(Photo taken 2019)
District Equity Advisory Council continues to meet; connections, conversations and change happening virtually
The District’s 39-member Equity Advisory Council met virtually for its second meeting of the school year last night, Nov. 17. The members, comprising parents, students, community members and a school board member, heard reports on the Safety Advisory Committee, curriculum research and adoption, hate and bias response protocol staff training, and more. Members also broke out into discussion groups to share their perspectives and experiences in relation to these topics. This input advises the District and helps inform planning work.
One item to highlight from the meeting is the District’s work on researching and adopting curriculum that is dedicated to the teaching and learning of cultures and ethnicities. Examples include:
- Since Time Immemorial: Endorsed by all of our state’s 29 federally-recognized tribes, this curriculum teaches students in kindergarten through 12th grade about tribal sovereignty in Washington. SBLSD has successfully implemented this curriculum into classes and provided professional learning to educators who teach this content.
- Social Studies and Ethnic Studies: The District is working with Dr. Conrad Webster, an educational consultant and expert in ethnic studies, to provide background and knowledge on options for high-quality ethnic studies curriculum to consider for adoption in the near future.
The Equity Advisory Council is only one part of the District’s larger, multi-year equity initiative, which includes plans, progress and action in many aspects of leading with racial equity. This critical work is happening in our District with administrators, school staff, union groups, students, families, and the community. Learn more about our equity initiative, including an action map highlighting our accomplishments.
Equity Advisory Council Background
The Sumner-Bonney Lake School District created an Equity Advisory Council in 2018, which started out with 25 staff and community members who were charged with the mission of examining the growing diversity within our schools, as well as processes necessary to ensure equitable educational outcomes for all students. Now in its third year, the Equity Advisory Council has grown to 39 members and is made up of parents, staff, students, community members and a school board member.
Advisory council members have a background and interest and commitment in addressing equity, as well as culturally responsive schools and communities. They represent a diverse group of local parents and families, as well as school administration, staff, and our Board of Directors. Advisory committee work and meetings are guided and facilitated by Equity Program Management consultants from the Puget Sound Educational Service District.
Equity Advisory Council Purpose
The Equity Advisory Council commits to transforming the culture and climate of the SBLSD so that every adult and student in the district acts upon our shared values of empathy, inclusion, acceptance and success for ALL students.
We will identify the content knowledge, policies, practices and procedures needed to effectively prevent bias; to recognize and address bias when it occurs; to alleviating the harmful impacts of bias; and provide for the restoration of good and trusting relationships in our community.
We will empower students to be leaders in that process.
An understanding of the history and current dynamics of racism and other forms of oppression is critical knowledge which will allow all students to be successful both in SBLSD and post-graduation, and will allow them to have better opportunities and relationships with diverse people throughout their lives.
We are all responsible for the complete education of our students.
We commit to ensuring that school district employees and students know, are aware and have the skills they need to identify bias, interrupt it where it exists and provide remedies that restore trust and relationships.
We will educate ourselves so that we can engage our community in the transformation we need to make SBLSD a place where all individuals feel safe, valued, loved, heard and seen.
We commit to make our district a place where individuals can have pride in themselves and achieve their fullest potential.
To learn more about the Equity Advisory Committee, contact Marilee Hill-Anderson, Director of Community Engagement, at (253) 891-6032 or firstname.lastname@example.org