Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee represents the many voices of the Ardsley Learning Community. We were so excited to have had such a strong response to our call for volunteers and have engaged community members, parents, administrators, and students from varied backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. Our work in this area is an exciting opportunity to celebrate, enrich, and transform who we are as learners in Ardsley.
What is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee?
The District Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will act in an advisory capacity to do the following:
- Create a space for discussion, shared learning, and collective growth, where multiple perspectives are heard and multiple identities are welcomed.
- Engage with the Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education Framework as a lens to evaluate current programming and future plans.
- Seek input from all district stakeholders and learn from related work being done in the region.
- Support ongoing Building Based Projects.
- Advise the Superintendent and the BOE as to our priorities and next steps.
- Communicate our work regularly with the entire Ardsley Community.
What is happening now?
The DEI Committee has been meeting monthly since October, 2021. The committee’s initial mission as an advisory group to the District is to help raise awareness and support for the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Framework.Since January, the larger committee has broken up into two working groups to tackle several priority projects with the goal of making recommendations to the BOE by June. Both projects will help the committee and the community understand more about the current school climate, policies, and curriculum that are connected to the DEI initiative.Group 1: Data Collection
We have decided we need to collect both qualitative and quantitative data regularly about the culture and climate of our schools. This can include student input and community input. It can also include understanding demographic data and trends. Our immediate plan is to examine various instruments (surveys, questionnaires, etc.) through the lens of cost, ease of use, and backend support to make a recommendation. On the quantitative side, we will generate a list of possible questions and data points. Then, we will work with the administration to determine which questions to prioritize and which questions would require more data collection to answer over time. Through this entire process, we will continue to look for ways to encourage student participation and elevate their voices.
Group 2: Curriculum and Policy
One of our initial charges as a committee is to understand and support “ongoing building-based projects” as they relate to DEI. We have, therefore, decided to start by reviewing existing Policies and Standards to understand how they shape the curriculum. We are also developing a list of questions and topics around the K-12 Curriculum that will help us understand where and how DEI topics are reflected in the existing curriculum. We hope to find ways to hear directly from faculty members about how the curriculum has developed over time and where we see it going. We also hope to identify topics of interest and importance to the community, so we can better communicate the entire “curriculum story” to everyone.
To create a safe space for discussion and open communication, the DEI Committee meetings will not be recorded. However, our agendas and materials will be shared with the entire community on this website and through regular updates to the Board of Education.
We again thank the community for its interest and support in the work of the District's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Our goal is to ensure that our learning environment is safe and inclusive to all students and that all students feel they are welcome, they belong, and they are supported.
Dr. Duncan Wilson is the chair for the DEI Committee working closely with Nanesha Nunez, the newly appointed District Equity Leader.
"My passion for work around diversity, equity, inclusion and justice came about as a result of becoming an educator and reflecting on my own practice as well as my school experience growing up in Hastings. I really thought about the impact I wanted to have on students and families and that was and is to help prepare children to be contributing members to an interdependent and multicultural world. What I didn’t know at the time was that my desire would lead me to learn a lot about culturally responsive - sustaining pedagogy, a topic I continue to study deeply." Nanesha Nunez
If you have interest in volunteering to be part of this work, please reach out to Dr. Duncan Wilson (email@example.com)