July 31, 2021 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

CCUSD Creates First Assistant Superintendent of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

New position first of its kind in California, possibly the nation

Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) has created a new position that is the first of its kind in California and possibly the nation.

At a May 25 regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, the CCUSD Board of Education made a landmark decision to create a new, cabinet-level position designed to develop and lead programs and strategies that foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive school community.

The new Assistant Superintendent of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion position will begin July 1, 2021 and will report directly to the Superintendent. It is the only such position among public schools in the State of California and, perhaps, the nation.

“Some districts have a director-level position, a task force or a DEI consultant, but the Board’s decision to create a cabinet-level position focusing specifically on diversity, equity and inclusion is a tangible commitment to CCUSD’s core values and to making sure that every school, every program, and every classroom is dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Superintendent Leslie Lockhart. “It’s a statement that DEI is important to us and that we place a high value on making sure we fulfill our promise to our school community when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The District’s non-discrimination statement states that the district, “does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or national or ethnic origin or ancestry in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics and other after-school programs. The core values of CCUSD are equity, diversity, inclusivity, student centered accountability, innovation and partnerships.” 

“Creating this position is a powerful statement of our district’s belief that diversity, equity and inclusion should play a pivotal role in our children’s education and in everything CCUSD does,” said Board of Education President Tashon McKeithan. “But this is not the end of that effort. In fact, it is just the beginning. I am excited that our district is at the cutting edge of something so important and so critical to the success of our students and our society in the future. We have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to continuing to be a leader in making sure diversity, equity and inclusion are a central part of what we teach in the classroom, what we model in our district and what we expect and demand throughout our community.”

The new Assistant Superintendent of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be responsible for the following:

TEAM LEADERSHIP: 

  • Leading and coordinating CCUSD’s Equity Advisory Council throughout the school year as they provide PreK- Adult programs, initiatives, curriculum and services. 
  • Leading an Equity Team which will consist of 18 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) site leads (classified and certificated). 
  • Serving as a member of Cabinet which provides strategic guidance and leadership for overall school operations. 

STUDENT & FAMILY SUPPORT: 

  • Being an accessible, visible and effective resource to students with regards to student diversity, equity and inclusion matters.
  • Providing counsel and support to students and families within each school division on issues of identity development; 
  • Providing support to the PTA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion councils. 
  • Serving as a resource to CCUSD families of color, LGBTQ+ families, English Learners/Bilingual students and all other historically marginalized populations. Providing support in navigating school systems, college and career readiness, and accessing appropriate resources (e.g. language translation, orientation & welcome events, scholarship etc.) 

PROGRAM PLANNING & IMPLEMENTATION: 

  • Developing, communicating and implementing a coherent, thoughtfully-aligned schedule of DEI programming (e.g. Guest Speakers, Parent Coffees, Community events and Professional Development) 
  • Providing guidance, support and advocacy for Staff and Student Affinity groups. 

STRATEGIC PLANNING: 

  • Developing and/or implementing CCUSD’s Equity Action strategic plan for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and identifying the resources required to do so; 
  • Supporting the Board and school sites by implementing the Equity Action Plan’s strategic goals in support of diversity, equity and inclusion; 
  • Updating existing programs and introducing new programs to create an inclusive culture amongst students, staff and faculty of all identities and backgrounds; 
  • Routinely measuring and analyzing academic and social-emotional data about the student experience, and identifying areas of progress, targets for improvement and next steps to drive the attainment of diversity, equity and inclusion goals and providing transparency; 
  • Ensuring compliance with applicable federal/state laws, policies and procedures

COMMUNITY GROWTH & EDUCATION: 

  • Working with students, faculty, staff, parents and members of the Board to increase understanding and application of Cultural Competence, and to increase understanding and application of inclusive and anti-racist pedagogy and practices; 
  • Acting as a resource to evaluate, develop and diversify PreK-Adult curricular offerings through a DEI lens; 
  • Attending DEI-related workshops and events to keep abreast of best practices in the field and to deepen personal knowledge and capacity to lead; 
  • Facilitating partnerships and attendance by members of the CCUSD community at key diversity and inclusion events and conferences. 
  • Serving as a resource to teachers within each school division on matters of pedagogy, curriculum, and best practices for working with students and their families 

COLLABORATION: 

  • Attending weekly and monthly meetings with various constituencies requiring DEI input and support on divisional programming, student leadership opportunities, and student needs and concerns. 
  • Working and developing communications on community outreach and to co-develop both proactive and responsive communications throughout the year 

RECRUITMENT & RETENTION: 

  • Providing counsel and support to Human Resources in the areas of recruitment and retention of diverse staff. 
  • Developing and implementing innovative strategies and programs to cultivate, attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce 
  • Develop staff affinity groups for support.

With the new position created, the District will now move ahead in searching for a qualified candidate to fill the position as soon as possible.

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