The District Equity & Access Leadership Team (DEALT), formerly known as the Diversity & Equity Team, provides district leadership around issues of equity and access, including the full implementation of Restorative Practices and addressing the Achievement Gap. We are responsible for the design and implementation of the four year Diversity and Equity Plan, available here. With students as the focus, we coordinate a variety of issues across the district, providing resources, support, and advocacy towards solutions.
Please use the menu on the right to navigate subpages: DEALT, Restorative Practices Collaborative, Equity and Inclusion Data Reports, Equity Council, and Diversity & Equity Resources.
Miriam Ehtesham-Cating, Director of Programs for English Learners
My role on this team is to help everyone in our district consider language and culture (especially the language status and cultural context of English Learners) when making decisions about anything – instructional practices, home-school communication, funding priorities, or the creation of learning communities.
Working at the intersection of language, culture, school, and identity come naturally to me – by birth, experience and disposition. I am a bilingual, bicultural person who has spent a lifetime learning about (and sometimes struggling with) what it means to be linguistically and culturally different from many of those around you, especially in a school context. I have had the incredible good fortune to work continuously with students learning English for many different reasons in many different contexts.I think I bring a critical sensibility but also an unstoppable optimism to everything I do.
Henri Sparks, Director of Equity and Safe & Inclusive Schools
Laura Nugent, Director of Student Support Services
My role is to bring the lens of Student Support Services to the table. The district has identified that we must have the needs of students with disability and trauma included in all initiatives as they are developed. I will look to collaborate and provide insights in ways to better meet the needs of students at all ability levels.
My background in special education with a focus on intensive special needs has lead me to the role of Dir. of Student Support Services. The scope of Student Support Services is much broader than special education, however. We address student needs through guidance, school psychology, social work and nursing as well.
Rebecca Haslam, K-12 Equity and Inclusion Instructional Leader
My role is to provide direct support to teachers with regards to culturally responsive pedagogy, classroom instruction, and inclusive curriculum. I consult with teachers and teams, provide resources, develop curricula, co-teach/model teach lessons, and work directly with students.
In my 14 years of classroom teaching and instructional coaching in BSD, as a parent, and as a leader for educational equity, I feel a sense of urgency to close the achievement gap. This enormous task is only possible if we first close the opportunity gap; I hope to support teachers in their efforts to provide inclusive, affirming, equitable learning experiences to all students in our care.
Daniel Baron, Critical Friend and Facilitator
My role is to be a critical friend of the District and co-facilitator of the Equity Council and the Restorative Practices Collaborative. I also provide equity-based Critical Friends Seminars every summer for BSD teachers and administrators.
I am passionate about social justice, educational equity and environmental sustainability. I am rooted in the concept of the Beloved Community that spreads love across differences.
Hal Colston, Director of the Partnership for Change
The Partnership for Change has worked to engage the collective wisdom of our students, teachers, parents and community members. We used our resources to pilot and implement new methods of teaching and learning in order to remodel the public education system to align with what all young people need to thrive in a complex global society.
When I applied for Vermont Leadership Institute Class of 2004, I was asked what was the most important issue facing Vermont? My response was racism which would be my answer, if asked this question today. If there cannot be justice without peace, there cannot be equity without justice. Equity is the lifeblood of community.