WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - Coronavirus measures might not be the only changes coming to Waterloo schools next year.
The Waterloo School District has announced changes that will be made to address inequality and racial issues within their school system.
A statement from the District said that they have taken time to listen to concerns as they stand in support of Black lives but know that there is a lot for them to do to eradicate inequalities.
"We know our black and brown students struggle in our system. We know this is unacceptable," the District says. "We must do better, and we will do better."
Here are some of the initial efforts the District will be implementing:
- All principals, assistant principals, lead teachers and instructional coaches participate in monthly professional learning around diversity and equity.
- Superintendent Jane Lindaman facilitates an Aspiring Leadership Program with 70% teachers of color.
- Dual Language Immersion Programs are offered in two of our elementary schools: Spanish at Highland (K,1,2) & French at Lou Henry (K,1,2).
- Barriers removed for 8th grade students to enroll in at least one high school course, intentionally recruiting our black and brown students.
- African-American History classes offered both at East and West this fall.
- Specific assessment-driven focus on African-American student achievement and decreasing the achievement gap while accelerating learning for all students.
- Increasing the administrators of color throughout the District (currently 33%).
- Growing staff diversity (currently 1 in 5 Waterloo staff members is a person of color).
- Targeted implicit bias professional development with teachers/staff, with additional, specialized training for new teachers.
- Talent Acquisition and Outreach Specialist hired to specifically recruit candidates of color to mid and upper-level positions.
- Partner with UNI to encourage support staff of color to obtain their teaching license, with recent success in removing particular barriers to program admittance
- Engaging district leadership in community outreach and events, like NAACP meetings.