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ACSD Focus on Equity

For the access, success, and belonging of all ACSD students 

Below you will find the primary equity tools and practices that ACSD is focusing on to promote equity within our district and our schools. Working projects are currently designed especially for students whose learning is negatively impacted by a lack of family financial resources, a lack of health resources, a marginalized racial or ethnic identity, a non-dominant home language, a learning disability, a physical or emotional disability, and/or neurodivergent thinking or behaviors.

Strategic Plan for Equity

The Addison Central School District (ACSD) is currently designing a new, equity-informed strategic plan that will prioritize the success of every student. There have been many opportunities for students, families, staff, and community members (stakeholders) to help shape the direction of a strategic plan. This work included the formation of two teams of ACSD community members both comprised of diverse students, staff, families, and community members ACSD Advisory Committee for Equity who met to informed the Board’s Strategic Planning Goals and the ACSD Action Team who met to draft the strategies and action steps to meet the Board’s Strategic Planning Goals.

Co-Research for Belonging & Mattering in ACSD

An action oriented research project designed in conversation with minoritized communities to effectively invite, elevate, and amplify the marginalized student and staff voices of ACSD’s Black, Indigenous, and people of color, for input to inform ACSD’s processes and policies. Lead by consultant Rebecca Haslam of Seed the Way.

Anti-Bias Leadership for School Principals

A monthly leadership group of all ACSD Principals and Administrators to increase awareness about the impact of implicit bias on the experience of staff and students.

MUHS and MUMS Affinity Space Facilitators

Facilitators provide an inclusive space for students for one hour weekly lunch meetings and meeting with faculty advisors regularly to plan logistics and address concerns.

K-8 Responsive Classroom

Responsive Classroom is a student-centered, social and emotional learning approach to teaching and discipline. It is comprised of a set of research, and evidence-based practices designed to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms and school communities for both students and teachers. In the 2021-2022 school year, we have led a dedicated effort for our K-8 educators to engage in various Responsive Classroom professional development and training to bring the work into the classrooms.

9-12 Restorative Practices

In the Spring of 2022 a working group began exploring ways to build a shared restorative experience that rebuilds trust and community at MUHS.  9-12 staff have begun discussing shared restorative principles and tools to help educators reconnect on an interpersonal basis and explore community building and repair work with students. MUMS and MUHS have worked to update and align their codes of conduct and are in the process of incorporating more restorative approaches at both secondary schools. 

6-12 Staff Professional Development for equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Specific professional development opportunities for our 6th to 12th grade staff including facilitated staff discussions and trainings on Navigating Hard Conversations and Building Community with expert BIPOC consultants with Khuram Hussain and Justice Elijah.

Response to Hazing Harassment & Bullying

Ongoing strict Adherence to Hazing, Harassment and Bullying (HHB) policy and processes, training for administrators, student safety plans and student consequences to include but not limited to: suspension, restricted schedules, loss of privileges, parent meetings, restorative processes.

ACSD Response to Rise in Hate Speech Incidents

February 2023

As leaders in the Addison Central School District community, we are writing to acknowledge, condemn, and take action against the rising incidences of hate speech being reported to school administrators in our ACSD  community.   We do not tolerate any act of hate speech, and when we learn of a hate speech incident, we respond immediately.

However, we acknowledge that regardless of the actions we take as school administrators every incident causes harm to our community and is a symptom of a larger problem. We know we are not alone in addressing the challenge of racism and discrimination. School districts and communities in our state and across the country are confronting an unprecedented rise in acts of hate speech and racially motivated violence. Although we exist within this larger culture, we are committed to keeping every member of our community safe. 

We acknowledge that responding to incidents is not enough. We must do the proactive work necessary to prevent incidents from occurring. 

In the coming weeks,  members of our leadership team will work with a consultant to help us identify and design a plan to engage first with the MUMS and MUHS student and staff community in proactive work to ensure that all students experience a sense of belonging at school. From there, we will work to expand this learning to our entire district.

We hope our actions will positively impact our students, staff, and surrounding community.  

Thank you for joining us in this work, 

Peter Burrows, Superintendent
Nicole Carter, Director of Equity and Student Services
Caitlin Steele, MUHS Interim Principal 
Ben Weir, MUHS Assistant Principal 
Michaela Wisell, MUMS Co-Principal
Michael Dudek, MUMS Co-Principal
Matthew Brankman, Bridport Principal
Heather Raabe, Cornwall Principal
Tracey Harrington, Ripton Principal
Jennifer Kravitz, Mary Hogan Principal
Stephen McKinney, Mary Hogan Assistant Principal
Bjarki Sears, Salisbury Principal
Andy Johnson, Shoreham Principal
Christina Johnston, Weybridge Principal