Equity Steering Committee News

On June 25, 2019, members of the GMRSD Equity Steering Committee met for the first time for a day-long orientation facilitated by Keisha Green and Safire DeJong of the Collaborative for Educational Services! Eleven of the twenty-one people who had expressed interest in joining the group were able to attend this kick-off event, including students, parents, school staff, and community members. They reported that it felt they'd gotten off to a good start, that they are looking forward meeting again on August 9, from 5-7pm, and that it's not too late for others to join. (See below for more information if you are interested.) ~ Jen Audley

May 10, 2019

About a month ago, Gill-Montague Regional School District announced the formation of a new equity steering committee. I am delighted to report that we have a great group of educators, students, parents, and community members signed up so far, and the group is planning to meet for the first time on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

We have space for a few more participants! If you know someone who might be interested, please encourage them to fill out this online form: https://forms.gle/oYwqH4BArBHV7YNg8, or the paper version linked below, or to contact me: jen@gmpartnership.org | 413.863-3604

Wondering if this is an opportunity for you or someone you know? We are looking for people who are:

1. Excited about the idea of working side-by-side with adults and young people who care about GFMS and TFHS and who want to help improve those schools.

2. Willing to begin by exploring themes that emerged from listening sessions with students, staff, and parents this year:

  • The sense that a culture of racism/intolerance persists at the schools.
  • A perceived lack of institutional/administrative commitment to social justice and anti-racism work.
  • Concerns that policies regarding student discipline are unclear/vague. When students encounter the discipline system, it is ineffective and/or discrepantly applied.
  • The need for meaningful, ongoing, and systematic social justice and anti-racism training for students, faculty/staff, and administrators.
  • The perception that social justice and anti-racism problems extend beyond the schools, and are complicated by racism that may be prevalent in the community.

3. Looking forward to playing an important and visible role in shaping school culture next year and in the future.

4. Able to offer perspectives that are vital for this work. For instance, we know that we need to add a few more students, staff members, and people of color to the group.

Here is the sign-up form again: https://forms.gle/oYwqH4BArBHV7YNg8

I am pleased to be helping coordinate the launch of this group. If you have any questions or need more information, I hope you will contact me! 

Jen Audley, Gill-Montague Community School Partnership
jen@gmpartnership.org
413-863-3604

Background materials:
April 2019 announcement about the equity committee
Civil Rights Listening Sessions Thematic Analysis [PDF: English and Spanish]