Equity Council

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Salina USD 305 Equity Council

An Equity Council has been created with the goal of strengthening our school district environment of respect, acceptance and appreciation. The group is made up of individuals including community members, staff and students. They are tasked with identifying challenges by reviewing data, information and feedback. The result of their work will be recommendations and strategies to the USD 305 Board of Education.

Overview: June 18, 2020

Twenty-one Equity Council members and two guests met on June 18. After approving minutes from their last meeting, February 27 (interim meetings were canceled due to COVID-19), Superintendent Exline shared results from the at-large membership elections. Five new members have been elected and will begin on the council in August. The majority of the meeting was spent in small groups, processing the effects of the murder of George Floyd. Groups recorded their comments and each reported out to the council before the meeting ended. All groups agreed that students need to feel safe, heard and seen and that much work remains to fight racism and the structures that support it.

 

Overview: February 27, 2020 

Minutes from the January 23 meeting were approved. Shanna Rector led the council through a listening session as a part of the strategic planning process. The council formed three smaller groups and worked through four questions: what are the characteristics of a successful high school graduate, what is USD 305 doing well, what are some areas USD 305 can continue to grow, what is the best way to communicate with you. The feedback collected will be added to the collection of all input from every listening session held. The feedback will be on the district website for public review by May. The Board of Education will use the feedback to set long-range goals for the district. During the summer and fall 2020, action planning will begin with implementation starting in the spring of 2021. The district will begin reporting progress in the fall of 2021. 

 

Overview: January 23, 2020 

Minutes from the October meeting were approved and the council heard from Shanna Rector and Ramona Malone about the training, Developing Cultural Proficiency, they attended along with Linda Anderson, Tiffany Cooper, Linn Exline and Jennifer Bradford-Vernon.  The council reviewed 2018-2019 risk data, noting disparities and brainstorming additional disaggregation and variable combinations. Superintendent Linn Exline discussed the implementation of staff training sessions which were designed by the council for use by principals during the 2019-2020 school year. She shared principals’ feedback about these materials. The council reviewed the bylaw changes that were approved by the board of education. The February 27 meeting will be used as a listening session to gain input from the Equity Council for the district’s strategic planning.

 

Overview: September 26, 2019

After reviewing and making one correction, the minutes from the August meeting were approved. Members present completed a sheet indicating whether they supported the proposed changes to the bylaws (discussed at the August meeting). The changes will go to the Board of Education for final approval. Everyone took an online implicit bias test* that spurred conversation about their expectations prior to taking the test and its actual results. The council split into four groups to read and process different articles about implicit bias. They completed feedback sheets that were collected before the meeting ended at 6:30 p.m. Superintendent Exline asked that they read an article that will be the source of discussion at the October meeting. The October 24 meeting was rescheduled to October 22 at 5:30 p.m. with the location to be announced (because the District Office is temporarily relocating to Salina West, 501 W. Cloud).

*ProjectImplicit

Overview: August 22, 2019

The Equity Council began their meeting with each introducing her/himself and saying one word or phrase that comes to mind upon hearing equity. The members reviewed bylaws discussed moving the call for membership applications into April and voting on the applications into May. Consideration of the 2019-2020 meeting schedule prompted conversation about increasing the number of meetings. Approval of minutes will be added to the beginning of future meetings. The council reviewed survey feedback collected after the training at the July meeting. Superintendent Exline closed the meeting by asking council members to complete homework before September 26. Members were asked to take an implicit bias test (ProjectImplicit), respond to a survey about the bias test and send Superintendent Exline any articles about implicit bias they recommend.

Overview: July 15, 2019

Training was presented by the Salina Human Relations Department, Evelyn Nelson, Salina Community Relations Supervisor, and Julia Ramos, Salina Community Relations Specialist.

Overview: June 20, 2019

Equity Council members met with Superintendent, Linn Exline, to review their work over the past year and to determine next steps. Following introductions, an updated membership roster and binders were given to members. Mrs. Exline asked everyone to answer six questions: what training/knowledge-building does the council need, what has worked well to date, what needs more investigation, what data needs to be revisited, what is the role of the council and how should the meetings be structured. Members worked in small groups to categorize the responses before reporting out to the council. The council agreed to a July training for diversity/cultural awareness by the Salina Community Relations Division.