Bay school board passes resolution of commitment to equity, excellence

On Aug. 10, the Bay Village Board of Education unanimously passed a Resolution to Commit to Equity and Excellence in Education. (One of the five Board members, Gayatry Jacob-Mosier, was not in attendance.) The Resolution, in its entirety, is shared below:

The Bay Village City School District Board of Education rejects all forms of racism and discrimination as being destructive to the District’s mission, vision, values and goals. We are committed to the success of every student and providing an educational experience empowering students to maximize their potential.

We value each student as an individual and are committed to meet each student where the student is academically, emotionally, mentally, physically and socially.

We embrace our organizational responsibility to ensure that the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are fully integrated into the culture, policies, programs, operations and practices of the District.

We seek to disrupt systemic inequities and eliminate disparities based on student and family characteristics such as, but not limited to, race, color, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), economic status, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability or military status, so that all students thrive.

The District will seek to develop and implement an Equity Initiative Action Plan with clear and measurable goals, action steps and accountability that aim to achieve the following guiding principles to the extent permissible under the District’s legal obligations:

  • To support a culture and educational experience in our District that is welcoming and inclusive for all students and that will be attractive to new students and families.
  • To enforce and enhance District policies, structures and practices to prevent racism, discrimination and inequities.
  • To dismantle any existing policies, practices or culture that build institutional barriers in our school district.
  • To provide high quality, culturally relevant and responsive curricula for all students, staff, administrators and the Board of Education.
  • To facilitate equitable access to co-curricular and extracurricular activities, social services, tutoring and enrichment opportunities.
  • To review hiring practices with a goal of actively seeking to expand our job applicant pool to include under-represented groups while also adhering to all applicable legal requirements.
  • To engage, include and collaborate with our families, students, residents, communities and stakeholders as their active involvement is essential to our ability to enact change and achieve District goals.

The Board has a responsibility to meet all legal obligations, and as such, the Board intends to carry out the plans set forth herein in compliance with those legal obligations and to the extent permissible under them. The Board directs the Superintendent and HR Director (as the District’s Title IX Compliance Officer) and any other designee of the Board including any consultant to the Board to oversee the development of this Equity Initiative Action Plan and for it to be presented to the Board of Education with an overview that includes plans for implementation and accountability.

Before the Resolution to Commit to Equity and Excellence in Education, Bay Village Schools formed the Equity in Action committee, pulling together various initiatives that building and district leaders were already independently working on.

“The Equity in Action committee was officially formed in June of 2020, however, building and department leaders within the district had already been reviewing and addressing issues involving equity in education,” said Bay Village Schools Superintendent Jodie Hausmann. “The district saw the opportunity to assemble a district-wide committee that is dedicated to providing opportunities for personal growth, implementing a multicultural education for students and assessing our educational practices in order to ensure equity in all areas of the school community.”

A core group of administrative leaders have been structuring the action plan framework and developing the recruitment tool for the Equity in Action committee: Tom Grodek, assistant principal, Bay Middle School; Ramsey Inman, assistant principal, Bay High School; Holly Schafer, Director of Human Resources, Bay Village City Schools; and Char Shryock, Director of Teaching and Learning, Bay Village City Schools. Equity in Action committee information and its founding team were introduced at the July 13 Board of Education meeting.

“Our committee’s goal is to create a plan of action that will continue to provide a safe environment where all our students and staff feel empowered, engaged and inspired,” said Char Shryock. “We are working to identify equity-related issues that may be barriers and take steps to remove them. This work has already led to a number of rich conversations and the chance to reflect on how, as a district, we can look at the educational experience for all our students through an equity lens. I am looking forward to being a part of the work that will be happening now and throughout the next few years as we work to make systemic change.”

Once the school year gets underway, more information will be shared, including ways students, families and community members can get involved with the Equity in Action committee.

“As educators, we are always committed to continuous improvement and having a growth-mindset,” said Ramsey Inman. “By looking through an equity lens, identifying areas of improvement within our learning community, goal setting, action planning and collaborating with various stakeholders, Bay Village Schools can do its part in making a systemic change in society by educating our students to become responsible and civic-minded adults. Soon our team will be recruiting stakeholders, and I encourage members of our community to get involved.”

Karen Uthe Semancik

Karen Uthe Semancik is the communications director for Bay Village Schools.

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Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 9:34 AM, 09.01.2020