Agenda 10.16.19

  • What: LOSD Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee Meeting Agenda
    Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    Location: Board Room at the District Office, 2455 Country Club Road, Lake Oswego

    Time                           Topic

    6:00-6:05                    1. Welcome/Introductions/Selection of Timekeeper/Review of Agenda

    6:05-6:10                    2. Approval of August 20, 2019 Meeting Minutes 

    6:10-6:15                    3. Lora introduce Lillian, her work, equity audit

    6:15-6:45                    4. Selection of Lillian Tsai as Facilitator ● Introduction of Lillian ● Lillian will share her
                                            frameworks and recommendations ● Committee written questions and considerations
                                            on note-catcher 

    6:45-7:15                    5. Feedback on Alignment of District Equity Teams ● Discussion with protocol ● Note-
                                           catcher to write feedback, questions, considerations ● Each person can also write
                                           notes on the document itself   

    7:15-7:30                    6. Broad overview of board appointed committees next steps

    7:30-7:45                    7. Equity Policy discussion

    7:45-7:57                    8. Closing frame 

    7:57-8:00                    9. Announcements & Adjourn


Meeting Minutes 10.16.19

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee

    Members Present:  Lora de la Cruz, David Salerno Owens, Emma Burke, Neelam Gupta, Willie Poinsette, Carrie Rodriguez, Christine Thomas, Shava Feinstein, Mya Gordon, Rob Wagner

    Members Absent:  Manny Espinoza, Kathy Lloyd, Paula Posadas, Brian Bills, Charu Nair, Ebony Clarke

    Also Present:  Lillian Tsai, John Lenssen, Ann Harding, Monica Santoyo           

    Welcome/Introductions/Selection of Timekeeper/Review of Agenda

    The meeting was brought to order at 6:08 p.m.

    Christine Thomas agreed to be the timekeeper.

    Neelam Gupta welcomed all members and opened the floor for introductions.

    Approval of 8/20/2019 Meeting Minutes

    Requests for corrections/changes were noted. Meeting minutes approved.

    Selection of Lillian Tsai as Facilitator

    Lillian Tsai introduced herself. She talked about her personal background. Ms. Tsai was born and raised in Borneo, then moved to Boston when she was 18. She spent 25 years in high tech. The last 10 years she has been focused on equity and culture. Ms. Tsai’s work includes workshops, organizational assessments, Academia, for profit and non-profit boards. The intersection of age, race, and “Bridging Difference” is her theme. She works globally.

    Ms. Tsai will help the committee get clear on what their work will focus on and its goals. Wants to speak to everyone. Look at historical documents. Want to have people volunteer to be interviewed. Will analyze all this. At the end of all the data finding, will present all she has found. Mission and Goals. Likes to be fluid. One step informs the next.

    The timing will look at hoping to start now. During October and November, interviews will be conducted. During November and December, Ms. Tsai will conduct an analysis. In January, February and March, there will be a focus on workshops.

    There was a question on the equity audit and how does it coincide. It was stated that John Lenssen will be working with the district to complete such an audit.

    Should the committees continue with their work? November meeting would be a good time for the seven committees to report their work and goals. Statement of Purpose.

    It was stated that it was an emotionally charged group. Mya Gordon says it has gotten in the way of the group sometimes being efficient but she also doesn’t want to lose it. It brings power and passion to the group. Ms. Tsai asked why we are emotionally charged. Ms. Gordon said it is because everyone has had a lot of personal experience.

    Retreat? Maybe not necessary… A time to get away and focus on the purpose and goals of the group.

    Ms. Tsai is a “Facilitator” and does not dictate what is said (unless she feels like she needs to).

    Willie Poinsette echoed what Ms. Gordon said. Don’t want to lose the emotion for the purpose and helping the students of color. The sooner the changes can happen, the better.

    Discussion of why we have lost so many team members. Thoughts were because some felt that the group would not accomplish what they set out to do. It was said that the charter is pretty broad.

    There was a holding pattern between change of Superintendents.

