SD40 hosts discussion groups on anti-racism, diversity, equity

Focus groups follow School District 40 survey that drew over 1,200 responses

The New Westminster School District is moving forward with its anti-racism efforts.

The district recently completed an investigation into issues surrounding anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion. Superintendent Karim Hahlaf said the district heard from more than 1,200 respondents, including parents, students and staff.

“It’s been a huge year. We reached out to our community for the engagement, and really a huge note of gratitude for the level of participation our community has provided us, ”he said at the May 25 school board meeting.

The results of the survey will be analyzed by Bakau Consulting, the firm hired by the school district to lead the creation of an anti-racism framework.

Bakau Consulting will now move on to hosting focus groups for district stakeholders, Hahlaf noted.

One-hour virtual sessions are scheduled in June to solicit feedback on what equity, diversity and inclusion looks like in New Westminster schools.

“It is important that we hear from a wide range of voices that represent the whole community,” the district said in a call to participants. “All voices, opinions and experiences will be respected and appreciated for their contribution to our broader understanding. “

Sessions for parents and community members are set for Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 June.

The survey and focus groups are part of the first phase of the district’s plan to create an anti-racism framework. In this first phase, the consultants also review the district’s policies and procedures and examine its approach to social media and communications.

The information gathered from all of this work will be passed on to the District Anti-Racism Steering Committee, which has been established to guide the process. Ultimately, this will help inform the creation of an anti-racism action plan – including a program for district schools and training for staff.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
Email Julie, [email protected]

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