The Milton Public Schools aims to be an EQUITABLE school district. 

Working relentlessly to provide ALL  learners access and opportunity to reach their full potential, feel safe, is welcomed, and can thrive in ALL spaces.

The Milton School Committee and Superintendent James Jette are committed to lead the Milton Public Schools – in partnership with families, staff, and the community – in becoming an anti-racism school district.

 

This section highlights earlier, ongoing, and upcoming work in:

Anti-Racism Resolution

Cultural Competency

Prevention of harassment, bullying, and discrimination

Related issues about positive school culture and climate

 

On July 8, 2020, the Milton School Committee unanimously passed a resolution affirming its commitment to anti-racism, in solidarity with school districts across the Commonwealth.  The resolution was revised to be more inclusive.  The new resolution affirming its commitment to anti-racism was presented at the October 6th, 2021 School Committee.  

 


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Non-Discrimination: Statement and Reporting Procedures

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, pregnancy/parenting status, marital status, sexual orientation, homelessness, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, hiring and firing of staff, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.

We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.

If you have a question or concern related to MPS non-discrimination policies, please contact the principal of your student’s school or:

Dr. Janet Sheenan

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources

jsheenan@miltonps.org

617-696-4812


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School Committee Policies

Visit the Milton School Committee Policies page, which includes numerous policies pertaining to preventing, reporting, investigating, and addressing incidents and allegations of discrimination, bullying, harassment, and related issues.

 

Section A: Foundations and Basic Commitments includes the following relevant policies:

  • Policy AC: Non-discrimination
  • Policy ACA: Non-discrimination on the Basis of Gender
  • Policy ACAA: Sexual Harassment
  • Policy ACE: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Identity
  • Policy ACG: Complaint Procedure, Resolution of Discrimination Complaints
  • Policy ACH: Bullying Prevention

The Policy Subcommittee of the School Committee is also in the process of drafting a new Anti-Racism Policy for the district.


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District Strategic Plan: Equity & Cultural Competency

The MPS Equity work will be incorporated into the District's Strategic Plan. 

In previous efforts the Anti-Racism work aligned with one of the six central goals of the District Strategic Plan. Goal 4 focuses on Equity and Cultural Competency. For this goal, the Strategic Plan outlines four key objectives and a series of activities under each objective designed to advance the goal. For additional details, see “Goal 4: Cultural Competency” beginning on page 36 of the Strategic Plan.MPS District Strategic Plan - Goal 4.png

The District Strategic Plan addresses issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in the objectives for other goals as well – particularly Goal 1: Curriculum & Instruction and Goal 5: Social Emotional Learning.

To ensure that the expanded anti-racism work is fully aligned with and part of the District Strategic Plan, the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee is in the process of reviewing and updating Goal 4, and potentially other sections of the plan. Any proposed changes will be presented to the School Committee and the community for final review and approval.


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Senior Leadership Position: Director of Educational Equity

Please see the job description and application information for the Senior Director for Educational Equity Milton Public Schools at this link. 

 

Superintendent Gormley has recommended to the Milton School Committee the creation of a new senior leadership position, Director of Educational Equity, to help advance the district’s anti-racism work. Read the July 28, 2020 press release here.

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Equitable Curriculum

MPS has committed to reviewing and updating the district curriculum, from pre-kindergarten through high school, to ensure that teachers and students are engaged with age-appropriate content about identity (race, gender, culture, etc...), in both an historical and present-day context. The district is working on  constructing a centralized process to identify relevant instructional resources and provide teachers with professional development in teaching and implementation about these topics, in order to strengthen students’ knowledge, identity efficacy, and critical thinking skills. 


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Diverse Staff: Professional Development and Retention

The school district engages teachers, administrators, and other staff at all levels in professional development about cultural competency, diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and related issues, and will deepen and expand these training and discussion opportunities in the 2020-21 school year. 

Here are a few recent and upcoming examples:

 

  • During the 2019-20 school year, the entire MPS leadership team (Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and all principals, assistant principals, curriculum coordinators, and directors) participated in ongoing professional development facilitated by cultural diversity coach Dr. Kalise Wornum. Dr. Wornum helps “make authentic connections by exploring race and culture, helping organizations become culturally proficient.” Using a case study approach, the team examined the definition of cultural proficiency, hidden biases, and the barriers to doing this important work. Leaders deepened their knowledge and skills in identifying and responding to biases and racial injustice, engaged in difficult conversations about race, and discussed ways in which they can eradicate racism. 

 

  • The first group of 50 Milton Public Schools teachers participated in a similar workshop series with Dr. Wornum at the end of the 2019-20 school year. The teachers reported that Dr. Wornum created a safe space in which they could gain the language and tools needed to continue the work as an anti-racist educator. The next group of 50 MPS educators will take the course in August 2020. By late winter, every MPS educator will have participated in this mandatory professional development experience. Equipped with shared language and knowledge, the district will shift into the next phase of this important anti-racism work.

