Equity, Racism & Diversity
Empowering Each Child
Hunterdon Central's Mission promises intellectual, social, emotional safety and growth to each of our students. Bias, including racism and prejudice, threaten that mission. Long-standing tensions, bias incidents, and opportunity and achievement gaps have led us to engage in difficult work to ensure the equity that is necessary to the achievement of our mission.
MISSION AND MANDATE
In September 2020, Hunterdon Central's Board of Education created a new Equity, Racism & Diversity Committee comprised of the following Board of Education members:
Noelle O'Donnell, Vice President
In the Fall of 2020, this committee met with students, parents, and other community members and partners to begin the work of understanding the experiences of diverse student populations on our campus. These discussions informed important policy changes and set directions for measuring and mitigating gaps.
Equity Assessment - Spring 2021
On April 26, 2021 the Board of Education received a report from Superintendent Jeffrey Moore on the state of equity efforts at Hunterdon Central. The report describes calls to action through achievement and opportunity data, and also details work that the district has completed or undertaken.
Click on the link below to read the report.
Watch Dr. Moore’s April 26, 2021 presentation of the report to the Board of Education:
CONVERSATIONS AND CAPACITY-RAISING
We believe that all adults who work with children in a school setting are, first and foremost, educators. We further believe that all educators have an obligation to hear and consider ideas on difficult topics from all points of view. To that end, Hunterdon Central has been working with consultants to share different perspectives with educators to help guide our work with children.
These conversations create discomfort, but we know that to be both a natural and necessary reaction as we broaden horizons to help our children grow. We also note that such conversations, though difficult, are mandated through a Governor’s executive order as comprehensive bias training, as are all of the recommendations of a Fall 2020 report from the New Jersey Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias.
In February of 2021, all staff participated in a presentation from Dr. Nathalie Edmond. Dr. Edmond brought perspectives on bias that were important for all of our educators to hear as they considered their own place in this most important work. Click on the link to view the presentation:
In Counseling, our staff have been working with specialists affiliated with Rutgers University to raise our capacity to identify and respond to race-based traumatic stress. We recognize that wounds widen through accumulated bias.
Training is also focusing on further developing procedures for responding to bias incidents in our school and in our community, in line with requirements for school to respond to such incidents.
Educators will continue to engage in work to leverage all that they are learning and hearing toward practical applications for the safety and growth of our students.
This year, with the help of efforts by a Board of Education committee and a joint anti-racism committee of our teachers’ and administrators’ labor associations, the district has chartered new affinity groups for students:
- Black Student Union
- Latinx Alliance
- Asian Students Alliance
The goals of these groups are to help students find community with those who share and understand their experiences, to give students platforms for providing feedback to the school, and to help students work together to celebrate our diversity.
Diversity is growing at Central, but such organizations are not new. These new groups join long-existing groups that serve LGBTQ+ students and other student populations.