Diversity and Equity in District 26

Diversity and Equity in the New York City Department of Education

In the fall of 2015, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Farina released their Equity and Excellence For All initiative that seeks to address the academic, social and emotional needs of all students in order to prepare all students to be successful in the 21st century (A helpful summary of these initiatives can be found here).

NYCDOE's Goals for the Equity and Excellence agenda:

1. By 2026, 80% of our students will graduate high school on time

2. Two-thirds of our graduates will be college ready

​In June 2017, Chancellor Farina released the Equity and Excellence for All: Diversity in NYC Public Schools plan.

The New York City Department of Education is committed to supporting learning environments that reflect the diversity of New York City. We believe all students benefit from diverse and inclusive schools and classrooms where all students, families and school staff are supported and welcomed. This work is essential to our vision of Equity and Excellence for all NYC students.

NYCDOE's Goals for Diversity in NYC Public Schools:

1. Increase the number of students in a racially representative school by 50,000 over the next five years;

2. Decrease the number of economically stratified schools by 10% (150 schools) in the next five years;

3. Increase the number of inclusive schools that serve English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.

Diversity and Equity in District 26

Initiated in the Summer of 2016, District and School Leaders came together to provide an opportunity for educations to reflect, discuss, and share personal experiences with equity and access at various levels within their personal and workplace environments. Team members led an introductory session with all Principals and Assistant Principals during our September 2016 Conference and have continued to meet four times during the course of the year to build capacity across the district culminating in the creation of an "I Am" Project video representing District 26.

In 2017-18, Principals Landeau (MS 216), Armstrong (MS 74), and Annello (MS 67) with Principal Leadership Facilitator (PLF) Lucius Young led Principals and Assistant Principals in sharing their beliefs and practices around the pillars of diversity, democracy, equity, and social justice. We continued to gather the opinions of Parent Coordinators, Guidance Counselors, our District Leadership Team, and our Big Apple Ambassadors. During the year, the Diversity committee compiled, discussed, and debated our collective thoughts to draft pillar statements that represent our beliefs:

Diversity: In District 26, diversity is a commitment to accepting, recognizing, and celebrating our communities through embracing our differences in culture, language, ethnicity, religion, gender, and learning needs. We will foster partnerships to create inclusive activities and events to provide to our students, families, and staff.

Democracy: In District 26, democracy is a space where decisions are made based on shared values through the voices of all constituent groups in the best interest of children learning and growing.

Equity: In District 26, equity is cultivating a responsive community that commits to providing access, participation and opportunities for all members to ensure success and being valued.

Social Justice: In District 26, social justice is all stakeholders gaining a global perspective while creating and embracing systemic change in order to have all members’ access to diverse opportunities that lead to one’s social-emotional well-being.

We continue to share ideas and practices for how we as a community of school leaders, school staff, parents, and students can strengthen this work by gathering ideas and initiatives across the community. Some examples include:

  • Parent Book Clubs anchored to diversity

  • Community visits to learn about school population

  • Multicultural nights/International Food Night/Cultural Fashion Shows

  • "Just Say Hi" Initiative

  • Schoolwide meditation/reflection and vision boards

  • Girl Empowerment Project (GEMMS)

  • FELLAS Program

  • Bring your Father to School Day

  • Monthly Cultural Tradition Celebrations (ie: Korean, Diwali, and Chinese)

  • "Emotion Ocean"

  • Coffee with the Principal sessions focused on Diversity and Equity

  • Implementation of Dual Language Programs

  • Implementation of Foreign Language Programs

  • Book of the Month/Theme of the Year connections to Diversity and Equity

  • No Place for Hate Programs

  • International Recipe Book

  • New Family Breakfast Program

  • Grade Level Community Service Projects

  • "Don't Laugh At Me" Program

  • Pinwheels for Peace

  • Responsive Classrooms

  • Student Led Conferences

  • Virtue of the Month

  • Friends of Rachel

  • Project Beyond

  • Training of all Principals in Emotional Intelligence connected to the Child Study Center at Yale University

  • RULER Anchor Training

  • Implicit Bias Training

  • And more...