Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work at S-G

Important datesPartnering with the community | Sign up for survey or community forums
Details about focus groups | Frequently Asked Questions 

In some way, we have all been affected by the upheaval and inequities throughout society, but depending on where we come from, we’ve experienced them differently. Students can’t concentrate with all of the noise. Our community is fortunate to have teachers, staff and administrators who are dedicated and passionate about raising awareness and promoting different ideas to improve the school culture to be more equitable, inclusive and supportive of all students and staff.

The goal is to transform school culture to be more aligned with the student voice and consistent … and insistent with equity. Prioritize social-emotional learning and build and follow a distinct plan of action.

Superintendent Susan Swartz has led the charge for professional and personal development opportunities for every person who is employed with the district. She has the attitude that the only way we can do it wrong is by doing nothing at all. Not everyone is in the same space and level of understanding and that is ok. The first step is to accept the challenge to understand differences and grow from there. Embrace differences, have open conversations about difficult topics, and come at it with the understanding that once the work is started – it never stops.

Video of Superintendent Swartz on the DEI initiative at Scotia-Glenville

Important Dates

  • September 22 Community Survey Sign up begins
  • October 18-26 Parent/Guardian Focus Groups
  • October 19-20 Student Survey (grades 7-12)
  • November 1-3 Student Focus Groups (grades 7-12)

It’s important to note that the surveys and focus group conversations are not the same for students and adults

Although the different peer groups will be exploring the same subject matter, the conversations will be relevant toward the age levels participating. The discussions will be respectful and civil. The point is to hear and understand our different perspectives, to broaden our own thinking, and work to identifying areas of common ground for the greater good.

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Partnering with our community to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion

DEI flyer for Scotia-Glenville
Click to enlarge

For more than a year, the Scotia Glenville School District has been working with Tangible Development, a Capital Region based diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consulting firm, to help us identify ways we can become a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and welcoming school district.

Over 300 members of the SGCSD leadership and staff has participated in:

  • Capacity building sessions
  • Surveys and interviews
  • Focus groups

We eagerly invite YOU – parents, guardians, students, and community members – to share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences around diversity, equity, and inclusion at SGCSD. Tangible Development will facilitate and collect all the data, analyze it, and provide SGCSD with a report and plan of action for improvement.

“DEI can be some of the most important and sensitive work an organization can undertake. Team Tangible takes great pride and effort in creating safe spaces built on trust and confidentiality. We need you to feel safe to share authentically so we can gather the best data and ensure that as many community members as possible feel heard. Using this data, SGCSD leadership can create tangible plans that will help ensure the Scotia-Glenville School District is diverse, equitable, and inclusive for their students of today and their students of the future.” –Dr. LB Hannahs, Tangible Development

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Opportunity for public input

We encourage students and community members to anonymously share their voice through an online survey. The survey is administered by Tangible Development for the Scotia-Glenville School District. The survey will ask questions about the respondents’ own personal identities as well as questions about the SGCSD community. This survey is voluntary, and there are no wrong answers. Your input will help us to better serve our increasingly diverse community.

    *In person focus groups will take place in the High School library. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early if possible.

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    Details About Focus Groups

    What is a focus group?

    Focus groups are led by Tangible Development, our outside partners in this work. During each focus group, the facilitator will encourage participants to share their thoughts and opinions about what DEI looks and feels like at SGCSD and what more, if anything, they’d like to see happen. There are no right or wrong answers. Focus Groups are not designed to provide more project information. They are not information sessions or workshops.

    For Students

    This is an opportunity for students to talk about their experiences and thoughts

    • November 1-3
    • 12 total focus groups: 6 for high schoolers (grades 9-12) and 6 for middle schoolers (grades 7-8).
    • Students need to sign up in advance to participate and will require permission from a parent or guardian.
    • Focus Groups take about an hour and will take place during school.
    • Focus groups are confidential.
    • Students may sign up for any focus group that applies to them; some focus groups are open to any student, and some focus groups are for students with specific identities (girls, boys, students with disabilities, etc.).
    • Focus group facilitators from Tangible Development will, whenever possible, share the identity of participants. For example, a woman will facilitate the focus group for girls.

