Additionally, school officials are working to create other systematic and programmatic improvements to address equity issues.
In response to the ongoing recommendation of the Equity Coalition — which was formed in Nov. 2017 to make recommendations on how to address inclusion, equity, tolerance and cultural sensitivity in the Washington Township Public Schools — Superintendent of Schools Joe Bollendorf has announced the creation of a new post, the District Equity Officer.
The equity officer will be responsible for building a network of volunteer equity liaisons in each school to ensure that all students have equal access to programming and services. Director of Secondary Education Dr. Steve Gregor has been named to the post.
“This position gives us a formalized way to focus attention on issues as they relate to equity in education,” Bollendorf said. “It remains the charge of this District to create learning environments in which all people — regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, (dis)ability, language, or religion — have equitable opportunities to achieve to their fullest potential and to be safe, valued, affirmed, and empowered.”
In addition to the newly formed District equity officer post, school officials are working to create other systematic and programmatic improvements to address issues of equity. Among these initiatives, 25 Washington Township High School students recently underwent three days of training with the Anti-Defamation League. These students will turnkey crucial information and strategies that emerged from this training with their WTHS peers and in the District’s three middle schools. WTHS also has established a youth chapter of the NAACP. The District’s Equity Coalition currently is creating a pledge and mission statement that will be shared when complete.
“The dialogue that has been created through our Equity Coalition has been extremely beneficial and impactful,” Bollendorf said. “We have established a dedicated group of students and community members who are committed to ensuring that each and every voice is heard and valued.”