REAL Coalition

REAL COALITION (RACE, EQUITY, ACCESS, LEADERSHIP)

The REAL Coalition provides leadership and guidance on eliminating barriers to racial equity and supporting the advancement of all learners in the Needham Public Schools. The REAL Coalition is committed to engaging the staff, students, families, and community members in conversations and actions that promote equitable practices for all in our community.

The members of the REAL Coalition have a sense of urgency to address issues raised in the District's 2018 Equity Audit Report and to answer these essential questions:
-How do we engage and educate the community, staff, students and parents on the importance of developing and supporting educational practices that provide equity and excellence for all students?
-What do we need to do in order to have an interdisciplinary approach to race and equity that becomes part of the fabric of who we are as a school system?
-How do we create a safe environment for having difficult conversations?

Below is an accounting of the timeframe and key steps taken by the REAL Coalition in response to the Equity Audit findings and in support of all learners.

December 2017-January 2018:
REAL Coalition convenes to gain understanding of Equity Audit initial findings from consultant's presentation to School Committee, and Coalition establishes next steps.

February 2018:
REAL Coalition coordinates professional development for district to increase awareness and prepare staff to respond to findings of the audit.

March 2018:
Superintendent and REAL Coalition members hold meetings for district staff to react to March 2018 publication of full Equity Audit Report.

March-May 2018:
REAL Coalition sub-committees formed to develop goals across 6 areas identified in the Equity Audit Report. (See links on left to areas being worked on "In Support of Equity")

June 2018:
REAL Coalition expands to include representatives of the student body, teachers, parents, and School Committee; finalizes goals and establishes next steps with this expanded group. (See REAL Coalition members listed on right-hand side of page.)

September 2018-June 2019 and beyond:
REAL Coalition meets quarterly to address challenges, check in on district progress toward prioritized goals, and deepen members' understanding  of issues related to race, equity, and access as a leadership group. We hold ourselves accountable through district and school improvement plans and we continue to report to the School Committee and the community on progress.


REAL Coalition Members:

Mary Lammi
Assistant Superintendent for
   Student Support Services
781-455-0400 x11213
mary_lammi@needham.k12.ma.us

Alex McNeil
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Keith Ford
High School Assistant Principal

Tamatha Bibbo
Pollard Principal

Greg Bayse
Mitchell Principal

Steve Plasko
High School History & Social
   Sciences Department Chair

Andrea Vargas
Newman Assistant Principal

Jamie Singelais
ELL Coordinator

George Goneconto
Hillside Teacher

Joanne Allen-Willoughby
METCO Director

Leslie Smart
Middle School METCO Coordinator

Tom Denton
Guidance Director

Diane Simmons
Director, Planning, Communications
   and Community Education

Jen Shroeder
Parent/Human Rights Committee

Maria Gapotchenko
Parent

Valine Valbrun-Paul
Parent

Susan Neckes
School Committee Member

Lia Santiago
Middle School Student

Sebastian Davis
High School Student
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