The Equity Team is a product of a district-wide plan to increase middle school diversity and create more inclusive and equitable middle schools in the district.
District 15 schools, including M.S. 88, are among the most socio-economically and racially segregated schools in New York City, and the schools that are more diverse struggle with fostering an inclusive school and classroom culture and curricula.
The purpose of M.S. 88’s Equity Team is to better serve and meet the needs of its diverse student population and to actively address systems of oppression to create a more equitable and inclusive school community.
The intended outcomes and benefits of M.S. 88’s Equity Team include: staff and students’ personal growth; a diverse and supportive community to advocate for equitable practices and systems within the school; anti-racism work (i.e, participation in anti-racism training, reading, and discussion to inform curriculum, pedagogy, and disciplinary practices) and understanding among students and staff; inclusive classrooms with culturally-responsive curriculum, pedagogy, and restorative practices; and school staff and student identity-based clubs.
Below are a list of the Equity Team’s long-term objectives, aligned with the objectives of the District 15 Diversity Plan:
- Expand and incentivize opportunities for anti-racist, anti-bias, cultural sensitivity and disability bias trainings for administrators, teachers, parents and students.
- Advocate for equitable hiring practices to create a staff that more closely reflects its diverse student population.
- Address the racial disparities in student discipline by investing, supporting, and
incentivizing restorative justice circles and best practices to support student-centered, healing and restorative approaches to discipline, conflict, and community-building.
- Strengthen community engagement and invest in parent networks in historically marginalized communities and communities of color in collaboration with local community based organizations and partners.
- Develop a plan on how to incorporate a cultural and ethnic studies curriculum through existing classes and advisory programs.
- Provide opportunities for students to learn about different social and cultural topics relevant to NYC students for our diverse student population, including African, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern and Native heritage people in NYC schools. Incorporate and highlight the vast historical contributions of non-white groups and seek to dispel the non-truths/lies related to American and World History.
- Create spaces and opportunities that allow multilingual students to express themselves in languages other than English outside of dual language programs.