The White Plains School District is seeking residents to serve on its Equity Committee.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ricca said last week the committee will consist of students, teachers, support staff, school leaders, district office administrators, Board of Education trustees, parents and guardians, and community leaders who will work with the district’s consultant on the project with the NYU Metro Center for Research on Equity and The Transformation of School. Ricca said the district is serious about analyzing its educational organization and environment regarding inclusivity for all students, faculty/staff members and parents/guardians.
“The mission of the committee will be to identify any structurally embedded policies, practices and/or beliefs that may generate and/or sustain instances of educational inequity,” Ricca said. The committee will consider all aspects of equity, including such factors as race, ethnicity, language, culture, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socioeconomic status, he said. The committee will develop strategies to eventually eliminate inequities and change policies, practices and/or beliefs in order to reduce and eventually eliminate any inequities, he said.
“This is a very natural outgrowth of the work we have been doing in the district,” Ricca added. “The committee will be “looking at the district as a whole.”
NYU Metro Center was founded in 1978 by NYU Professor LaMar P. Miller. Miller’s vision was to examine and find solutions for the problems facing the country’s public schools, especially as they affect low-income and minority children. Today, NYU Metro Center is nationally and internationally renowned for its work on educational equity and school improvement. It brings together scholars, educators, and innovators from diverse backgrounds to collaborate on a range of projects to strengthen and improve access, opportunity, and educational quality across varied setting, but particularly in striving communities.
The Center also boasts a broad and bold research agenda that touch topics ranging from girls and juvenile justice to the education, language, and literacy of men and boys of color. Research activities also include (but are not limited to) topics on the impacts of poverty on student learning, multilingual education, school climate and discipline, disproportionality, gender identity and gender presentation, restorative justice, PBIS, RTI, culturally relevant education, “over-the-counter” students, SIFE/SLIFE, abilities and
NYU Metro Center engages staff and personnel from more than 700 school districts across New York State, impacting thousands of people including 15,204 in parenting and community engagement, 12,442 through curriculum alignment, 71,920 through instructional strategies, 13,160 through comprehensive implementation and assessment, 10,814 through teacher development, 11,484 through programs designed to promote understanding and implementation of standards and academic content, and over 20,000 through conferences, workshops, and special events.
The only requirement to become a White Plains Schools committee member is the willingness to attend seven monthly, full-day meetings (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) from November through May and keep an open mind, Ricca said.
Residents seeking to join the committee are being asked by the district to send an e-mail to Liza Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org.The deadline is Friday, Oct. 18.