Lynbrook UFSD is committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). In each school, a Diversity Committee has been established to discuss building-based efforts and concerns regarding DEI. In addition to the building committee, the students in Lynbrook High School have also established a Student Diversity Committee as well. Members of the building-based committee, including students, parents, teachers, and administrators, come together to form the District Diversity Council. The District Diversity Council meets every other month to share ideas and help unify efforts to meet the goals stated in the District’s DEI Plan.
Lynbrook UFSD’s DEI Plan
District Diversity Council Mission Statement
The mission of the Lynbrook Diversity Council is to support the school district in finding resources which will assist in building professional capacity, increasing and enhancing community connections and involvement in our schools, elevating student voices in our processes, and working together to create environments that will enhance each student’s self-esteem, promote discovery of and maximize individual student potential, and guide each to dignify, appreciate, respect, accept, and value human diversity.
District Diversity Council Belief Statements
- Each student will learn in an environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Each student will seek to understand the complex and rich identities of self and others.
District Equity Plan Priority Areas
- Developing inclusive curriculum, instruction, and assessment K-12.
- Strengthening and creating opportunities, access, and educational quality for all students in our diverse community.
- Prioritizing student input to develop practices with a more equitable framework.
- Promoting intentional hiring practices that encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply for open positions.
Priority Area #1: Developing inclusive curriculum, instruction, and assessment K-12.
- Provide K-12 curricula and assessments that focus on diversity, equity, inclusivity, and cultural responsiveness.
- Foster culturally responsive pedagogy and inclusive practices that affirm and support the diverse identities and experiences of our students.
- Improve the use of student voice in developing curriculum material and educational experiences.
- During the 2021-2022 school year, all schools should have a constant faculty agenda item dedicated to the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education (CRSE) Framework.
- During the 2021-2022 school year, offer all teachers professional development on topics such as managing difficult conversations, culturally responsive pedagogy and inclusive practices that affirm and support the diverse identities and experiences of our students, et cetera.
- By October 2021, each secondary building diversity committee should elect two student leaders to serve as contributing members of the District Diversity Council.
- By the end of the 2021-2022 school year, all school building diversity committees, composed of staff, students, and parents will meet at least quarterly to discuss diversity, equity, inclusivity, and cultural responsiveness and the development of homework, assessment and grading practices that support diverse needs.
- By the end of the 2022-2023 school year, generate lists of student literature explicitly taught and available as choices at each grade level and note the inclusivity of authors from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
- By the end of the 2022-2023 school year, generate lists of monthly lessons taught in each building by grade level that include aspects of empathy, tolerance, diverse perspectives, and civic responsibility.
- By the end of the 2023-2024 school year, establish positions for “Lynbrook Culturally Responsive Education Leaders” (LCREL) for each school building to support other educators who are in the process of implementing strong culturally responsive and equity strategies within their classrooms.
Priority Area #2: Strengthening and creating opportunities, access, and educational quality for all students in our diverse community.
- Promote a sense of belonging and an inclusive learning environment through instructional approaches, curriculum taught and assessed, and events celebrated.
- Identify and address any inequities and/or opportunity gaps, if any, that exist in the areas of academics, discipline, and attendance.
Indicators to Track Priority Area #2
- Continue to utilize the building level diversity committees and district-wide Diversity Council to examine instructional approaches, curriculum taught and assessed, and events celebrated.
- Continue to support annual sensitivity workshops for students and families K-12 scheduled age appropriately (e.g., promote anti-bullying and up-standing, celebrate differently abled students, foster culturally responsive communities, embrace racial and ethnic differences, promote LGBTQ+ rights and sexual harassment awareness, etc.).
- Continue to work with families with diverse needs and provide services to meet those needs. This can include offering classes focused on supporting students.
- During the 2021-2022 school year, start collecting and reviewing various forms of data and analyze any inequities and/or opportunity gaps.
- During the 2022-2023 school year, work on proactively identifying learning deficits early in students’ educational careers to alter their academic trajectories by revisiting kindergarten screeners.
- During the 2022-23 and 2023-2024 school years, monitor identified academic and perceived opportunity gaps for student success and begin to implement student specific supports, such as mentoring, additional support classes, and tutoring.
