What is Equity?
In Washington Township Schools, we are committed to advancing equitable achievement where each student thrives in systems that support their needs. Equity work requires educators and leaders to critically examine conditions for learning and actively remove the barriers that prohibit success. We must aim for equitable outcomes for all students where learning measures and achievement are not predictable by race, class, language, gender, or other relevant social factors. Equitable environments also involve the creation of identity-affirming spaces where students can be their authentic selves. Therefore, we are intentionally helping students and staff embrace mirror work that reflects an ongoing process of monitoring biases and understanding areas for personal growth in efforts to build a community rooted in compassion for humanity.
Our efforts to engage all students in a culturally responsive and inclusive manner is at the forefront of our continued development as a learning organization. Our District Strategic Plan demonstrates our commitment for infusing equitable practices and anti-racism throughout our organization as evident by four priorities: equitable achievement, recruitment and retention of a high quality and diverse staff, partnerships, and fiscal responsibility.
District Equity Leadership Team (DELT)
Washington Township Schools created a District Equity Leadership Team that consists of educators with various roles. The primary objective of this team is to develop equity-focused leadership and support implementation of the District Strategic Plan as well as School Improvement Plans. The DELT acknowledges that oppressive structures within society and educational systems perpetuate inequitable outcomes. Therefore, we are proactively working to eliminate the barriers that contribute to district wide disparities. The District Equity Leadership Team is using an Inclusive Excellence model that derives from the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Therefore, each DELT member is committed to working on an area of focus (e.g., climate and culture, teaching and development, intercultural engagement, and curriculum) to advance our District Strategic Plan.
Meet the Director of Equity and Inclusion
Dr. Buchanan-Rivera serves as Washington Township’s first Director of Equity and Inclusion. This position is made possible from public support of the operating referendum as well as our Washington Township School Board. Dr. Buchanan-Rivera has experience as a classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal in a large urban school district. She has also served as Director of Curriculum and taught culturally responsive teaching as an adjunct professor at Butler University. Her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Master’s in Educational Administration are both from Butler University, and her Ph.D. is in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University, centering the design of inclusive environments. Dr. Buchanan-Rivera was awarded Butler University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2020 for her scholarship. She believes that all students deserve school environments where they can be their authentic selves.