In the Summer of 2020, Othello School District began the work of taking an introspective look at equity matters in our schools. The goal was to educate leaders in our district about implicit bias, systemic racism, and other issues so that we can work together with our staff and community to remove barriers to success that are caused by disequitable realities in education.
The district selected Dr. Katherine Rodela, a Washington State University Associate Professor and faculty member of WSU’s Educational Leadership Program to lead the first steps. Dr. Rodela has conducted research around the concept of leadership for equity, diversity, and justice.
The first steps were for members of the District’s executive team to engage in conversations with Dr. Rodela to identify what equity means to Othello School District and to each individual. In the fall of 2020, the work expanded to include the district’s school administrators (principals and assistant principals) as well as district level directors.
In 2021, Othello School District will form an Equity Advisory Committee, led by Mr. Will Von Bracht, Principal at Hiawatha Elementary School. Members of our staff, parents, and community representatives will be invited to be a part of this committee. They advisory committee will:
- Make recommendations to our Superintendent related for changes to district policies and procedures related to equity.
- Monitor the progress and outcomes of the implemented recommendations.
- Serve as liaisons between the district and audiences in our community.
Othello School District will also conduct a district-initiated equity audit in 2021. It will help our organization understand the challenges we face and will inform the development of new best practices to help us meet the needs of our diverse community.