. Interview questions will include at least one question that reflects diversity experience and cultural competence to supplement application essay questions. Principal creates a Candidate Feedback Form directly from the interview questions, used during the interview process for the SAC to provide input into the candidates responses to the interview questions, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
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Interviews are conducted Upon completion of interviews, SAC provides input on candidates to the Principal who determines whom to invite back for observation lessons or site visits, depending on the position. Principal conducts relevant reference checks if not yet completed. SAC discusses impressions of candidates following observations. Principal determines 1 -3 final candidates for the position to recommend to the superintendent. Principal fills out Section IV of Diversity Data Form to send to Superintendent as part of the Rec to Hire Packet. For any candidates of color and any candidate who scores a 4 or 5 on the Diversity Awareness and Cultural Competency Criteria who are not recommended to the superintendent for hire, the Principal will provide to the superintendnet a detailed summary of evidence from the Candidate Feedback Forms, lesson observations, and post-interview and observations discussions to explain why they are not being recommended. This can be summarized in Comments in Section IV of the Diversity Data Form.

Final Hiring Process The Principal makes final recommendations to the Superintendent, who has the responsibility to do a final review of all information and determine if the search is complete and to schedule a superintendent interview. The successful candidate contacted by Principal and offered the job. The School Board acts on the Superintendents recommendation to hire at the next regular School Board meeting.
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APPENDIX C: DEFINITION OF RACISM FROM TASK FORCE REPORT Racism is the set of mistaken assumptions, opinions and actions resulting from the belief that one group of people categorized by color or ancestry is inherently superior to another. Racism may be present in organizational and institutional policies, programs and practices, as well as in the attitudes and behavior of individuals. It is any act or situation that, even unwittingly, tolerates, accepts, or reinforces racially unequal opportunities for children to learn and thrive; allows racial inequalities in opportunity as if they are normal and acceptable; and treats people of color as less worthy or less complex than white people. By convention, the term racism has been reserved to describe the mistreatment of members of racial and ethnic groups that have experienced a history of discrimination.
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APPENDIX D: COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY & EQUITY BOARD POLICY The Burlington School District recognizes and values the diversity of our students, staff and community. The District is committed to a culture of diversity that reflects the voices, perspectives and differences arising from our diverse community and the world. We believe that it is important for students to understand and appreciate human diversity, develop a capacity for cultural competence, and commit to encouraging inclusion in their future lives. The District will adopt procedures and implement staff training intended to achieve a diverse and culturally competent school community, inclusive of diverse races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religious and spiritual believes, ages and physical and learning abilities. The administration shall report to the Board annually on its progress, barriers and outcomes CULTURAL COMPETENCE DEFINITION: A culturally competent professional is one who is actively in the process of: 2. being aware of ones own assumptions about human behavior, values, biases, preconceived notions, personal limitations, and so forth; 3. understanding the worldview of culturally diverse and marginalized populations (values, assumptions, practices, communication styles, group norms, biases, experiences, perspectives, etc.); 4. developing and practicing appropriate, relevant, and sensitive strategies and skills in working with culturally diverse students, families, communities and colleagues. Our Districts definition is based upon the National Educator Associations stance on cultural competence and can be downloaded from their website www.nea.org/assets/docs/PB13_CulturalCompetence08.pdf.
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APPENDIX E: DR. WILLIAM A. HOWE BIOGRAPHY Dr. William A. Howe is the program manager for culturally responsive education, multicultural education, gender equity and civil rights at the Connecticut State Department of Education. He is also an adjunct professor of education at the University of Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College and Quinnipiac University. He is Chair of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission. Dr. Howe is the founder of the New England Conference on Multicultural Education (NECME) and Past President of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). In 2006 he was named the G. Pritchy Smith Multicultural Educator of the Year at the Annual NAME Conference in Phoenix, AZ. He was an Honoree at the 11th annual Immigrant Day at the State Capitol in 2008, a day to honor immigrants from throughout Connecticut who have made valuable contributions to their communities and/or professions. He is on the boards of several organizations, including the Anti-Defamation Leagues Making Diversity Count Advisory Board, National Advisory Board STEM Equity Pipeline, Native Village Board of Advisors, University of Connecticut Asian American Studies Institute; the editorial board of Multicultural Perspectives, the official journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME); and Senior Advisory Council for The National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) Connecticut. He has been an educator for 35 years in the U.S. and Canada and has made seven trips to China and one to South Africa to study multicultural education. In 2007 he made his first trip to Israel to study the Holocaust. He has given over 350 workshops, lectures and keynotes on diversity, multicultural education and organizational development. He is a regular presenter at state and national conferences, has appeared on both radio and television on diversity issues. Over the past fifteen years, he has trained over 14,000 educators in multicultural education. He is coauthoring a textbook on multicultural education and was a coauthor of the Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education, 2nd Edition.

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