Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The objective Of rsu 21 is to be a welcoming and inclusive community that supports the safety and well-being of ALL our students, Faculty, and Staff. We are committed to implementing programs and practices that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Opening Day Presentation to RSU 21 Staff by Dr. Luvelle Brown
Culture of Love Community Book Discussion
On Thursday, August 29, 2019 at Kennebunk High School we held a community discussion with Dr. Luvelle Brown, Ithaca, New York City Schools Superintendent and author of the book: Culture of Love Community.
District Calendar (For a Complete Listing of Activities Please Use)
7/1/2019 - CENTER FOR EDUCATION EQUITY (CEE) Reviewed the following Policies: Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying, Code of Conduct, and Administrative Investigative and Adjudication Procedure Policy. The Policy Committee will be reviewing these policies. The Policy Committee will be reviewing these on following dates at KES: Tuesday September 17th, 2019 6-7:30pm - Tuesday October 15th, 2019 6-7:30pm - Tuesday November 19th, 2019 6-7:30pm - Tuesday December 17th, 2019 7-7:30pm. The community is encouraged to participate.
3/20/2019 - Draft Scope of Work sent to MAEC for review
3/18/2019 - School Board voted to engage the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC)
Slides for Kennebunk Board Meeting (MID-ATLANTIC EQUITY CONSORTIUM -Karmen Rouland, Ph.D.)
Board Meeting Presentation 3/4/19 (Phil Potenziano, Ed.D. Assistant Superintendent)
Staff/Faculty PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
August 2019 - RSU 21 and The Education Foundation of Kennebunks and Arundel sent 10 Professional staff from K to Grade 12, to the 5th Annual UDL (Universal Design for Learning) Symposium: Becoming Expert Learners. UDL is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. RSU 21 staff believe that UDL is a cornerstone of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. A team will continue to work on developing our practices for all education staff.
Fall 2019 - KHS Faculty - Greg Smith, KHS Civil Rights Team Adviser and Aimee Johnson, KHS Librarian, are co-hosting a faculty book talk using the newly released book: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
8/21/2019 - The next step in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan includes having another group of our Department Heads, Team Leaders, and Content Leaders complete the Intercultural Development Inventory© (IDI) - the premier instrument, used nationally and internationally, to measure a group’s and individuals’ abilities (skill sets and mindsets) to bridge effectively across cultural differences, so as to create an inclusive environment.
6/27/2019 - Department Heads, Team Leaders, and Content Leaders completed the Intercultural Development Inventory© (IDI) - the premier instrument, used nationally and internationally, to measure a group’s and individuals’ abilities (skill sets and mindsets) to bridge effectively across cultural differences, so as to create an inclusive environment.
5/23/2019 - The RSU 21 District Administrative Team began working with Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants (MICC). The entire District Administrative Team completed the Intercultural Development Inventory© (IDI) - the premier instrument, used nationally and internationally, to measure a group’s and individuals’ abilities (skill sets and mindsets) to bridge effectively across cultural differences, so as to create an inclusive environment.
The results from the IDI will include, but are not limited to:
Does the group have an “Intercultural Mindset” that welcomes and leverages difference?
Does the group have a “Monocultural Mindset” that inadvertently suppresses, ignores, or judges difference, or something in between?
Quantification of where a group perceives it is versus where it actually is in its approach.
By knowing this information the RSU 21 Administrative team can understand our intercultural strengths as well as our gaps and how this may play out in enacting a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan.
3/27/19 & 4/3/2019 - At two late start Wednesdays, MSK will welcome Brandon Baldwin from the Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Baldwin provided in-service training, Challenging Bias and Harassment in Our Schools. Staff talked about issues related to race and skin color, national origin and ancestry, religion, disabilities, gender (including gender identity and expression), and sexual orientation.
STUDENT Engagement and DEVELOPMENT
06/12/2019 - During the June 12th Late Start Wednesday, students from the Civil Rights Team at Middle School of the Kennebunks led an awareness activity with staff members. These student leaders shared some of the experiences they have had as students in a silent activity followed by small group discussions. During debriefs led by the Civil Rights Team, teachers and students discussed ways to encourage difficult, honest conversations in advisory blocks. Planning for the 2019-2020 school year will continue to build on this professional development as teachers lead advisory groups.
