District Equity Coalition Continues Important Discussions at Recent Meeting
Members of the Washington Township School District’s Equity Coalition convened on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at Bunker Hill Middle School to continue important discussions with facilitator Dr. Paul Gorski. Dr. Gorski led the Coalition membership - including Board of Education members, district, building and department leaders, community members, students and parents - through an analysis of a case study involving racial bias. The group then discussed strategies for tearing down barriers that some students experience. Dr. Gorski also reviewed updates to the District’s equity plan.
This year, the district implemented a school climate survey to which students, parents, and staff members responded. Additional input was garnered through student focus groups facilitated by Dr. Gorski, informing future action. These focus groups included students of color, LGBTQ students, students living under economic disadvantage and may include other subgroups as they emerge.
“These ongoing discussions align with our District Mission Statement which is ‘Excellence through Equity, Engagement, and Environment’,” District Equity Office Dr. Steve Gregor said. “We also incorporated and emphasized equity in the Board of Education’s recently approved strategic plan.”
The District’s ongoing quest for equity was ignited by a peaceful and powerful student demonstration at Washington Township High School in October of 2017. This demonstration led to a townhall-type meeting that drew the attention of several hundred community and District representatives. Dr. Gorski’s continued guidance, Dr. Gregor explained, is of great assistance as the District works to meet its foremost District goal:
“Washington Township is a district that values the rights of all students in their pursuit of strong, inclusive education and happiness in that pursuit. The district goal is Excellence in Equity, through the on-going work of the Equity Coalition, administrative initiatives and work in areas of leadership, ongoing work towards equity literacy, teaching tolerance, cultural proficiency, differentiated instruction, and student-led initiatives as developed through our collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League.”
Pictured: Dr. Paul Gorski is pictured during his most recent discussion with the Washington Township Equity Coalition.