District Diversity Council
In January of 2019, Carroll Independent School District appointed 63 parents, students and staff members to serve on a District Diversity Council (DDC) with another 120 individuals invited to participate on individual Campus Diversity Councils (CDC). The DDC is a culturally-informed advisory committee that is representative of the students, staff and parents in Carroll ISD when it comes to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
The district received more than 180 applications from individuals interested in enacting positive change as part of the district's Cultural Competence Action Plan. Formation of the group is part of the Strategic Plan, but was accelerated after a video of teens chanting racial slurs was posted to social media last fall. The advisory councils are just one part of a multi-faceted response by school leaders who have been meeting face-to-face with students and inviting parent/staff input on the topics of cultural competence and diversity.
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Janet McDade and Tyisha Nelson, Executive Director of Special Programs, lead the work of the DDC along with citizen co-chairs Pam Francis and Eric Ransom. An orientation meeting was held on January 30, with several meetings to follow in the spring as the DDC worked to make recommended changes ot the Student Code of Conduct. In addition, the DDC formed six subcommittees that will work on various aspects of the Cultural Competence Action Plan.
In December 2018, Trustees approved the Council framework, ensuring that more than half of the DDC would be appointed by campus principals and represent families in each of the district's 11 attendance zones. In addition, each School Board member appointed someone to serve on the Committee, with additional at-large appointments by the Superintendent's Cabinet.
The DDC's charge will be to:
- Promote the goal of cultural competence within CISD.
- Facilitate communication and understanding among different constituencies, and serve as a community resource.
- Advocate for and support culturally competent and responsive programs and policies.
- Engage students, staff, and faculty to collect feedback on cultural competence in CISD.
- Propose strategies for reaching cultural competence.
Brief update on the DDC Work to Date 11/11/19:
DDC Meetings to date include:
- January 20, 2019
- February 28, 2019
- April 3, 2019
- May 2, 2019
- September 18, 2019
- October 24, 2019
The DDC most recently gave input on a Culture Survey CISD plans to give current CISD parents, staff and students in Grades 7-12. The district is working with a third party independent company called K-12 Insight to develop the survey. It is scheduled for December 4-18 and then results will be shared with the public at the January 13, 2020 School Board meeting. This is a big undertaking and the first of its kind for CISD. We hope it will give current Dragon families the opportunity to share their input and family information with the district.
The data we collect in this culture survey will assist CISD and DDC with key components of the Cultural Competence Action Plan, including the:
• integration of culturally competent lessons across PK-12 curriculum & instruction;
• alignment of culturally responsive policies and procedures;
• planning of guest speakers, diversity celebrations and programming;
• implementation of staff training;
• recruitment and retention of quality staff; and
• communications and cultural outreach.
The DDC gave an update to the Mayor’s Alliance for Unity and Culture last spring and representatives from the Mayor's Alliance came to the last DDC meeting to give CISD an update on their work.
Co-chairs Pam Francis and Eric Ransom came to CISD's June 3, 2019 School Board meeting to give a public update. The video footage of their presentation is available online: https://carrollisdtx.swagit.com/play/06032019-980
The main focus of the DDC last spring was to make recommendations and changes to the Student Code of Conduct. On August 5, 2019 the School Board approved the SCOC changes and those have been implemented. You can find out more about the wording and recommended changes here: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicMeetingMaterials.aspx?ak=220919&mk=50337353
This helped CISD align SCOC consequences and wording to address discrimination across various federally-protected groups. CISD has been diligent under Dr. Janet McDade’s guidance to bring consistency to our discipline and consequences under the SCOC when it comes to micro-aggressions or incidents related to these federally-protected groups. This has been a top priority since the video incidents of last fall.
Since May, the DDC has had six subcommittees at work to research their subject area and create a measurable goal to include in our Cultural Competence Action Plan. CISD is currently working under a DRAFT plan that will be updated with addiitonal action steps from the DDC subcommittees. Our goal is to hear from all six subcommittees and use survey data to add additional goals and action steps to the Cultural Competence Action Plan so that the Board can receive it and adopt it in early 2020. Then the plan will be handed over to the Strategic Planning Committee. That group will integrate the action plan into the district’s overall five-year plan.
Our Campus Diversity Councils have been meeting since last spring and provide input at the campus level. On November 7, 2019 five CISD elementary schools through the coordination of their CDCs held a Multicultural Showcase Potluck at Rockenbaugh Elementary School. Campuses have been hosting their own events and speakers, as well. Members of the DDC participated in the recent Diwalifest at Southlake Town Square as well as a family picnic at the Islamic Center of Southlake and a Peace Together Walk organized by interfaith representatives from various cultures and religions in the greater Southlake/Colleyville area.
More updates and information about the upcoming Culture Survey will be posted soon.