Equity and Inclusion » Equity Advisory Board Update Blog

Equity Advisory Board Update Blog

The RPS Equity Advisory Board (EAB) meets once a month to review district-wide progress on issues related to equity, inclusion, diversity and cross-systems alignment initiatives in order to develop and sustain policies and practices that are equitable and inclusive for our community. Through its five Equity Working Groups (EWGs), the Board ensures that our school system is aligned through the lens of anti-racist pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching, and restorative justice practices. The EWGs’ work centers on data and accountability, educator professional growth, student agency/restorative practice/SEL support, family engagement and community relations, and bias and sensitivity review.
 
September 27, 2022
September 27, 2022  September 27, 2022  September 27, 2022  September 27, 2022

On September 27, 2022, the Revere Public Schools Equity Advisory Board (EAB) held its second meeting of the 2022-2023 school year. The meeting took place in the School Committee room and was facilitated by Dr. Lourenço Garcia, Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Inclusion.


The meeting was attended by 26 members, including students, teachers, district employees, and community partners. Many new members were in attendance, expanding both the district board as well as school based racial equity advisors.

The meeting opened with remarks by Anne Bolthrunis, Communications Coordinator, who introduced the new EAB Update Blog. The group also reviewed the Bias Incident Reporting Form and worked in small groups discussing and bringing about clarity to the role and purpose of the racial equity advisors in their individual schools and their liaison to the district’s EAB.

Dr. Garcia introduced new members to the equity work, while returning members continued to review the definition, roles and responsibilities of the EAB vis-a-vis school-based racial equity advisors. The whole group then broke into their respective individual working groups using the district school improvement plan and equity audit findings to identify priorities for the 2022-2023 school year.

The district’s EAB-Racial Equity Working Groups (REWG) include:

          a. Data and Accountability
          b. Bias and Sensitivity Review
          c. Educator Growth and Professional Development
          d. Family Engagement and Community Relations
          e. Student Agency/Restorative Practice/SEL Support

REWG areas of focus – discussion summary:

Data and Accountability

The group analyzed a survey administrators to seniors prior to their graduation with goal of capturing data trends, specifically pertaining to the number of years a student is enrolled in RPS, the age of the student, and their ELL (English Language Learner) or FLEP (Formerly Limited English Proficient) status.

The group will analyze the survey data and decide on how to code long response questions in order to track data trends and the tendencies of the practice. They goal is to merge collected data and share the findings with principals and directors early in the process.


Bias and Sensitivity Review

The Bias and Sensitivity group discussed reviewing curriculum and instructional materials (e.g., textbooks, literature, and assessments) for bias and ensure they are diverse and represent the identities of all of our students, forming and supporting Affinity Groups, creating an auditing system for future instructional materials, and a process for all stakeholders to suggest materials for auditing.

Their goals for the year include continuing to audit the K-12 curriculum, assessing the data from the Affinity Groups formed last year and expanding them, collecting data on experiences of bias of teachers of color, and reviewing handbooks to ensure they are more accessible to all families.

 

Educator Growth and Professional Development

The Educator Growth and Professional Development group discussed creating a district-wide DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) professional development (DP) arc, including investing in current PD structures and ensuring DEI resources, training, and learning opportunities are accessible to all staff.

Their goals for the year include investing time in encouraging all staff to develop their own personal equity journeys, creating a shared vision for all professional development, developing a baseline of knowledge for all staff (e.g., a book study), and creating a self-reflection tool for staff.


Family Engagement and Community Relations

The Family Engagement and Community Relations group discussed analyzing survey data on school-family relationships and engagement in schools collected from caregivers in the 2021-2022 school year.

The group’s goals for the year include partnering with the Student Agency/Restorative Practice/SEL Support group to align communication plans based on the District Family Engagement Policy.


Student Agency/Restorative Practice/SEL Support

The Student Agency/Restorative Practice/SEL Support group discussed continuing their partnership with Revere TV with the Amplify Student Voice program, including creating more content to share on a regular basis. They also discussed ways to engage students at all levels, developing a communication plan with the community and with each school (partnering with Family Engagement and Community Relations), and streamlining leadership teams with student councils at all levels. Planning further action steps based on the findings from restorative justice survey data was also discussed. This step will occur with the guidance and support from the Data and Accountability working group.

