Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
Creating a Sense of Belonging for All
The Avonworth School District is committed to ensuring that our schools are places of belonging for all students and members of our school community. For every child to reach their full potential, their learning environment, activities, and experiences need to ensure that they are nurtured, valued, and have a voice.
The following descriptions provide a brief overview of some of the areas in which the District has focused its efforts. Please use the buttons to the left to explore this information in more depth.
Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee:
During the 2016-2017 school year, the District formed the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee (now known as the Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee) in collaboration with families in the District. Committee meetings have been held during each school year since the formation of the committee. These meetings' purpose and goal have been to gather input from our families regarding issues or concerns around diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee has provided valuable input and has helped generate many actions taken by the District to address equity, inclusion and belonging.
Having a curriculum that represents a diverse world and multiple perspectives is imperative for children to learn, grow, and become productive members of society. The Avonworth School District evaluates curriculum for cultural responsiveness through the curriculum review and evaluation process. Teachers implement projects to build awareness of bias, discrimination, and the value of inclusiveness. The English Language Arts curriculum offers a diverse list of authors and perspectives of themes and cultures.
Attracting and retaining a diverse staff is extremely important and remains a goal of the Avonworth School District. Students from diverse backgrounds need to see reflections of themselves in the adults with whom they interact. Likewise, it is just as important for white students to develop meaningful school relationships with adults of color.
The Avonworth School District has engaged its professional employees in professional learning with Herring Seminars to build a more equitable and inclusive environment. Further, the Avonworth School District includes professional learning on unconscious bias in its induction program for all new teachers. The staff has also participated in training through the Mentoring Partnership of Southwest Pennsylvania and Mental Health First Aid. In the 2020-2021 school year, the District began a partnership with Dr. Eva J. Allen to provide professional development for teachers in our new teacher induction program.
The Avonworth School District is dedicated to creating a school culture where all students feel they belong. This is accomplished through our efforts around curriculum, personnel, professional learning, as well as through providing opportunities for our students to engage. The Avonworth School District provides opportunities from K-12 for students to have a voice and be involved in creating a culture of belonging for all.
During the 2019-2020 school year, a group of stakeholders engaged in a planning process to create the District's next strategic plan. During this process, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion emerged as an area of focus. A subcommittee was formed to develop strategies and actions that have now been incorporated into the District's Strategic Plan, which spans from 2020-2025. The committee's overall goal is to continue developing and maintaining an inclusive experience for students, staff, and community that promotes a sense of belonging for all.