Committee for Diversity and Inclusion
The HCPSS Committee for Diversity and Inclusion included students, parents, staff and community members that joined the school system in the development of a comprehensive plan to expand and develop programs that promote positive behavior, respect for all cultures and diversity throughout the system.
What they Accomplished
Community members and organizations contributed their diverse perspectives and understanding about students’ experiences in school and outside of school, and ensured transparency at every stage of the committee’s work.
The committee provided a set of recommendations to the Superintendent. Learn more about these recommendations in the August 18th, 2016 board report.
In addition, the Committee Co-Chairs Executive Director of School Improvement and Administration Frank Eastham and Elementary Administrative Director Ron Morris highlight the group’s recommendations in a short video.
How they Worked
The CDI met six times over the course of three months. Student representatives included the Student Member of the Board of Education and five other students representing five high schools. Parents represented 10 schools including the President of Mt. Hebron Parents of African American Students (PAAS) and President of the Chinese American Association.
The community was represented by 10 volunteers including representatives from the Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network, Howard County Citizens Services, Human Rights Commission, Howard County Education Association, Jewish Federation, Howard County Office of Human Rights, and the NAACP. Three central office staff participated representing Curricular Programs, Cultural Proficiency, and Human Resources (HR). School-based staff included teachers and principals representing four schools.
Committee membership was determined by a selection process, however, visitors attended and were welcomed at all meetings. During the initial meeting, committee members established norms for engagement, discussed the current state of diversity and inclusion in the school system, and identified committee goals. Based on participant feedback requesting more frequent opportunities for students to be heard, all remaining meetings began and ended with students sharing their perspectives on topics identified by committee members.
Additionally, each meeting provided opportunities for committee members to review and provide meeting evaluation data, receive, clarify, and discuss information on current district practices from department specialists; and develop and prioritize recommendations.