Increasing Educator Diversity Plan

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This comprehensive Increasing Diversity Educator Plan was developed in collaborative partnership with the Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge, and Amity school districts, fostering a collective commitment to promoting inclusivity and embracing diversity within the educational landscape.

BOE Approved April 2024

Vision

We believe that each student has a right to the unimpeded access to the opportunities and resources necessary to develop to their full academic and social potential and that each individual in our community should have a genuine sense of social, emotional, and academic belonging. We further believe the differences in individual and cultural characteristics, identities, and traits of each person and group in our school and community are valuable and that students are better served when teachers and teacher leaders reflect the diversity of our community. 

Our beliefs are consistent with the Connecticut State Board of Education’s equity and excellence goals for all students. “First, that every student deserves to benefit from the promise of high expectations and standards for what they can learn and be able to do. Second, great schools are safe, diverse, welcoming environments where students thrive and receive exceptional teaching and learning. And third, great teachers and leaders are supported throughout their careers with quality professional learning that continues to grow and refine educator practice.”

Policies

Public Act No 18-34 and Public Act 23-167 – Increasing Educator Diversity
Currently, boards of education, under Public Act No 18-34, must have a written plan for “minority educator recruitment” to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation and provide students with opportunities to interact with teachers from other racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Public Act No 18-34. The Public Act 23-167 changes the plan’s name to the “increasing educator diversity” plan and the Act requires that boards of education submit their “increasing educator diversity” plans to the Commissioner of Education for review and approval. 

BOE Policy P4111(a) Personnel – Certified/Non-Certified Recruitment and Selection
The Board recognizes the diversity of the people who live in the school district and believes that this characteristic should have an important bearing on all aspects of the ARSD activities. The Board believes it is especially important that this diversity of population be recognized in the recruitment and assignment of personnel. The Board shall develop and implement a written plan for minority staff recruitment. (May 2021)

BOE Policy P4111.1 Personnel – Certified/Non-Certified Equal Employment Opportunity
The Board of Education (Board) will provide equal employment opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, religious creed, age, veterans' status, genetic information, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify or expression, or physical disability. The Board directs the administration to set as a goal the recruitment, selection, and employment of qualified people among racial and ethnic minority groups to the end that the Amity Regional School District No. 5 (ARSD) employees will proportionately mirror the racial and ethnic composition of this community. (Feb 2021)

BOE Policy P4111.3 Personnel – Certified/Non-Certified Minority Recruitment Plan 
The Amity Regional School District No. 5 (ARSD) Board of Education (Board) recognizes that fundamental to a quality education is the need to provide students with an opportunity to interact with students and educators from different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. The Board believes that a skillful and diverse staff contributes significantly to high quality, engaging learning environments, predicated on a climate of inclusion. To this end the Board directs the Superintendent to enact a planning process for the recruitment of a diverse staff. (May 2021)

Demographics (Students /Staff)

Racial Demographics

In Chart 1.2 you can see a shift in the racial makeup of the district over the last ten years. Again, the Y axis shows the student count and each racial identity block within the column is labeled with the percent of the student body for that specific year. Hispanic and Asian identifying-students had the largest percentage increases. The Hispanic population as grown from 4% to 9% of the student body (an increase of 91%). The Asian population has gone from 11 to 15% of the student body (an increase of 17%). The white population has declined from 80% of the total student count to 69% (a decrease of 25%). Students who identify with two or more races has gone from 1% to 4%. The Black or African American population has remained somewhat steady at 3% or 4% over the last ten years.

Student Racial Demographic 2023

High Needs Students

Chart 1. 4 displays high needs students at all of Amity’s campuses. High needs is a category that includes students with disabilities, free and reduced lunch eligibility, and English language learners. The total number of high needs students in the district grew from 351 to 504 (an increase of 43%). As a percentage of the total population, Amity’s high needs students grew from 15% to 25%.

High Needs Students 2023

Educator Diversity (Race only)

Chart 1.5 displays a comparison of the educator and student racial diversity ten-year trend. In 2022-23 there were 14 of 240 educators of color which was 5.8% and 651 of 2,075 students of color representing 31.4%, a difference of 25.6%. In 2013-14 there were 12 of 235 educators of color which was 5.1% and 466 of 2,372 students of color representing 19.6%, a difference of 14.5%.

Student Educator Diversity Trend 2023

Theory of Action (Structure - Recruit, Hire and Retain)

"If the District proactively engages in researching, establishing, and implementing diverse, inclusive, and equitable hiring and selection practices; continuously analyzes, critiques, and modifies recruitment, selection, and retention practices; and concurrently provides professional learning support to enhance diversity and cultural awareness among responsible staff, then we will witness an increase in the establishment and maintenance of a more diverse educator workforce. This workforce will be reflective of our student population and community, and as a result, prepare our students for an increasingly diverse world."

