In the WPS, we want every student to encounter highly skilled teachers, a culturally relevant curriculum aligned to state learning standards, and an environment of high expectations for academic growth and mastery. For educators, therefore, a commitment to educational equity requires the development of important skills. 


Professional Development


Over the last 3-5 years, the District has provided common professional development experiences across our staff. It’s important that, as a community of educators, we:


  • Develop a shared understanding of equity
  • Become more aware of our own biases and how they may impact student experience
  • Develop a common skill set and common curriculum resources


In addition, the District has provided, and continues to provide, many opportunities for educators who are further along in this work to continue to make progress in their learning and to share their knowledge with colleagues. These opportunities take many forms, including:


  • Summer and after school graduate-level coursework
  • On-site and off-site workshops
  • Book studies
  • Anti-racist and anti-bias teacher groups


Equity Leaders


Each of our schools has a unique culture with its own set of diverse needs, experiences, and perspectives. At the same time, we want to ensure that we provide a cohesive experience for students across the system. Ensuring that all students feel a sense of belonging in our public school system requires listening, clear communication, and collaboration. Our Equity Leaders are at the forefront of this work.


Some staff serve as equity leaders within their specific schools, providing guidance, leadership, and perspective for the important work. Equity leaders support colleagues in their own schools while also acting as liaisons to school and district leaders, and to their counterparts in the other schools, as we continue to build our capacity district-wide. 


Equity leaders focus on four main areas:


Curriculum and Instruction

School/classroom library updates

Core text updates

Engaging in an on-going cycle of curriculum review and revision

Professional development on culturally responsive practices

Culture and Climate

Student groups such as, Let’s Talk About Race, Culture and Ethnicity at WHS

Peer Leaders at TMS

Author visits, such as a recent program with Jennifer DeLeon;

GSAs at both TMS and WHS

Talent Recruitment, Retention and Development

Membership in Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education

DESE’s Diversity Network and PLC

Formation of affinity groups

Creation of exit interview process

Training for hiring heads

Family & Community Partnerships

Juneteenth celebration (a collaboration between Thurston Middle School Family Welcome Club, Hale Education and Westwood METCO)

Caregiver series on talking with kids about race

Joint programming with WYFS

Caregiver book discussion groups

Partnering with PTOs on their DEI initiatives

District participation on the Town’s Human Rights Task Force



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