School Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Since its opening in the 2016-17 school year, Northwood has had a staff team working on issues of equity, access, and inclusion. Initially called the Diversity Team, now dubbed the Equity Team, this group of educators is led this year by two teacher leaders, Mrs. Elizabeth Melton-Grace (Kindergarten) and Mr. Sean O’Callaghan (Kindergarten) in close collaboration with our Administrative Team (Principal and Associate Principal). Over the course of the years, we have worked with several experts across the region to support development of staff knowledge and skills to support equity in our schools, including:
- Dr. Pedro Noguera, educator, speaker, and author of Excellence through Equity
- Dr. Caprice Hollins of Cultures Connecting, educator, speaker and author of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Strategies for Facilitating Conversations about Race
- Ben Ibale of WEA: Culturally Responsive Strategies, Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
- Rosalind Wiseman of Cultures of Dignity
- several other authors and thought leaders through book studies and video presentations.
Last year and this year, our team is continuing our school-based work, alongside the District’s Superintendent's Equity Advisory Council and the district Dynamic Social Justice group. Our goals include advancing our staff and community knowledge of the issues of race, racism, and whiteness in our culture; issues of gender identity and gender bias; issues of ability and neurodiversity; as well as looking at other issues of privilege and inequity that create barriers for marginalized people across our communities. As professionals, we are continuing to examine materials, programs, systems, and language with an eye toward disrupting systems of inequity and replacing them with more equitable, inclusive structures. We will continue our own ongoing staff and student learning and we plan to partner with our PTA Leaders in this work. Our Northwood PTA Director of Equity and Inclusion will also join the Superintendent’s Equity Advisory Council to help lead this work in the broader community. We look forward to this partnership with parents as we continue to learn and grow toward a more equitable future together.