Our Commitment to Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity
Pittsburgh can only achieve a more inclusive, open conversation about equity and race when we approach this work with attention to both our hearts and minds. We want to be part of a solution for our region to ensure that all students thrive in learning environments. Our organization is leaning into understanding what implicit and explicit bias looks like in, and we are delving into how systems can be reimagined or adapted to be more inclusive, equitable, and open. This work requires a combination of tactics and ongoing dialogue. We know that we don’t know all the answers, however, so we are committed to the journey that allows us to collaborate, to learn, and to exercise courageous conversations.
During the last year, ECS conducted an equity audit, investigating our policies and procedures, interviewing/surveying our community of families and faculty, and observing practices in classrooms. We have been unpacking the data, meeting with building teams, and working with a small group of teachers and administrators to guide implementation of next steps. Throughout the audit and the process, Dr. Temple Lovelace, Associate Professor of Special Education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, has worked with ECS to collect and understand our current state, as well as facilitated the conversations and actions needed to begin our journey. Here is our Equity and Diversity ECS Community Update, June 2017.
We are committed to nurturing an equitable and diverse school community, and ECS is working with Dr. Temple Lovelace to achieve the following:
Year One, 2016-2017 Goals
- Build context for a school wide conversation about equity and diversity with all faculty
- Provide ECS staff and faculty opportunities to reflect on what attitudes, practices and structures might perpetuate separate and unequal narratives around race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin and economic circumstance.
- Step 1. Sharing “Community Equity Audit” results with the community (October-December 2016) Objective: Share data from the “Community Audit” in a way that: Highlights current ECS academic/social outcomes through an equity lens; Highlights institutional demographic realities and trends; Identifies key observations and current community perceptions; Introduces a level of necessary discomfort and personal ownership
- Step 2. Inspired Speakers Series (2016-2017 School Year) Objective: Educate and inspire faculty and staff on the subject of equity and diversity in a way that: Helps each employee understand the meaning of equity within the context of ECS and the broader community; Helps develop a sense of personal responsibility for the nurturing/maintenance of a diverse and equitable community.; Helps each employee understand what behaviors and structures might perpetuate inequity; Helps each employee understand and appreciate the benefits (institutional, personal and societal) of a diverse community; Helps each employee identify a personal connection to the work of maintaining an equitable and diverse community.
- Step 3. Adjust current enrollment system to Weighted Lottery: Work continues in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Public Schools to design a lottery process that will allow ECS to weight students identified as low income. Our goal is to ensure greater diversity in our incoming kindergarten classes going forward.