Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework and Policy Statement
This past spring, the Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department announced a call to action regarding diversity, equity and inclusion in K-12 schools. The call to action states, “New York State understands that the responsibility of education is not only to prevent the exclusion of historically silenced, erased, and disenfranchised groups, but also to assist in the promotion and perpetuation of cultures, languages and ways of knowing that have been devalued, suppressed, and imperiled by years of educational, social, political, economic neglect and other forms of oppression.”

NYSED defines diversity, equity and inclusion within this framework as:
Diversity: Includes but is not limited to race, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, veteran status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability,genetic information, and learning styles.
Equity:
The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of all groups. 
Inclusion: Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power and ensures equal access to opportunities and resources.


This is something that has been underway for a number of years now, and we are learning more every year about how we can better support each child, and create an even better, more supportive environment for all kids. Using this framework, East Rochester is continuing to develop policies that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion – and determine the best way to implement such policies with fidelity and urgency. 
The District has created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that is representative of all stakeholders, including students, to assist us in developing these policies and making these determinations.
The East Rochester Union Free School District believes that our diversity is what makes us strong and that by truly celebrating what makes each student unique, we build the confidence of each student that their perspective and their experiences are valid and valuable. It also makes it more likely they will better understand each other’s perspectives. Our goal is that they value their peers for who they are – their whole person; their whole story. We believe this better understanding of each other will actually lead to a community and a nation with less division, and more respect for differences.