Inclusiveness, diversity and equity update
Nov. 17, 2020
Editor's note: You may listen to the presentation made at the school board meeting, in addition to board member comments, here: Presentation, Nov. 17. You may also see the report, here: Report, Nov. 17
At the Bellefonte Area school board meeting Nov. 17, several actions were taken in the district’s steps toward enhancing its IDE initiative and educating employees, students and the community on topics regarding inclusiveness, diversity and equity. It included a proposal to improve curriculum with new classes, network with experts in the fields, offer more professional learning opportunities among faculty and staff, and more.
Mike Baughman, a district administrator helping head the IDE committee and initiative, said an effort is also in place to connect with students who will likely also be part of the committee. The first part is to send out an interest survey to middle and high schoolers to capture their interest in joining. This core group of students, Baughman said, will be centered on equity related topics in and out of school that impact the student body and work to effect change.
The next step is to send out a survey to the entire middle and high school student body to further provide information about happenings that administrators, faculty and staff might not see on a regular basis.
Additionally, administrators are working on ways to add more professional learning opportunities for employees. Its Professional Learning day in February will include an entire morning addressing inclusiveness, diversity and equity among professional staff.
Baughman added that work is also being made with a Centre County equity workgroup that, so far, has also included representatives from Bald Eagle, Penns Valley and State College area school districts. First described to the district in last month’s update with the Bellefonte Area school board, Baughman said the workgroup has a goal to include charter, private and parochial schools to the discussions as a way to network and share ideas surrounding IDE-type topics.
In its latest workgroup discussion, they identified ways to provide resources to students and teachers about the recent presidential election. Those can be found, here: Post-election resources