WSESD Social Justice Committee Agenda and Minutes


Social Justice Committee

53 Green Street

Brattleboro, VT 05301


The Windham Southeast School District Social Justice Committee will meet remotely at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 28, 2020 via Zoom:

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Meeting ID: 815 0167 8506

Passcode: 4q17HF


I. CALL TO ORDER – 4:30 p.m. – Thomas Nolan

II. Approval of Minutes – September 3 and September 11, 2020

III. Discuss Progress on Training Options Reviewed to Date and How to Proceed

IV. Discuss Setting Aside Wednesday Afternoons for Teacher Collaboration

V. Continue to Discuss Strategies for a More Diverse Workforce



I. CALL TO ORDER – 4:30 p.m. – Present- David Schoales, Anne Beekman / Shaun Murphy,Thomas Nolan, Jaci Reynolds, Mikaela Simms, Mike Szostak, Dottie Morris.

II. Approval of Minutes – Aug 24, 2020 approved

III. Discuss Possible Implicit Bias Training Options

Committee clarified five anti-racist training provider options for board, staff, Equity Teacher-leaders. Important to have as clear a description of what we want from the training as possible. Commitment describes “anti-racist” and “social justice.” Thomas will send the Commitment document to all providers and ask for proposals for how they could help us achieve those goals.

IV. Review and Discuss CRG Proposals-

Clarified that DRG is the acronym for the organization Andy identified from Hartford. They will receive the Commitment” and request for feedback

V. Identify progress on identifying Diversity & Equity Teacher Leaders from each school, along with progress on creating “space and provide the resources necessary for teachers to do the internal work of becoming critically conscious, reflective anti-racist practitioners.” Thomas will follow-up with Mikaela re progress on preparing a presentation to the Board on the goals and work of the TL’s; and the extent of progress in each school building.

VI. Progress on Hiring

Since July Andy reported district has a full-time HR director. Diversity/Equity Committee members and staff who indicated an interest through the 1% Grants process will be contacted to work with HR director (Stacey Morriseau?) as a committee to identify sources and key contact people to help identify qualified people of color to apply for open positions. Established Job Fairs and personal-contact fairs/presentations to specific college placement and education departments promoted as necessary for success. Using our “Commitment” to distinguish ourselves can be a powerful asset. Stipends for moving will be a bargaining unit issue. Thomas will ask Andy to talk with the union to see how they would respond to incentives specifically to attract qualified BIPOC candidates. AFSC is also a resource to contact to help identify applicants.

VII. Name of our committee- is it confusing with the staff committee?

Proposed and agreed to change it to “WSESD Social Justice Committee.” Conversation developed about how to communicate between the various school, SD and SU groups working on diversity issues. An annual conference might help. Other structures that might help make the district attractive are infrastructure components like play-groups and parentsupport groups for families with children of color to meet together. Having an adult for every student (and staff) have a person they can go to- creating a “single garment” that includes all.

VIII. Possible Future Agenda items? -Follow up on Div/Eq presentation to Board –

Establishing hiring committee expectations to include students -Negotiate incentives to attract candidates of color -Follow-up on commitment to identify committee to work with HR Director -Schedule presentations from training providers. 


Social Justice Committee Sept 11, 2020

Convened at 4:31PM.

Members present- Thomas Nolan, David Schoales, Shaun Murphy, Jaci Reynolds, Anne Beekman.

Staff present- Andy Skarzynski, Mikaela Simms, Mike Szostak.

Guest presenter- Ariel Nelson.

Presentation by Ariel Nelson of proposal for providing anti-racist training- Ariel described her experience working to support marginalized learners, her strong background, and her knowledge of the district and Vermont.

Her proposal includes:

– Needs assessment- an anonymous survey to inform training design.

– Bias awareness activities- custom, organic, face-to-face and online; ongoing, designed to shift the culture of the district; create a system and continuity.

– Differentiation will be part of the practice- small group and individual activities; colleagues working with peers in order to create real learning; integrate with existing Teacher Leader system.

– Create a climate that acknowledges race and enables people to talk about it together honestly.

Meeting adjourned at 5:10

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