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    For Parents, Guardians and Community Members

    There will be both in-person and virtual focus group sessions available for parent/guardians of SGCSD students. Focus groups last for approximately 1-hour. The same or similar parent-focused questions will be asked in each offered session, so you only need to attend one. Choose from the available dates below:

    • October 18 from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM (In-Person)
    • October 20 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (Virtual)
    • October 22 from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (In Person)
    • October 25 from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM (In-Person)
    • October 26 from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Virtual)

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    About the Survey

    Who Should Take The Surveys?

    • Student Survey: Students in grades 7-12 in the Scotia-Glenville School District will have the opportunity to take their survey in their extended homeroom period.
    • Community Survey: Parents and guardians of any current SGCSD student (K-12), residents, workers, and business owners within the Scotia-Glenville School District over the age of 18.

      Why do I have to sign up to take the survey?

      The sign-up sheet will prevent respondents from accidentally submitting more than one survey response.

      What are the survey and focus groups measuring?

      They are measuring ways in which Scotia-Glenville schools are diverse, equitable, and inclusive as well as how effective the schools are at maintaining such an environment.

      What kind of questions will be asked?

      Examples:

      • How frequently have you visited a Scotia-Glenville school or event? (paraphrased)
      • Do you feel safe at Scotia-Glenville schools?
      • How inclusive an environment do you think Scotia Glenville schools are for boys/men? For girls/women? (paraphrased)
      • Do you have any parental or caregiving responsibilities?

      How long will the survey take to complete?

      The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete.

      What if I don’t take the survey?

      All the surveys are voluntary, so you are not required to take it, but it will be a missed opportunity for you to share your voice.

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      About The Focus Groups

      Who is facilitating the focus groups?

      Members of the Tangible Development team. You can find out more information about us and our team members on our website [link to: https://tangibledevelopment.com/team-tangible#team].

      Who will be present in the focus groups?

      • Student Focus Groups:
        • Students who signed up to participate and have permission from a parent/guardian
        • A Tangible Development facilitator*
        • A Tangible Development scribe (notetaker)
        • A SGCSD staff member to ensure student safety and comfort
      • Parent and Guardian Focus Groups:
        • Parents and guardians (of current SGCSD students) who signed up to participate
        • A Tangible Development facilitator* and a Tangible Development scribe (notetaker)
        • *If possible, the facilitator will share the same identity as the focus group.

      I want to participate in the focus group but it doesn’t fit my schedule; what should I do?

      Please contact Tangible Development’s Project Coordinator, Luz Lynch, at luz@tangibledevelopment.com or 808-783-2105.

      Will Focus Groups be recorded?

      No, we use a scribe to take notes during the focus group so that the data can be anonymous from the beginning.

      Confidentiality

      How can I be sure that I will remain anonymous?

      Survey: Neither SGCSD nor Tangible Development keeps track of who has and has not taken  the survey, so rest assured that you will remain anonymous.

      Focus Groups: Tangible Development does not keep track of who has and has not participated in the focus group. As part of their policy, specific names and other identifying details are not documented in their notetaking. However, you will see the names and faces of other participants so you will not be anonymous to those in the session.

      Both: No SGCSD employee will receive or see the raw data collected by Tangible Development. We will receive a thematized report that leaves participants confidential and anonymous.

      Next Steps

      What happens next?

      The results of the assessment will inform next steps for SGCSD’s strategic diversity planning.

      Will the results be made available to the public?

      We are committed to communicating the findings with the community in a manner that is transparent and honest.

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      The Scotia-Glenville School District stands together with the 24 school districts that comprise the Capital Region BOCES area in our shared responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students, particularly those who have been historically marginalized. It is our commitment that the diverse experiences and perspectives of our students, families and staff will be recognized, reflected and embraced in our educational institutions.

      equity graphic
      Click to enlarge

      While our 24 school communities in the Capital Region each have a unique makeup, we all share one commonality: Our desire to provide an equitable educational experience that ensures opportunities and the necessary support for success for all students. It is our pledge to embrace the diverse experiences, values, beliefs, backgrounds and perspectives of our communities as we endeavor to prepare our students for the society they will encounter in life beyond our school systems.

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