Office of Equity
Letter from Senior Director Shamar Edwards
The role of Senior Director of Equity and African-American, Black, and Multiethnic Achievement is newly formed, yet has been years in the making, I am excited to learn more about Alameda Unified and serve as a catalyst for change so that all of our students thrive in this school system. The changes will require an authentic examination of what is working and what is not. It will require the educators throughout the organization to go deeper in implementing quality instruction based on culturally responsive pedagogy. It will require a belief that all students can learn, while we cultivate a learning environment that is filled with rigor and support. In today's times there is no separation between academic and social-emotional wellbeing. Our schools must be physically, socially, and intellectually safe for the most optimal learning to occur.
As part of my roles and responsibilities I will work on:
- Family Engagement
- Oversight of the CCEIS Plan (reducing the over-identification of African-American students in Special Education)
- Pilot Scholar Programs at Bay Farm, Love, Otis, Paden and Ruby Bridges Elementary
As a Cabinet level member, I will also work to provide an equity lens to the Strategic Plan, Professional Development, Curriculum, Human Resources, Student Support Services and general decision-making. I will work cross-departmentally, which is both a challenge and opportunity to engage multiple staff. Thus far, I have heard the urgent need to address recruitment and retention of staff of color. I have heard the need to examine the Discipline Matrix, to diversify the curriculum taught in schools K-12 and finally I have heard the deep need for healing within the community of color in Alameda.
As time goes on, my office will work to sponsor Parent Engagement Workshops and Listening Sessions. My office is also in the beginning stages of piloting a mentoring program for African-American students at Wood Middle School with my colleague Shanti Croom. Together, we are also introducing the project Sojourn to the Past, an educational field trip to the South studying the Civil Rights Movement, for high school students. We are also planning events that we hope will bring the community together. So stay tuned for those exciting details!
Thank you to all those who have already welcomed me and have expressed their support. Feel free to reach out to me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCEIS/Significant Disproportionality Program