Statement of Purpose and Belief: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
In March of 2021, Governor Murphy signed into law A-4454, which requires school districts to teach about diversity and ensure students have access to equitable and inclusive learning environments.
This law codifies many of the goals that have been a focus for SPF schools over the past several years. In an effort to meaningfully implement the requirements of the law and the goals of the SPF school district, a committee of teachers and administrators developed the belief statement below to guide our district’s work.
We believe that all students have a right to learn in equitable and inclusive classrooms that foster a sense of belonging.
Equitable and inclusive classrooms are places where each student’s identity is affirmed through the physical environment, interactions and relationships among students and teachers, the curriculum, resources and materials, and methods of instruction.
In equitable and inclusive classrooms, ample mirrors and windows are provided for all students so that they can learn about themselves and others, celebrate the ways that diversity contributes to our society, and forge connections based on the universal needs and desires of all human beings.
In creating and fostering equitable and inclusive classrooms, we recognize that social, cultural and historical factors influence the extent to which specific student identities have been made invisible, have been disparaged, or have been denied. As such, equity demands that a concerted effort must be made to incorporate explicit instruction on topics that recognize and affirm the identities and experiences of marginalized people.
As a result of learning in an equitable and inclusive environment, developing a sense of belonging and positive self-identity, and learning about how prejudice, discrimination and bias affect individuals and society, our students will work towards the following goals:
Identity: Each student will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities;
Diversity: Each student will express comfort and joy with human diversity; use accurate language in speaking of human differences, and form deep, caring human connections;
Justice: Each student will increasingly recognize unfairness, acquire language to describe unfairness, and gain understanding that unfairness hurts; and,
Action: Each student will demonstrate empowerment and the necessary skills to act with others, against prejudice and/or discrimination.