The Loudoun County School Board on Feb. 26 approved this to create and direct a new community panel to more deeply evaluate challenges faced by minority groups within the school district. Members added two additional members to this draft—a PTA representative and a representative of the Hindu community. Additionally, Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) was appointed to chair the panel, with Chris Croll (Catoctin) and Beth Huck (At Large) also serving.
The Loudoun County School Board does hereby create an Equity Ad Hoc Committee to review appropriate policies and practices associated with enhancing equity across the Division.
Members of the School Board and staff of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) have received significant feedback voiced by members of and advocates for marginalized groups and groups historically disenfranchised. To ensure we are meeting the needs of all members of the community, it is essential to undertake an in-depth review of current policies and practices. The Ad Hoc Committee will review feedback, and take a forward-looking approach.
The Ad Hoc Committee will report its findings to the full Board. Staff members will consider all the recommendations regarding policies and practices and update relevant School Board committees as well as the full School Board regarding its plans pertaining to implementation of the recommendations to policies and practices.
The Ad Hoc Committee shall be comprised of 21 voting members, including:
- Three School Board members;
- A Head Start or STEP Parent;
- Six members from school and non-school based staff;
- Three parents selected for their experience and/or education;
- One member from the Gifted Education Advisory Committee (GEAC);
- Four members identified by the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC);
- One member from the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC);
- One member from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS);
- One member from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC).
The three School Board members will be selected by the School Board Chair, who will also name one of them as the Ad Hoc Committee’s chair.
Six members of school and non-school based staff will be selected by the Division Superintendent or his designee.
Each School Board member on the committee will nominate one parent from the community.
The Chair of MSAAC shall nominate their committee members. The SEAC Chair and GEAC Chair will nominate their respective members.
The Adams Center and JCRC will nominate their respective members.
All nominated positions will be approved by the School Board. In addition to stakeholder representation, it is important that the committee reflect representation from the various geographical areas and be representative of the diversity of Loudoun County to ensure broad participation and multiple perspectives.
The committee shall avail itself of all resources, including recognized experts in the area of equity in education. The Committee will employ an outside facilitator to run meetings.
An equity audit by external experts, currently planned by LCPS, will inform the focus and scope of the Ad Hoc Committee’s work.
The Ad Hoc Committee requires a majority of members present to achieve quorum. The Committee will also require a staff liaison, appointed by the Superintendent. All proceedings and documents will be subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The Committee will deliver its recommendations to the School Board no later than November 2019 unless the term of this committee charter is extended by the School Board.
Proposed Draft Calendar of Events:
- March-June 2019: Conduct equity audit
- April 4, 2019, 5:30 p.m.: Tentative date for first meeting of the Committee. The Committee tentatively scheduled to meet the first Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
- June 2019: The Committee receives report from equity audit
- June–November 2019: The Committee meets regularly, updating committees and School Board
- November 2019: The Committee presents recommendations and action steps to School Board