The Falls Church School Board reached another milestone in the school division's ongoing work on equity, and inclusion, Tuesday, April 13, with the unanimous approval of the first foundational policy specifically addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
The vote codifies previous statements and proclamations by the board following the rise nationally of incidents of bigotry, harassment, and intimidation. Last summer, the board issued a statement condemning violence, supporting peaceful protest, and reaffirming the Board's commitment to equity.
It is not enough for us to declare that we are not racist and that we are non-discriminatory. It is imperative that our School Board and the Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) community at large commit to equal opportunity and actively practice and promote anti-racism and call out injustice, inequality, and inequity. - June 4, 2020
To that end, School Board member Dr. Susan Dimock, Chief Academic Officer William Bates, Director of Equity and Excellence Dr. Jennifer Santiago, a Division Level Equity Team, members of the Mary Ellen Henderson and GM Social Justice Club, and others set about defining equity at FCCPS.
The new policy - AB - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - results from that work.
"Falls Church City Public Schools will address, eliminate, and prevent actions, decisions, and outcomes that result from and perpetuate racism...This requires a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to identifying and addressing practices, policies, and institutional barriers, including institutional racism, that perpetuate opportunity and achievement gaps."
The policy mandates five specific areas where that commitment will be required:
- Inclusive School Environment
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Governance, and