Burlington School District Equity Statement
In the Burlington School District, equity means meeting the needs of ALL members of our educational community. Educational equity is a districtwide and individual commitment to an assets-based approach defined by personalized support and equitable access to opportunity. In the BSD, we strive to ensure that everyone receives the support needed to develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually inclusive of race, class, ability, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, language, culture, and creed.
The means to achieve the goal of educational equity in our schools includes:
- Actively work to remove the predictability of success or failure that currently correlates with any social, racial or cultural factors.
- Acknowledge and address bias and discrimination that negatively affect our students, their families, and our staff
- Work to dismantle systems of oppression and white supremacy culture in schools.
- Continually examine and re-examine biases to interrupt and replace inequitable systems, practices, policies, and procedures with those that are just and equitable;
- Create inclusive, anti-racist, culturally relevant curriculum and school environments for adults and children;
- Redistribute District resources based on academic, social and economic data to better serve our most marginalized students and families;
- Partner with students, families and community members to build a truly inclusive community where all voices are included
What we are working on….Fall 2023
- Anti-Racism Professional Learning for PreK-5 Teachers for SY 23-24
- Collaboration with Truss Leadership Collaborative on district wide antiracism initiatives
- Equity and Inclusion Annual Report & Restorative Climate Survey
- Establish Global Majority Student and Families Advocacy Group
- Host 4th Year of annual Virtual and In Person Community Equity Workshops
- Full roll out of the Restorative Code of Conduct district wide
- Collaboration with the Department of Teaching and Learning to provide supplemental “Spotlight on Equity” resources to correspond with ARC literacy program
- Design and provide post HHB Learning Pathways for students
- Training Staff on New Incident Systems
- Host Safety Team and HHB Team Meetings
- Ensuring HHB prevention is being taught to all students
- Provide resources for School Safety Week Sept 9-11
- Revive Restorative Practice Teams at all schools
- Convene monthly as the Restorative Practices Collaborative
- Ongoing equity support for administrators and district leadership teams
- Sponsor LGBTQ+ Staff Affinity Spaces
- Establish Youth Leadership Team with students from Racial Justice Academy
- Onboarding new Office of Equity student intern
- Support of Restorative Practice Specialists at 6 school sites
- Ongoing work of the Reducing Disparities in Suspensions grant through DCF
- Restorative climate support for schools through listening tours and professional workshops
- Provide monthly Equity Newsletters to BSD staff with updates and resources
- Work with School Board D E and I Committee on implementation of new Equity Policy
- Collaboration with community partners including the City of BTV Department of Racial Equity Inclusion and Belonging, the Vt Racial Justice Alliance, Burlington Community Justice Center, The VT Human Rights Commission, Vermont Equity Educators Collaborative, University of Vermont, Howard Center, Spectrum and more…
LGBTQ+ Task Force Report Spring 2022
LGBTQ+ Advocacy Commitment from Task Force Report
We at the Burlington School District (BSD) stand committed to transforming BSD into a national model for holistic wellness for LGBTQ+ people, youth, and adults. We stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ students, staff, and community members and believe that schools can truly be safe only when every student is assured access to an education without fear. We stand behind our BSD staff who pursue a safe and supportive environment for all students. We also stand behind our educators who teach an inclusive curriculum that features LGBTQ+ people, history, and events and raises awareness to counter discrimination, stereotypes, bias and harassment.
STATEMENT ON ANTI RACISM FROM BSD EQUITY OFFICE, Fall 2020
We are living in a historic moment of racial reckoning as we watch our country come to terms with its history and present while living within the dual pandemics of racism and Covid-19 and the disproportionate impact on BIPOC communities. As our nation grapples with anti-Black violence and the recent killings of Black people, we recognize that racism has persisted in our nation for centuries and we acknowledge the part that schools play in perpetuating institutional racism. We recognize there is much work to be done in our commitment to dismantling the systems of oppression within our practices, policies and procedures.
We at BSD strongly denounce racism in all its forms. We dedicate ourselves to examining our practices in order to eradicate systemic racism in our school community. We stand in solidarity with Black students, faculty and staff in condemning racial injustice. We believe Black Lives Matter and stand behind local nonviolent youth activism committed to Anti-racism.
On Tuesday, September 15 the Burlington School Board passed a resolution to hang the Black Lives Matter flag at all of our buildings. While this symbolic gesture is important, our solidarity must be backed with action. We have dedicated ourselves for this academic year to the following commitments:
- Fully implement Restorative Practices in all schools to create a more equitable behavioral response system to reduce suspensions and punitive disciplinary actions.
- Develop a plan to ensure our curriculum and teaching is culturally relevant, anti-racist, and holds high expectations for what all students know and are able to do.
- Create space for student and family voice in youth- and parent-led conversations about race and equity in our community.
- Implement a year-long race and equity training series for school and district leaders this school year.
- Raise the Black Lives Matter flag at each school and integrate studies into the curriculum
- Create healing Affinity Spaces for students and staff of color
- Conduct an Equity Audit to recognize, respond and redress existing inequities
- Set up an SRO Community Task Force to review the use of SROs in schools.
- Form community partnerships with the City of BTV and local organizations that promote Social Justice for all
- Offer a series of learning events including youth panels and Equity Conversations for the greater community
- Conduct a Race and Equity Tour with the Superintendent and city leaders to explore sites on the African-American Heritage Trail