Theory of Action Diagram

RECRUITMENT GOAL

Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, we will decrease the gap between diverse students and diverse certified staff by engaging in key strategies to recruit more diverse candidates reflecting the richness of our community and fostering an inclusive and equitable learning environment.

Who Manages the Goal – 
Superintendent
Human Resources (HR) Specialist
Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Instructional Coach

STRATEGY

RESPONSIBILITY

TIME FRAME

Review the applications for teaching and administrative positions to ensure they are structured to recognize applicant’s leadership experiences with diverse groups. 

Superintendent, HR Specialist, DEI Instructional Coach

Summer 2024

Utilize the EdSight Secure Educator Diversity Dashboard resources and continue to analyze district data related to recruiting, applications, interviewing and hiring to inform our recruitment planning.

DEI Instructional Coach; DEI Committee

Fall 2024; annually thereafter

Partner with higher education institutions with a proven record for preparing and certifying diverse educators for internships, 5th year placements, and job recruitment. 

Assistant Superintendent; HR Specialist

Spring 2024; annually thereafter

Participate in education career fairs and local job fairs, including those that are sponsored by the racially and ethnically diverse community organizations or otherwise targeted toward underrepresented segments of the community.

HR Specialist, Administrators, Directors

On-going

Form partnerships through Connecticut alumna networks with historically Black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutes to attract diverse candidates. 

DEI Instructional Coach; HR Specialist

January 2025; on-going thereafter

Highlight opportunities for growth (tuition assistance) and leadership (Department Chairs, Team Leaders, Content Leaders, Complimentary Observers) in application postings and on website.

HR Specialist

Spring 2024; on-going thereafter

Expand DEI webpage to highlight efforts in the District to improve inclusion and belonging experienced by both students and staff.

DEI Instructional Coach; DEI Committee; Instructional Technology Staff

Summer 2024; on-going thereafter

Implement voluntary applicant surveys to collect demographics on applicants to inform the effectiveness of the strategies in the Increasing Educator Diversity Plan. 

DEI Instructional Coach; HR Specialist; DEI Committee

Winter 2025; on-going thereafter; Summer/Fall analysis

Increase opportunities for high school students to earn dual enrollment credits in education, thereby increasing the pipeline of certified educators to recruit.

Assistant Superintendent; Director of School Counseling

Winter 2025 Program of Studies; implement 2025-2026

 

Indicators of Progress

  • Knowledge of baseline of diversity of applicants
  • Participation in career and job fairs
  • Additional information on DEI webpage
  • Increase in the diversity of applicants from the baseline

Resources 

  • Frontline Resources
  • EdSight Secure Educator Diversity Dashboard
  • Networks with Connecticut colleges and universities
  • Contact Information for college and university placement officers and job/career/recruitment fairs
  • Connection to alumni networks for HBCUs and other diverse colleges and universities
  • Qualtrics or other survey instrument
  • Non-affiliated/neutral party for applicant data collection/aggregation

Risks and Mitigation 

  • Lack or missed communication with colleges, universities, and career fairs
  • Budget reductions impacting ability to hire interns
  • Applicant failing to complete voluntary survey
  • Data on applicant demographics leaked
  • Limited networking opportunities with alumni networks

Consultation and Communication 

  • Hiring committee training to explain updates/changes to applications
  • Outreach to colleges and universities regarding postings and open positions
  • Timeline and outreach process for annual career/job fairs
  • Update advertising/recruiting materials
  • Applicant survey process reviewed by BOE attorney ensure alignment with EEO
  • Confidentiality of applicant survey data communicated to applicants.
  • Ongoing updates of DEI website

 

 

HIRING AND SELECTION GOAL

Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, we will decrease the gap between diverse students and diverse certified staff by employing strategic hiring practices to increase diversity of personnel, reflecting the richness of our community and fostering an inclusive and equitable learning environment. 

Who Manages the Goal – 

Superintendent
Assistant Superintendent
Principals and Directors
Teacher Leaders (Department Chairs, Content Leaders, Team Leaders)
Human Resources (HR) Specialist

STRATEGY

RESPONSIBILITY

TIME FRAME

Implement a written, collaborative, uniform practices for hiring that minimizes the chance for bias on the part of the hiring committee.

Superintendent, HR Specialist, Trained Interview/Hiring Committees

Spring 2024; annually thereafter

Employ aggressive hiring timelines as identified in the uniform hiring process to avoid missing opportunities to capture educator talent

Superintendent, HR Specialist, Principals, Directors

Spring 2024; annually thereafter

Incorporate questions related to culturally responsive pedagogy into the interview process.

Principals, HR Specialist, Trained Interview/Hiring Committees, DEI Instructional Coach

Spring 2024; annually thereafter

Ensure that interview/hiring committee members have mandatory anti-bias training and information on current student and staff demographics. Training should guard against exclusionary notions of cultural fit and advise that protected statuses should not figure either positively or negatively into employment.

