State College Area School District Inclusive Excellence Steering Committee
In 2016, SCASD established the Inclusvie Excellence Steering Committee. The Inclusive Excellence Steering Committee is comprised of SCASD board members, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and community members from State College and Penn State. The committee was instrumental in the development of the district's Inclusvie Excellence Policy and the position now known as the Director of Equity and Inclusviity. The committee has established several workgroups tasked with focusing on specific dimensions of diversity to deepen our understanding of each of these areas, gain community input, and coordinate a data driven process guided by SCASD and the community. The workgroups are as follows:
Workgroup Descriptions are below. If you are interested in joining a workgroup, contact us!
* It is important to recognize that while these are different workgroups, they are all responsible for recognizing and exploring how the topics of different groups inherently impact the inclusion practices and equity issues of all individuals with intersecting identities across the district.*
1. LGBTQ and Gender Equity Issues - A workgroup focused on exploring equity issues related to individuals who identify as LGBT and women and girls in our district. - Looking for alternates
2. Disability issues - Focused on advocating for issues of inclusion for persons with disabilities, and exploring equity as it relates to the over-representation of minoritized populations in special education.
3. Race and Marginalized Populations - A workgroup dedicated to unpacking issues primarily of race, socioeconomic status, and religion as they relate to experiences of bias, prejudice, and inclusion/exclusion in the district. This group also will focus on how different marginalized identities intersect and impact inclusionary practices and access to an equitable education. - Looking for alternates
4. International and Immigration issues: This workgroup is focused on developing insight on problems faced by individuals belonging to the international community within State College, and hone in on issues of immigration as it relates to individuals in the districtwide community.
5. Professional Development for Cultural Competency : This workgroup will focus on techniques to build a program of cultural competency for teachers, students, and administrators within the district. The focus and goal of this committee is to take into account the issues/information of all other committees and research tools to educate students, teachers, and administrators on how to identify issues in the district and minimize occurrences. Topics include (but not limited to): recognizing (implicit) bias, exploring concepts of privilege and power relations, intersectionality, tools to cultivate intercultural communication, etc.
6. Student Voice: A subcommittee comprised of student reps from 8-12th grades to discuss and contribute student voice to topics related to inclusive excellence. Students within this group could “specialize” in and participate in one of the other subcommittee topics, and then present their findings/concerns from the student perspective to the other subcommittees.
7. Parents as Advocates: A workgroup comprised of parent representatives and advocates from each of the other workgroup. Parent advocates will meet to develop processes and procedures that will be used when parents districtwide are interested in working with an advocate.
8. Religious and Spirituality Related Issues - A workgroup focused on exploring issues related to equity for individuals and families in our district who practice various religions and spiritual practices and individuals and families who are non-religious.