The district's working definition of equity, proposed by our Superintendent as a starting point for our work, is the basis for the development of curriculum and assessments, the design of learning activities, the purchase of books and materials, hiring staff, the facilitation of meetings, and just generally going about the business of school. Equity is in the forefront, and staff take action based on its intent and meaning as we continue to make progress toward this district priority.

  Equity Poster

Equity:  Fair and just access, inclusion, and participation; the practice of nurturing a learning environment in which all children are empowered to grow, create, and achieve; freedom from bias and discrimination; an understanding that each child possesses personal gifts and attributes and brings these to the classroom which strengthen learning for all; a process by which we promote justice, engender respect, and inspire hope.

There is no place for bigotry, racism, homophobia, or hate in the classrooms of the Needham Public Schools. All students and staff, regardless of race, color, sex, homeless status, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, or immigration status, have dignity and are valued and contributing members of our learning community.

It's time we make a coordinated and thoughtful plan to address equity in the Needham Public Schools. It's time we move the needle on performance for those students who have historically not achieved at levels commensurate with many of their peers. It's time to ensure our instruction is engaging and our schools safe for each child and free of bias, bullying, and hurtful acts that demean and diminish. With energy, hope, and a deep belief in the promise and possibility of each one of our young people, the district administrators are committed to working with the School Committee, staff, parents, community members, and especially students, to build on our assets and tackle the challenges of ensuring equity for all.

Our work is led by the REAL Coalition (Race, Equity, Access, Leadership) whose Steering Committee members are shown on the right-hand column of this page, and more details on the REAL Coalition can be found on the accompanying webpage.

REAL COALITION Steering Committee:

Daniel E. Gutekanst
Superintendent of Schools

Mary Lammi
Assistant Superintendent for
   Student Support Services
781-455-0400 x11213
[email protected]

Alex McNeil
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Carmen Williams
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction & Innovation

Joanne Allen-Willoughby
METCO Director & Committee Chair

Karen Bourn
Eliot Principal

Alison Coubrough-Argentieri
NHS Assistant Principal

Steve Plasko
High School History & Social
   Sciences Department Chair

Jamie Singelais
Director, ELL

James Ash
NHS Guidance Director

Brooke Kessel
K to 8 Director, Social Studies Department

Diane Simmons
Director, Strategic Planning

See representative Students, Educators, 
Parents / Community members
who participate with the REAL Steering
Committee in this important work.
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