    Rob Wagner is really excited for the possible next steps. When our children are facing discrimination on a daily basis, there is a commitment from the LO School Board to support the DEI committee.

    Broad overview of board appointed committees next steps

    Mr. Wagner addressed the School Board’s intention to look at having Board appointed committees like this in regards to standardization. Outside expertise, like Ms. Tsai, is going to be great for this alignment. It will bring consistency and help with long range goals.

    As time was up, a “Note-catcher” was handed out to collect any additional questions which will be addressed at a later date.

    Feedback on Alignment of District Equity Teams Document

    David Salerno Owens created the first draft of this document of an overview of teams throughout the district. This document is a way for the committee to align with each of the other equity teams in the District. It is a way for all teams to engage and collaborate, allowing all to move forward and working together. This will help bridge all these teams together to learn from each other and each can improve. They will fine tune what has worked and learn from each other, bringing about a better cohesiveness.

    Committee members were given another “Note-catcher”. Everyone read through Mr. Salerno Owens’s draft, making notes, questions, feedback. Committee broke into smaller groups to discuss.

    Emma Burke expressed that there are many opportunities to gather information, with a need to link between these committees. At this point, they are very separate, not sharing between these groups. Shava Feinstein had many questions including, 1) Who is on the Leadership Team? 2) Teachers? 3) Parents? 4) What are building equity learning plans? 5) What are building equity goals? Ms. Poinsette had a question on if there a district equity goal? She explained this will help with everything we do in pointing in the same direction. Ms. Gordon expressed everyone is not focused on each other, just focused on their own goals. She said we do not have a consistent practice at this time. Mr. Wagner explained the need for resources and having a DEI team at every school. There is also a need for collaboration. We also need to embed things in the system so there is consistency and there are strategic plans in place. This give a North Star that we are all heading toward. The Equity Policy was important and the state is watching.

    Equity Policy Discussion

    Lora de la Cruz asked how to take our equity policy to the next level and make it actionable.

    Ms. Gordon said if this is really what the School District wants to accomplish, schools should offer a class. The policies should be embedded in the District. There should be a required class to teach this. More focus on race, the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ms. Gupta agreed with Ms. Gordon. For instance, LOJ’s Better Together Day was the day before Memorial Day. It was a great day, but a one-off. She said it was important to be sure that the entire work force is trauma informed. Ms. Feinstein says the District should make it a priority to have the social-emotional learning as a focus where there are specific goals at each grade level. These goals should be district wide that is taught and given priority. There is also a need to recruit and maintain staff and that it is transparent.

    Ms. Thomas pointed out that we have six schools that are not equitable. Playground equipment, for instance, is bought by each schools PTO and some schools have better equipment than others. Carrie Rodriguez said to note school PTO's generate different fundraising goals. Ms. Burke said there is a need for consistent social-emotional training to make it very impactful. She would like to add DEI to that as well to get everyone comfortable with these topics and teaching it. Ms. Burke continued that we should recruit through a DEI lens. Ms. Poinsette said we need a trauma informed staff, giving them training. The change is here in that the workforce is not totally white anymore. This document helps supports the white students in this district. It is also important to have a diverse range of staff so there are examples for all and what they can become. Having a trauma informed staff very is important. There needs to be more staff that look like our students at every level. Mr. Salerno Owens said it is important to support and maintain the staff we have now.

    From the audience, Monica Santoyo said there are cliques that make it harder for students. If we can teach our children that cliques exclude others and that they are not a good thing, it will help a lot. Mr. Wagner said DEI is our number one goal, but we’re not getting there. There is Oregon nice and then there’s LO polite. For instance, the way we have PTO meetings at 10:30 on Tuesday mornings needs to change. Also, we need to have measurable metrics. 25.5% of our student population is non-white. Ms. Gupta said our kids are living with this reality every day. Thank you for a really great and productive meeting.

    Dr. de la Cruz will send out the percentages for staff of color.

    Closing & Adjournment

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m.