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Coalition for Equity & Diversity

May 25, 2021 Coalition Meeting Update:

  • Coalition members began by reviewing our collective norms, vision, and learning activities; further, we highlighted the work from our previous meeting, including an 8th grade example from the Monroe County Inquiry Project.
  • Collectively, members reviewed the NYS Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education framework and identified connections to our current work in West Irondequoit, as well as our Instructional Blueprint.
  • Lastly, Coalition members worked in subgroups to identify two to three priority standards for West Irondequoit within each of the tenets of the NYSCRSE framework.

April 27, 2021 Coalition Meeting Update:

  • Upon our practice of reviewing the “why” behind our work as a Coalition, members reflected on the prior meeting and the conversations around equity, bias, and inclusion.
  • Subsequently, members reflected on the meaning of Culturally Responsive Sustaining Education, making connections to the New York State Culturally-Responsive Sustaining Framework and its connection to our existing curriculum in West Irondequoit.
  •  The Coalition further reflected upon Inquiry-Based Instruction, engaged in an 8th Grade example from the Monroe County Inquiry Project, reflected on the learning experience, and identified next steps to support sustainability.

March 16, 2021 Coalition Meeting Update:

  • This meeting began by anchoring back to the vision, values, and guidelines of the Coalition, which aims to work within established frameworks for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to evaluate and provide input on current on future policies, practices, processes and procedures.
  • In subgroups, members of the Coalition used a Restorative Practices circle format to reflect on prompts from the literature, Unconscious Bias in Schools, written by Benson and Fiarman (2019).
  • Prompts were provided based on two quotes from this literature and members were encouraged to reflect on their own perspectives, as well as making connections to our students, staff, and families within the WICSD.
  • Quote 1: “For many white educators who feel they are colorblind, transition to talking about race requires that they first recognize that they have a racialized perspective. Here lies one of the great racial divides in our country. Most people of color understand from an early age that their personal experience is influenced by race. White people don't understand. White people typically don’t' grow up conscious of how invisible but consequential racial hierarchies influence their life. (p. 62)"
    • Prompts...
      • “What conditions have made you feel comfortable?”
      • “What are some steps that you would like to see taken to overcome these barriers?”
      • “What do you see as potential next steps?”
  • Quote 2: “"One reasons educators need to be able to name race is so they are equipped to examine their practice for racial bias. Addressing collective and individual unconscious racial biases as a school community requires breaking out of the racist/nonracist binary and viewing each other as learners on a developmental journey (p. 73).”
    • Prompts...
      • “What's in place currently that has helped cultivate a brave community?”
      • “What are our current barriers?”
      • “What do you see as potential next steps?”

January 12, 2021 Coalition Meeting Update:

  • Members of the Coalition reviewed the vision and values, as well as prior work around components of physical integration as it aligns with the Building Equity taxonomy and data points for West Irondequoit.Further, members explored the four key components of Social-Emotional Engagement within the Building Equity taxonomy...
  • In addition to reviewing the four “tenets” of Social-Emotional Engagement within the Building Equity Taxonomy, they reflected on the embedded components, as described by Fisher, Frey, Pumpian, and Smith (2017).
  • Examples of feedback across the tenets included:
    • Welcoming Climate:
      • Subgroup members reviewed the following:
        • WICSD Culture and Climate Survey Data
        • The Children’s Institute Needs Assessment
        • WICSD Land Acknowledgement
    • Restorative Practices:
      • “Will there be mechanisms that will be more involved with transitioning into practices that we are trying to implement?”
      • “The WICSD plan is well planned and comprehensive with a long-term plan that includes specific ways it will be rolled out...”
      • “How will we re-engage this Coalition to further process and solicit input at the onset of visioning?”
    • Attendance:
      • “Why is there five weeks between data being collected and interventions being put in place? Why not a shorter interval (every week?); how do we ensure a teacher or staff member is checking in weekly between the bigger picture checks in?”
      • “How can we be consistent K-12?”
      • “Economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, multi-racial, and Hispanic students all had high rates of absenteeism.”
    • Cultural Proficiency:
      • Subgroup members reviewed the following:
        • K – 12 WICSD Strong Voices Project
        • 7th Grade Unit – Ask Me No Questions
        • 8th Grade Unit – Surviving Oppression and Injustice
        • 9 – 12 Diverse Voices Poetry Unit
        • Culturally Responsive Scorecard

October 27, 2020 Coalition Meeting Update:

  • Members of the Coalition were presented with a draft of the Vision statement, developed based on input from all participating stakeholders:


The Coalition for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is dedicated to creating an equitable, accepting, transparent and inclusive culture for ALL students, staff, families, and community members. Further, it is aimed at establishing a culture that embraces diversity, strengthens relationships among ALL students within our community, and adopting culturally responsive practices and curricula that promote student voice and acknowledges current issues. Lastly, this Coalition will create a framework for equity, diversity, and inclusion that will be used to evaluate current and future policies, programs, practices and procedures.

At the meeting, Coalition members unpacked a “Building Equity Taxonomy” from the text, Fisher, D., Frey, N., Pumpian, I., & Smith, D. (2017). Building equity: Policies and practices that empower all learners.

Members began to investigate data sets to support the statements associated with Level 1 of the Taxonomy, Physical Integration.  A sample of the notice, wonderings and questions generated are listed below.  In addition, the data sets utilized by the Coalition are also listed.

Physical Integration Question/Statement: “Classroom placement and student schedules ensure that diversity exists in all learning environments.”

Group Notice: “We notice some of the discrepancies between subgroups in terms of graduation outcomes.”

Group Wonder: “What are the breakdowns for participation and acceleration/advancement by subgroups (e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability, English New Language Learners, etc.)

Essential Question: “How are we using data-inquiry processes and teams to evaluate outcomes among all students and subgroups to ensure diversity exists in all learning environments?”

Sample Data Sources Investigated:

NYS “Report Card” for each School and District; link to West Irondequoit Central School District

West Irondequoit CSD School Website, Annual School Based Plans

September 29, 2020 Coalition Meeting Update:

  • The Coalition for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion came together virtually on Zoom for the first time in order to learn about one another and to establish Coalition Working Norms.  Members also shared their hopes for the committee in order to prioritize components of the vision for the work ahead.
  • The members of the Coalition spent time introducing themselves and working in small break out groups to reflect on the working norms and the context for Courageous Conversations.
  • A copy of the collaborative norms can be found here.