Principals; Directors, HR Specialist, DEI Instructional Coach

Spring 2024; annually thereafter

Collect feedback from new hires and interview/hiring committee members on the inclusivity of the hiring process.

HR Specialist, DEI Instructional Coach

Spring 2025; annually thereafter

Indicators of Progress 

  • Increase in the diversity of candidates hired in the district
  • Positive feedback from new hires regarding the inclusivity of the hiring process
  • Positive feedback from interview/hiring committee teams on the inclusivity of the hiring process
  • Updated interview questions related to culturally responsive teaching
  • Documented, written hiring processes for all positions in the district

Resources

  • State anti-bias training video
  • Develop in-house anti-bias training for interview/hiring committees
  • Time and process for training interview/hiring committees
  • Frontline Hiring & Recruiting

Risks and Mitigation

  • Limited candidate pool and teaching shortage areas impacting ability to hire diverse staff
  • Time to train interview/hiring committees and maintain an aggressive hiring timeline
  • Ability to capture qualitative feedback from new hires and hiring/interview committee members
  • Unconscious bias impacting applicant screening and interview decisions

Consultation and Communication 

  • Train administrators, directors, and teacher leaders on the expectations of uniform hiring practices
  • Collaboration to establish a timeline for training interview/hiring committee members
  • Follow-up with new hires and interview/hiring committee members either via a survey or open-ended interviews

 

 

RETENTION GOAL

Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, we will decrease the gap between diverse students and diverse certified staff by enhancing staff retention initiatives to ensure the continued presence and success of diverse staff members reflecting the richness of our community and fostering an inclusive and equitable learning environment.

Who Manages the Goal – 

Superintendent
Assistant Superintendent
Principals and Directors
Teacher Leaders (Department Chairs, Content Leaders, Team Leaders)
Human Resources (HR) Specialist

STRATEGY

RESPONSIBILITY

TIME FRAME

Create an education climate that is culturally and linguistically responsive, including policies and practices that support staff of diverse backgrounds.

Superintendent, Principals, Directors, DEI Instructional Coach, Board of Education

On-going

Provide professional learning for certified staff related to implicit bias, culturally relevant pedagogy, and the need for a more diverse workforce. 

Assistant Superintendent, DEI Instructional Coach, Principals, Directors

On-going

Provide professional learning for certified staff to develop strategies and skills to support all students in meeting their highest potential.

Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Coaches, Principals, Directors

On-going

At each school and district wide, refine practices and procedures to ensure they are conducive to furthering inclusion and belonging. 

Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Principals, Directors, Teacher Leaders

On-going

Examine organizational practices, policies, characteristics, and conditions to ensure that they support teacher retention and growth.  

Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Principals, Directors, Teacher Leaders, TEAM Mentors

On-going

Monitor and address issues linked to educator satisfaction and retention. 

Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, HR Specialist

On-going

Provide mentoring and induction opportunities that are culturally responsive and that enable the development of teacher leaders.

Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Teacher Leaders, Instructional Coaches

On-going

Seek professional learning opportunities that address the unique needs and challenges faced by educators from diverse backgrounds.

Assistant Superintendent, DEI Instructional Coach

Summer 2024; on-going thereafter

Implement regular feedback mechanisms to understand the experiences and concerns of diverse educators.

Superintendent, HR Specialist, DEI Instructional Coach

Fall 2024; on-going thereafter

Annually monitor percent of certified minority staff and teacher retention rates.

Superintendent, HR Specialist

Summer 2024; on-going thereafter

Promote networking events to foster a sense of belonging within the greater education community.

Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, DEI Instructional Coach

Summer 2024; on-going thereafter

 

Indicators of Progress 

  • Knowledge of baseline of reasons teachers leave District/profession.
  • Decrease in number of instances in which teachers leave District/profession because of a lack of support for diversity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Overall decrease in the number of teachers leaving District/profession (not including retirement)
  • Updated policies, procedures, and practices
  • Review of feedback from new hires and interview/hiring committee members
  • School Climate results (staff)

Resources

  • EdSight Secure Educator Diversity Dashboard
  • TEAM (trainings, mentors, process)
  • Exit Survey and data (align to educator demographic data in MUNIS)
  • School Climate Surveys (for staff)
  • Building Leadership Team
  • Funding and time for professional learning opportunities
  • Funding for and development of a mentorship program for new teachers (outside of TEAM process)

Risks and Mitigation

  • Budget reductions impacting ability to support professional learning
  • Limited professional learning opportunities that address the unique needs of diverse educators
  • Competing professional learning needs
  • Limited networking opportunities
  • Limited number of mentors across a variety of content areas

Consultation and Communication

  • Share exit survey data, including open-ended questions and interview feedback, with school and district leaders
  • Continue partnerships with RESCs for professional learning such as Igniting Change
  • Use School Climate Survey Data (from staff) to set school/District climate goals/improvement for staff
  • Actively recruit new TEAM mentors

 

Commitment to Review

The District Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will review this plan biennially for effectiveness of strategies.