A listing of communications related to the happenings of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is posted on this page.
February 18, 2021 - Call for Participation - Methacton School District DEI Committee
Per the direction of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant, the district is seeking a 30-member committee to form the Methacton School District DEI Committee. Members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee are responsible for developing processes, protocols, resources, and program initiatives that directly relate to the strategic goals of the Methacton School District as well as recommendations from the equity audit. Committee members are expected to participate in monthly DEI Committee meetings as well as their designated sub-committee meetings. The application process opens on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at NOON and closes Monday, February 22, 2021 at 3pm.
Expectations of Time Commitment for Sub-Committee Members: 5-10 hours/month depending on the scope and nature of assigned projects in each sub-committee.
30 individuals will be selected for the following 5 committees:
- Human Resources – Through a DEI lens, the Human Resource subgroup will work with the district to address policy and practice finding, screening, recruiting, and training of job applicants, and the administration of employee-benefit programs.
- Professional Development – Through a DEI lens, the Professional Development subgroup will work with the district to develop and implement strategies for departments, individual schools, and the district use to ensure that educators continue to strengthen their practice to support all students.
- Curriculum – Through a DEI lens, the Curriculum subgroup will work with the district to review, develop, and implement strategies to improve curriculum and instruction.
- Community Outreach – Through a DEI lens, the Community Outreach subgroup will work with the district to assist in the offering of education, social planning, and support activities to the Methacton School District community.
- Student Life – Through a DEI lens, the Student Life subgroup will work with the district to assess the everyday life of ALL of our students as well as school and district culture.
The DEI Leadership Team along with the consultant will be reviewing the applications during the week of February 22, 2021 and individuals selected will be notified in the second week of March. The first meeting will take place in late March. If not selected for this 30-member committee, please know that there will be additional opportunities to take part in this process in other meaningful ways.
February 5, 2021 - DEI Kickoff Meeting Announcement
*Updated Meeting Time on 2/8/2021 - ACK
Methacton Community –
The Methacton School District is focused on ensuring that everyone in our school community has an exceptional Methacton experience. Continuing with this focus and to ensure congruence with our mission and core values, we are embarking on a process to involve students, parents, staff, and the community in a larger conversation around matters of diversity, equity and inclusion.
To initiate the process for this very important work, the district has engaged the services of Dr. D. Bruce Campbell – a nationally-recognized educator and researcher – and established an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Please join us on February 17, 2021 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm for a virtual kickoff meeting as a starting point for this important work.
Click HERE for the meeting connection information.
Dr. Campbell and the DEI Leadership Team will discuss how students, parents, staff and the community can become more involved in helping us develop an action plan with fidelity. An agenda will be posted a few days in advance of the meeting at www.methacton.org/DEI.
We are excited to embark on this effort to move our district forward for the betterment of us all.
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
January 22, 2021 - Superintendent's Letter to the Community
Dear Methacton School District Community,
The mission of the Methacton School District is based upon the core values of our community. Among these nine core values is the tenet that we appreciate our diversity. Unfortunately, there have been racist incidents in the recent past that vehemently go against everything we stand for as a school community.
Let me be clear – hateful speech of any kind is offensive and unacceptable. It will never be tolerated in our schools.
Recent incidents of “Zoom raiding/bombing” that amplified these racist behaviors are counterproductive to providing a safe learning environment for all. We all must recognize that the inappropriate actions of some can have a direct and lasting impact on many.
Specifically, there have been matters of hate speech on Zoom perpetuated by some students. This behavior has understandably had a traumatic impact on fellow classmates and many others beyond an individual classroom. Our teachers regularly share with students the rules for proper behavior at all times. When issues do arise, we take it seriously by responding with the appropriate disciplinary actions and conduct follow up in order to create a teachable moment for the offender.
However, in recent times, especially with how quickly information and rumors are spread, we recognize that our community is interested in being more informed about these matters and how they are being addressed in our schools to prevent these actions from happening in the future. One such way we are preparing is to review our response protocol and determine who, when and how we need to communicate these matters with in order to provide the assurances that we are enforcing school policy, show compassion to the victims, creating teachable moments and allowing for community healing in the aftermath of an event. This protocol will allow us to continually assess and adjust.
Our first step in this direction is to place our current practices into spotlight as we engage our students, parents, staff and community through the leadership of Dr. Bruce Campbell and the District’s diversity leadership team over the next several months. These are difficult yet important conversations, but we must have them in order build a stronger, more inclusive community.
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools
January 15, 2021 - Introductory Letter on Methacton School District Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dear Methacton Community,
The Methacton School District has always placed students at the center of our focus to prepare learners to meet the demands of our evolving world. Continuing with this focus, and looking to improve and ensure congruence with our mission and core values, we have established an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). To develop the office and establish the focus of the work that is to come, we are embarking on a process to involve students, parents, staff, and the community in a larger conversation around how matters of diversity, equity and inclusion play an important role in providing a welcoming and enriching educational environment for all.
In order to lead the direction for this work, the district engaged D. Bruce Campbell Jr., Ph.D. as a consultant. Dr. Campbell is a nationally recognized educator, researcher and evaluator. He is a professor and program director of Educational Leadership at Arcadia University’s School of Education. Dr. Campbell has vast experience working with students, parents, staff and administrators in school districts as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Education and education research firms. He is looking forward to working with the Methacton School District on diversity, equity and inclusion.
In addition to Dr. Campbell, the district has established a DEI Leadership Team formed to work directly with our consultant and assist in the efforts ahead. The Leadership Team is led by Dr. Amy Mangano, Principal at Arcola Intermediate School, and supported by Negar Ekbatani, Special Education Teacher at Woodland Elementary School, Duperly Hadrick, Counselor at Skyview Upper Elementary School, Dr. Judy Gallagher-Landis, Administrator on Assignment for Technology, Tara Eison, Science Teacher at Arcola Intermediate School, and Matt Ryan, English Teacher at Methacton High School.
We will also be forming a School District DEI Team in February 2021 that will consist of 30-40 members. This team will include employees of various levels and classifications and include representation from within our community. This will be the core group of advisors to help us with this important work. Information seeking volunteers will be sent in mid-February.
In addition to the these two groups, there will be a need to identify equity advisors in each school building to ensure that voices in each building can be heard and to support and foster this work at the building level.
In an effort to keep everyone engaged and informed about these matters we have created a special section on the district website that will keep our communications, plans, and other information necessary to frame the work and matters that the office will embark on.
As a first step, the DEI Leadership Team and Dr. Campbell will be holding a kick off meeting next month to begin the introduction and outline expectations of the work ahead.
The work before the Methacton Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team is critical to ensuring that all students, parents, staff, and community members have an exceptional Methacton experience. We will gather feedback from the community and lay out goals and strategies to address important matters. Still, this work will take time and we will need everyone to become involved.
The district’s mission and core values speak to the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion and is the perpetuating factor for this work to ensure a welcoming environment that allows each individual to learn, lead and succeed. I look forward to our collective efforts ahead and know that we can accomplish great things by working together.
Dr. David Zerbe
Superintendent of Schools