Because the State College Area School District recognizes the importance of equity and is engaged in a concerted effort to provide more caring and inclusive experiences for every student, in 2016, it formed the SCASD Office of Equity & Inclusivity. With the hiring of a director of equity, Dr. Seria Chatters, SCASD became one of only five districts out of 500 in the state of Pennsylvania to have such a position.
With our director, the Office of Equity & Inclusivity is working to build a comprehensive professional development plan aimed at training our faculty and staff in integrating culturally responsive pedagogy and restorative practices. Additionally, this office coordinates and oversees the following district initiatives:
The Office of Equity & Inclusivity also coordinates the work of more than 40 equity advocates districtwide and oversees the Inclusive Excellence Steering Committee, which is comprised of the following equity workgroups:
These are just a few examples of our commitment to all of our students. As we work collectively toward providing equitable experiences for every individual, we must keep striving to understand the lived experiences of each of our students to meet their needs.
Below, please find SCASD's current working definition of Equity:
Equity – In short, equity is best defined to mean “more for those who need it,” with a specific focus on historically marginalized groups. There is a common misunderstanding that the terms equity and equality can be used interchangeably. Whereas equality allows equal access to resources and opportunities and is important for educational success, equity accounts for the fact that some need more resources than others. That is, we must intentionally adjust inputs into the educational system and identify and systematically remove barriers to access which will include: providing greater resources, targeting professional learning for educators, and adopting culturally responsive educational practices and processes.