5/29/2019 - KHS Student Focus Groups Facilitated by Mid Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC)
MAEC and RSU 21 are collaboratively conducting the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion assessment to help understand the educational equity issues in our district. We want to learn about RSU 21 through our students’ voices, and therefore, we look to our KHS students to help us identify and understand the factors that contribute to inequities inhibiting student achievement and social-emotional growth. All KHS students are invited to sign up to participate in our first student focus groups. (We anticipate more focus groups occurring at the High School and Middle School of the Kennebunks.
3/14/2019 - KHS Student Led Forum
The Civil Rights Team asked for additional volunteers at the end of the Step Forward activity to assist with the Student Forum. Lucia Davis and Julia Connolly were the facilitators; a group of students sat on the stage in the theater to discuss several topics that had emerged from the Step Forward conversations. This modeled civil discourse for the entire school. Juniors and seniors were in the theater; the event was live streamed to freshmen in the Economos Lecture Hall and sophomores in the cafeteria.
Following the discussion among the students on stage, an open mic was provided so that students in the audience could comment on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion topics.
3/7/2019 - KHS Step Forward Activity
The KHS Civil Rights Team went through data collected on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion anonymous student survey. The team talked with the MSK Civil Rights Team about the topics that they had addressed in their Step Forward Day. The KHS students then prepared statements that they felt were age-appropriate for high school. During the last block on March 7, members of the Civil Rights Team stood in the center of the KHS gym and read statements. Seniors lined up on each side of the gym and stepped forward if a statement applied to them; underclassmen sat on the bleachers and stood if a statement applied to them. Following this activity in the gym, students went to advisories where they had small group discussions based on follow-up questions composed by the Civil Rights Team.
3/1/2019 - MSK Step Forward Activity
MSK Civil Rights Team members stepped forward in a profoundly courageous way to engage the school community in thinking and talking about issues related to race and skin color, national origin and ancestry, religion, disabilities, gender, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation in an age-appropriate manner. These dedicated students collaborated to shed light on the impact of hurtful words and their prevalence in and around our school by leading the entire school, including more than 600 students and staff, in a “Step Forward” activity around hurtful language. We saw first-hand the impact hateful words have on our students and our students witnessed how their words and actions affect those around them.
2/28/2019 - KHS Movie & Discussion: I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin
KHS, the Civil Rights Team and Film Club hosted a movie and discussion on I am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin. After the showing, members of the Civil Rights Team and Film Club held a facilitated discussion.
COMMUNITY Engagement And DEVELOPMENT
09/16/2019 City-Site Problem Identification & Resolution of Issues Together (City-SPIRIT). The report is a compilation of issues and recommended solutions developed by individual leaders in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel, Maine.
On 5/14/2019 and 6/13/2019 - School-Community Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together (School-SPIRIT)
Both of these events were requested by RSU 21 administration and were offered free by the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Services. The School (Community) SPIRIT programs included more than 90 individuals participating. The two focused programs engaged students, school administrators, teachers, school resource officers, parents, faith-based leaders, town employees, community advocates and other school and community members in identifying issues impacting their schools and communities and developing and implementing solutions to resolve those issues.
School, and City-SPIRIT Program Benefits:
Brings diverse groups together and improves communication, relationships, and climate
Empowers participants to identify and solve problems
Develops problem-solving and decision-making skills
Builds trust, understanding, and collaboration
Increases the capacity to independently prevent and respond to future conflicts
The next step will be for the U.S. Department of Justice Facilitator to provide a plan of action to RSU 21 and its greater community. At which time it will be shared with the school board, elected officials and the greater community.
3/11/19 - Town & Faith Based Community Leaders Discussion
On Monday, March 11th, twenty-six Faith-Based and Community Leaders met with Drs. Hawes and Potenziano to discuss issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our community. Faith leaders represented a wide-range of religions and varying understanding and beliefs. Community leaders included Town Managers, Social Service Providers, Police and Fire Chiefs, and Librarians. Each member with the ability to influence groups of people within our community. Lunch was provided by the RSU 21 Nutrition Department and the discussion focused upon ways to advance conversations and actions toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our respective circles of influence.