 

  • Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite, cultural and clinical consultant, is partnering with the Milton Public Schools to facilitate ongoing, mandatory professional development for all staff. Dr. Christian-Brathwaite led a session for MPS in June 2020 that examined trauma and its impact on the developing brain and introduced the concept of racism as an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). In August and September 2020, all staff will participate in two additional sessions, one by level and one as a full staff. These sessions will dig more deeply into the intersection of racism and trauma. Dr. Christian-Brathwaite will present the history of racism and the psychological toll it takes on children, as well as the impact of racism in education. Future sessions will bridge our work with Dr. Wornum and Dr. Christian-Brathwaite by focusing on institutional and individual bias, discussions about implicit and explicit bias, and a deep dive into our district’s discipline data and possible root causes of disproportionality. Ultimately, educators will be empowered to create safe spaces for students by incorporating trauma-informed practices into their work.

 

  • In August 2020, MPS central office leaders, principals, and assistant principals will participate in a virtual workshop hosted by the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC). The session will focus on family and community engagement in the context of Covid-19, led by Dr. Karen Mapp, Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Faculty Director of the Education Policy and Management Master's Program.

 

  • For more than 20 years, MPS has partnered with Primary Source to advance global and cultural learning in our schools. Primary Source works with MPS teachers to foster students’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions for thoughtful and engaged citizenship. The program helps teachers cultivate students’ civic-mindedness, cultural awareness, and global competence, preparing them for an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

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Data and Evidence: Access and Achievement Gaps

As part of its our ongoing review of assessment results, other student achievement outcomes, and other indicators of student success from pre-school through high school, MPS examines some data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and other student subgroups. However, it is clear that the district must be more intentional and comprehensive in monitoring, reporting, and addressing persistent access and achievement gaps across a broad range of indicators.

In particular, the district will be more systematic in devising strategies to measure and rectify disparities by race, ethnicity, gender, language, income, and other factors in student performance, disciplinary actions, special education placements, an inequitable access to opportunities and distribution of resources.

The district's Data Team is working in partnership with the Equity Department to create and adopt a centralized data cycle for the district.  

When enagaged in this work, the district asks all participants to:

We begin with a set of guiding principles that we ask each team to adhere to:

  • MPS has a commitment to narrow identity disparities in society, and advance social justice,
  • At MPS, equity is given the same emphasis as other district priorities,
  • MPS is committed to ensuring that its Strategic Plan reflects the interests of those most affected by our decisions: our students, their families/support systems, staff, communities we serve,
  • MPS is cautious of making decisions on behalf of marginalized communities and aims to directly include these communities and their advocates wherever practical. Decisions to not include these stakeholders need to be justified,
  • MPS aims to create a strategic plan, and the processes that lead up to it, that provides fair and equitable consideration of our marginalized communities

After some collaborative work the team developed a vison for data usage in the district


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Diverse Staff: Recruitment and Hiring

Milton Public Schools has prioritized the recruitment and hiring of more educators of color. While students of color represent about 30 percent of the district’s enrollment, and three of the six school leaders are educators of color, the overall percentage of educators of color has remained around 9 percent for the past three years.

Therefore, the district has launched a concerted effort to attract more educators of color to teach in the Milton Public Schools, and that objective is included in the District Strategic Plan (Objective 4.1).

In recent years, the district has consistently increased the percentage of new teacher hires who are people of color, from 16% in the 2016-2017 school year to 23% in 2019-2020. See an excerpt from the 2018-19 Strategic Data Dashboard presentation to the School Committee (December 2019) for additional details.

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MPS Anti-Racism Action Team and Action Plan - 8/20/20 See Application Within

The Milton Public Schools invites parents, guardians and staff  to apply for positions on the new Anti-Racism Action Team. This group will be charged with drafting an Anti-Racism Action Plan to guide the district’s work moving forward in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, with a particular focus on anti-racism. After the Action Plan is reviewed by our staff and community, the Action Team will present to the School Committee. The Action Team will continue to play an important role in supporting implementation, as well as monitoring and reporting quarterly to the School Committee.

The staff application for the Action Team can be found here and the parent/guardian application is found here.

 

The Action Team’s initial work will be guided by the MPS Reform Platform that the Milton Anti-Racist Coalition (MARC) submitted to the School Committee and Superintendent. The platform proposes a variety of measures to promote an anti-racism school district in policy, practice, pedagogy, programs, curriculum, resources, and more. In her statement announcing the Action Team and Action Plan, Superintendent Gormley said:

 

“I am deeply grateful to MARC and Citizens for a Diverse Milton, both consisting of parents and community members who have come forward not only to highlight what is broken, but also to offer constructive ideas for reform. MARC has challenged us – all of us – to proceed with a greater sense of urgency, determination, and accountability in becoming an ‘excellence-with-equity, anti-racist educational system … one that ‘raises the bar and closes gaps.’


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Equity Audit

 

In September 2020, MPS posted a Request for Proposol (RFP) to conduct an Equity Review on the district.  Cambridge Education responded to the RFP and conducted the Quality Review through an Equity Lens in Janurary 2021 - May 2021.

The result of the report can be found here.



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Related Initiatives

Coming soon…. Information about additional programs and activities in the Milton Public Schools that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism…