To advance a culture of inclusion as well as explore and resolve equity and diversity issues in the District, an Equity Council is being created at USD 305. The Council will include community members, staff and students.
“The Equity Council is our next step to strengthen an environment of respect, acceptance and appreciation that supports improved academic outcomes,” explained Dr. James Hardy, superintendent. The Council will review data, information and feedback in order to identify challenging issues. The advisory group will produce recommendations and strategies for the USD 305 Board of Education.
At its March 27 meeting, the Board of Education approved Equity Council Bylaws that were created by a steering committee made up of Reverend Barry Dundas, Bryan Frazier, Rayna Torres, Superintendent Dr. Hardy, Executive Director of Administrative Student Support Services Shanna Rector, and Public Information Director Jennifer Bradford-Vernon. Using feedback from students, staff, parents and community, the committee evaluated local needs and studied the Topeka USD 501 Equity Council as a starting point. They made a visit to the Topeka Equity Council where they spoke with school leaders and attended an equity council meeting.
Board members supported the new initiative and recognized its significance for every student to achieve success. Learning for All, Whatever it Takes! is the District’s motto and its Strategic Plan identifies the related goal of “continuous improvement” and “community engagement.”
The new Equity Council will be a working group of approximately 30 individuals. Anyone interested in participating is asked to complete an application between April 2-19. Applications will be available on the district website and at the Superintendent’s Office at 1511 Gypsum. Equity Council members will be announced in May and will begin working during the 2018-2019 school year.