MCPS has made a commitment to enhancing the success of diverse students, staff, and communities by improving educational experiences through enriched learning opportunities, resources, and programs. While it is the purpose of the Office of Equity and Diversity to lead this charge, we recognize that this work is impossible without input and partnerships with our stakeholders.
As part of the Strategic Plan, the following opportunities for stakeholder participation have been created to advance equity in MCPS.
Under the leadership of the Office of Equity and Diversity, each school has an Equity Lead who will engage school staff and students in a process that leads to improved outcomes for traditionally underserved populations and the overall student population. In conjunction with building administrators, they will assist in broadening the social and cultural understandings in their building through various learning activities for students and staff.
In secondary schools, the Equity Lead is a teacher and in elementary schools, the school counselor serves as the Equity Lead. Equity Leads will be responsible for establishing a Student Equity Cabinet at their school to ensure that student voice is elevated to make decisions that advance equity in our district.
School-based Equity Committee
New for the 2021-2022 school year, each school will have a School-based Equity Committee that will be responsible for working with the school’s administration to promote institutional change at the building level to support all students and ensure that they have access to educational equity as defined by MCPS and aligned with the Virginia Department of Education.
At each school, an equity cabinet will be established. The equity lead will serve as a facilitator to design a co-constructed space for dialogue, and engaging learning opportunities for students in an effort to develop and increase student leaders/facilitators who have the knowledge to dismantle barriers caused by bias while improving the educational process for all students.
District Level Student Ambassadors
As we began our equity journey in MCPS, listening to students has been paramount in our decision-making because we believe it is important to elevate the voices of our students. As a part of our efforts to amplify their voice and support them as they look at the school community through an equity lens, we have developed a district-level student advisory group.
Student Equity Ambassadors (SEA) is designed to enable students to take an active role as leaders in recognizing different experiences, and points of view while providing an increased understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to students in the school setting.
SEA had two meetings at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. We are excited to expand our journey this year.
Equity Advisory Team
The Equity Advisory Team serves as an advisory arm to the Office of Equity and Diversity by providing additional information, ideas, and support regarding matters related to equity, diversity, and inclusion in our schools. The team has been divided into the following sub-committees:
- Instruction/Cultural Competence
- Code of Conduct/Discipline
- Student and Family Engagement
- LGBTQ+/Underrepresented Groups
- Policy and Procedures
- Minority Retention
The Advisory Team works to ensure that equity prevails in MCPS and that all students and staff are valued and affirmed.