The goal is to collaborate with the Educator Growth and Professional Development group and others to ensure that all staff members receive trainings on culturally relevant pedagogy and implicit bias, which tends to undermine student agency.

The next EAB meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

On August 31, 2022, the Revere Public School Equity Advisory Board (EAB) met for the first time this year to discuss priorities for the 2022-2023 school year. The meeting took place in the School Committee room and was facilitated by Dr. Lourenço Garcia, Assistant Superintendent.

 

Sixteen members attended the meeting, including three RHS students, educators from all grade levels, and central office staff members.

 

The Board reviewed the Retreat Executive Report individually, followed by a turn and talk and group discussion activity to build consensus on established priorities for the 2022-2023 school year.

 

The Board continued to review and discuss other aspects of the Retreat Executive Report, specifically:

  • Streamlining documentation for individual schools
  • Sharing individual school's equity work
  • Membership and recruitment

The Board agreed to focus on communications between schools and central office, administration, and building-level equity teams. Creating a consensus on equity practices is a priority for the EAB, as uniformity across schools will allow for more streamlined and effective equity work.

 

The Board will develop a digital share-out for all schools. This document will allow all teams to develop plans in line with recommendations and priorities.

 

Members added that equity work must be integrated into admin meetings.

 

The Board’s goal is to ensure that all schools have active equity teams that meet regularly. All schools have insights and practices that will be beneficial to other school’s teams, as well as the district board.

 

Recruitment and membership is also a priority for the Board. Each school has a dedicated team of students, educators, and community members who work with their own community, but also share their work with the district Board. Each member of our community has valuable experiences, and sharing them with the district Equity Team will help focus the equity work.

 

Last year, the Board initiated two Affinity Groups for BIPOC and LGBTQIAA+ educators. This year, Dr. Garcia has established a job description and a compensation plan for group leaders.

 

Affinity Groups meet regularly to build community, discuss their experiences, and offer support to their peers. This year, the Board will also establish a Disability Affinity Group.

 

The next Equity Advisory Board/Working Group meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
 

On August 18, 2022, the Revere Equity Advisory Board met for its annual retreat to review last year's accomplishments and map out a plan for the new school year. The meeting was facilitated by Great Schools Partnership.

 

Twelve members attended the retreat, including one parent, one community partner, and two students.

 

The group agreed to analyze last year’s equity work, confirm this year’s priorities, and develop an action plan for the 2022-2023 school year.

 

The retreat began with an opening activity, which required participants to identify critical aspects of their personality, including integrity, compassion, and empathy.

 

Members of the Equity team spent time reflecting on the previous year. Attendants broke into small groups to discuss the successes of the prior year. The priorities from last years completed equity audit are:

  • Creating a district-wide DEI Arc of Professional Development for all staff
  • Define, align, and articulate the equity work within the district by engaging stakeholders in the work of the improvement plan and specific DEI work
  • Design a streamlined communication plan to communicate with and engage families effectively.

The team identified specific areas for improvement based on the previous year’s recommendations, including the following:

  • Inconsistent understanding of the role of EAB and school-based equity advisors
  • Balance between autonomy in individual schools and the ongoing work of the Board and its working groups
  • Effective communication between the Board and all stakeholders
  • Recruitment of new members, scheduling issues with current members.

The Board further participated in an Imagine it is Now 2025 activity aimed at identifying ideal outcomes of the RPS equity work. Board members broke into small group conversions brainstorming best-case scenarios and outcomes for the year.

 

Some identified outcomes were:

  • Achieving 40% BIPOC staff for the district
  • Interactive welcome boards in ALL schools
  • Spaces for families and community partners (e.g., welcome centers) in schools
  • Safe spaces for staff to have courageous DEI conversations (affinity groups)
  • Robust understanding an application of equity, inclusion, and diversity in schools
  • Strong equity framework to guide and support our schools. 

This activity gave board members concrete steps to take to continue current equity work, as well as envisioning an ideal future as they continue towards creating a more equitable school community.

 

Closing activities allowed members to reflect on the day and assess their feelings after the retreat.