Join the Monomoy Equity Task Force - Use Your Voice
September 21, 2021 -- The Monomoy Equity Task Force is preparing to launch its work for the 2021-2022 school year and is welcoming new members. The primary goals of this Task Force are to increase equity in our schools and uplift the many voices of Monomoy Regional School District students and families. The Task Force meets quarterly, with subcommittees meeting more frequently. New this year will be the addition of a Steering Committee, to help guide the work of the Task Force and coordinate the efforts of the various subcommittees.
“Matters of equity are a cornerstone of ensuring opportunities for success for every single one of our students,” says Marc Smith, Monomoy’s Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, EL Director, and head of the Equity Task Force. “The Task Force is committed to this work, and we hope to have an increasingly broad range of voices participating this year.”
The Task Force focuses on a range of issues, including Academic Pathways to Success, Curriculum, Restorative Practices, Student Voice, Communications, and Staff Recruitment/Diversity of Workforce. Individuals from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives are encouraged to participate, including students, parents and caregivers, educators and staff, and community members.
What is the Monomoy Equity Task Force?
In the fall of 2020, Monomoy Regional School District invited community members to join the newly created Monomoy Equity Task Force. The primary goals of this Task Force are to increase equity in our schools and uplift the many voices of our Monomoy students and families.
At Monomoy, increasing equity in our schools means closing existing gaps in access and achievement based upon race, gender, able-status, language-status, and socio-economic status. To meet this goal, the Equity Task Force is committed to identifying and fixing policies, practices, and systems within our district that may be creating barriers for some students and families.
“For those of us who worked on the Strategic Planning process, it became abundantly clear that we were missing voices from our school community,” said Marc Smith, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment and head of the Equity Task Force. “This noticing became a strong driver for two of our strategic objectives aimed at removing barriers for access as well as addressing achievement gaps in our district. This task force was formed as one mechanism for addressing these objectives.”
And, uplifting the many voices of our Monomoy students and families means reaching out, asking questions and respectfully listening. One of our first steps towards this goal will be a survey that goes out to all Monomoy families this spring.
Who is on the Monomoy Equity Task Force?
The Equity Task Force is led by Marc Smith, MRSD Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. Members include Monomoy students, parents, caregivers, teachers and staff. Everyone who has joined the Task Force is dedicated to these goals and has volunteered their time to help achieve them.
“The Monomoy Equity Task Force is an amazing opportunity for any student who wants to become more involved in the school community and help make changes within this community surrounding the idea of equity, said Molly Gramm, MRHS Grade 10 student. “The Equity Task Force is a great platform to express your concerns and opinion on decision making in the school. This is a great opportunity to work along fellow students and staff to create the movement towards making improvements in this district. I am happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with different people.”
“The Monomoy Equity Task Force is centered around improving the experiences of students and families who enjoy all the district has to offer,” added Maximus Weinberg, MRHS Grade 10 student. “As a student, I am given the unique opportunity to communicate with my peers and staff members to achieve this goal. The Task Force really makes each student’s voice feel heard and caters its goals and mission to the vision of the student’s of a better Monomoy.”
What actions is the Monomoy Equity Task Force taking?
In order to meet these goals, the Task Force has identified five areas of focus. These areas of focus are organized into the following Subcommittees: Communications; Academic Pathways to Success; Curriculum; Restorative Practices; and Student Voice and Experience.
Each of these Subcommittees will focus on a specific area of equity that will support the main goals of the Task Force:
The Communications Subcommittee will focus on how information is being shared and received across the school district. Our goal is to improve communication to make sure that all families and students are receiving and understanding any information being shared, and that questions and concerns around equity are being heard. This group will also help share news and updates about the Equity Task Force and the work of different Subcommittees through the website, newsletters and more.
The Academic Pathways to Success Subcommittee is examining root causes for discrepancies in advanced course enrollment in our district, specifically along lines of race, gender, and socio-economic status. Their current study is focused on the elementary level in an attempt to determine patterns that begin there and propose recommendations to address them.
The Curriculum Subcommittee is looking to support a fully inclusive and diverse PK-12 curriculum in which students find relevance and are challenged to think critically and deeply. The committee is currently identifying a starting point, one which the committee can support on-going work in the district while also driving needed adjustments to the current curriculum.
The Restorative Practices Subcommittee will focus on investigating the current discipline practices at Monomoy, understanding, more deeply, the approach to student behavior in our classrooms across our schools, and making recommendations based on our learning for the student handbooks.
The Student Voice Subcommittee is a community of students and adults focused on improving students' lives through equity.The group shares a vision of providing a platform and an opportunity to empower students’ voices. They are committed to ensuring all students' concerns, opinions, and perspectives are heard.
“It has become abundantly clear that matters of equity are not simply another box to check off, but are a moral imperative,” said Dr. Scott Carpenter, Monomoy Superintendent. “Our administrators, teachers, and staff are committed to supporting the work of the Equity Task Force and are so appreciative of those taking on this difficult yet vital work.”
Over the coming months, the Monomoy Equity Task Force will be sharing data, information, and resources with our school community. Stay tuned for further updates and thank you for your support!