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Committee for Diversity and Inclusion Releases Comprehensive Recommendations

August 18th, 2016

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Committee for Diversity and Inclusion presented comprehensive recommendations for promoting positive behavior, respect for all cultures and diversity throughout the school system during the August 18, 2016 meeting of the Howard County Board of Education.

The committee developed a comprehensive plan to effectively address diversity in staffing, ensure the curriculum reflects the many cultures in the community, and strengthen the cultural proficiency of educators and school leaders. Committee members included students, parents, school-based and central office staff, and community members representing a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences.

An overview of the committee and its work is presented in a recent video.

“The diversity of our students and communities will continue to strengthen education at all levels and contribute to a prosperous future for our local economy, as we continue to grow in this area,” said HCPSS Superintendent Renee A. Foose. “I want to thank the committee members for their time and attention to ensuring all children and adults are valued in our school system.”

Fifty-two recommendations for new and expanded programs were presented in priority order, encompassing the areas of student voice, curriculum, workforce diversity, and professional learning. The recommendations generally build upon and enhance existing programs. Some examples include integrating Student Voice into weekly high school advisory periods, pairing HCPSS classes with schools in other districts representing contrasting demographic and cultural profiles, and expanding collaborations with universities to grow the pool of highly qualified applicants from diverse communities for employment.

Other recommendations include training for HCPSS recruiters on equitable and consistent hiring practices, talent spotting and additional support for aspiring administrative leaders and teachers, and involving students in providing Cultural Proficiency professional development for all HCPSS staff. In addition, every school will be assigned a diversity, inclusion and equity specialist to support school administrators with goal-setting, cultural proficiency and inclusion plan implementation, professional development, assessment and responding to issues that emerge from diversity.

The full recommendations and presentation are available online.

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