History of Diversity & Inclusion in SDHT
The School District of Haverford Township has engaged in training and the development of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging goals since 2016. The work originated under the title of BASIS. BASIS stands for Belonging and Sociocultural Identity in Schools. In order to examine the work through a research based lens the Office of Learning and Assessment partnered with Dr. Jeanne Stanley, from Watershed Consulting, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. While this was the genesis of the formation of BASIS, the goal was to ensure the same kinds of support and inclusivity for all of our students, to ensure they experience a sense of belonging.
Through the inception of the work continuing into 2022, staff have received training around areas of race, gender, and identity through workshops with various consultants, universities, and organizations. During this time, the district also engaged in the development of Strategic Goals that align with the District’s Comprehensive Plan. During this planning process, committee members identified the area of Diversity and Inclusion as a need, leading to the development of Goal 3: Diversity and Inclusion. The subcommittee identified areas of goal 3 for prioritization. These areas included: decrease disproportionality of non-white students in higher level courses and gifted, hiring and retention of diverse educational staff, and professional development of staff in culturally relevant instructional practices. After the initial three areas of focus were identified, an additional area emerged through the work with administrators and various stakeholders.This area was to increase student voice and engage diverse members of the school district community. These areas of focus helped to develop the priorities of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.
As we continue to evolve and grow the BASIS focus to be more expansive, the need to include the work in a measurable way as part of the Strategic Goal became prevalent. Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, the Director of Learning and Assessment will work with the previous members of the Goal 3 subcommittee to identify and solidify priority areas, with specific goals outlined by action steps over an identified time frame. Moving forward the timeline of the plan will align with the Comprehensive and Strategic Plan.