- During the 2022-23 and 2023-2024 school years, explore further use of standards-based grading (K-8).
Priority Area #3: Prioritizing student input to develop practices with a more equitable framework and offer shared cultural experiences.
- Introduce or redesign courses of study that students feel are relevant for their educational experiences.
- Reflect the diversity of our school community in the programs, experiences, and opportunities that are offered.
Indicators to Track Priority Area #3
- During the 2021-2022 school year, survey high school students to ascertain areas of interest and gather supporting information for curriculum strands.
- During the 2022-2023 school year and beyond, organize an annual high school student-led community forum that brings our diverse community together to discuss issues and topics related to equity.
- During the 2022-2023 school year, all building level diversity committees will review and discuss, with the input from students, the diverse perspectives in the literature studied and the national cultural months and holidays celebrated and report their findings to the district-wide Diversity Council.
Priority Area #4: Help create intentional hiring practices that encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply for open positions.
- Attempt to diversify the professional staff so students see themselves reflected in their educational role models.
Indicators to Track Priority Area #4
- During the 2021-2022 school year, work with local colleges and universities to create an outreach network that encourages students from diverse backgrounds to participate in our application processes.
- During the 2021-2022 school year and beyond, further develop partnerships with higher education programs specifically focusing on helping to prepare teacher candidates from diverse backgrounds.
- Upon adoption of the plan, include the District’s diversity statement on postings for available positions in the district.
2021-2022 Action Summary
During the 2021-2022 school year, progress was made in all four areas of the DEI plan.
Priority Area 1: Developing inclusive curriculum, instruction, and assessment K-12, all three goals were met. The New York State Education Department Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework was reviewed by the District’s administrative team over the summer and elements of the framework were discussed at each month’s faculty meeting in all seven schools. Additionally, members of the Lynbrook Teacher Center were trained during the summer on the following topics and offered turnkey trainings to their colleagues including during the opening Superintendent’s Conference Days: Courageous Conversations, Restorative Practice, and Facilitating Critical Conversations with Students. These workshops were intended to encourage community-building to foster understanding, empathy, trust, and positive relationships and to help teachers and students engage each other in meaningful conversations with honesty, open-mindedness, and vulnerability, listening deeply to understand others’ perspectives. An outside consultant also came in and presented to members of the staff regarding Culturally Responsive Education, focused on the concept of human dignity. Finally, student leaders were selected to serve as contributing members of the District Diversity Council.
Priority Area 2: Strengthening and creating opportunities, access, and educational quality for all students in our diverse community, progress was made. These goals include ongoing assessment of instructional approaches, curriculum taught and assessed, and events celebrated; age-appropriate sensitivity workshops; supporting students and families with diverse needs; and analyzing data for inequities and/or opportunity gaps. The District is continually looking at ways to differentiate instruction and personalize learning opportunities. Student choice is an element that is being embraced at all levels to allow students to explore what is important and interesting to them, and materials that better represent the composition of our student body are being purchased. Similarly, our schools incorporate activities and celebrations that represent our students’ unique cultures and experiences. Workshops promoting anti-bullying, etc., have been offered throughout the school year, hosted by both the District and PTA. The District has increased its support staff in order to address students’ and families’ diverse needs and surveys have been conducted to continue to assess those needs. Finally, the District has begun to analyze data by subgroup and will continue to do so when this year’s data becomes available from the state assessments.
Priority Area #3: Prioritizing student input to develop practices with a more equitable framework and offer shared cultural experiences, a proper venue has been established. A Student Diversity Committee has been formed at Lynbrook High School to allow students to share their opinions about what work needs to be done. The students were enthusiastic that their voices would be heard, and representatives from this group were chosen to sit on the District Diversity Council as well.
Priority Area #4: Help create intentional hiring practices that encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply for open positions, work on each of the indicators has progressed nicely. The District has benefited from partnerships with BOCES and local colleges and universities and have been able to attract a wider variety of diverse candidates for our open positions. The District has also worked with local colleges and universities as partners to prepare teachers from diverse backgrounds. Finally, all postings for available positions in our District now include the District’s diversity statement, “The Lynbrook Public School District is committed to building a diverse, inclusive team, and strongly encourages candidates who represent a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills to apply.”