Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

DEIB 3-Year Plan

Westport Public Schools is embarking on a transformative journey to foster a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse educational environment where everyone belongs. Our officials have outlined a comprehensive three-year action plan aimed at addressing disparities within our district related to race, gender, sexual orientation, language, and religion.

Year One: Laying the Groundwork
The inaugural year focuses on foundational efforts, including the formation of three pivotal panels:
  1. Mission Statement Panel: Tasked with crafting a mission statement that encapsulates our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).
  2. Code of Conduct Panel: Dedicated to establishing a code of conduct centered on restorative practices, prioritizing conversation and understanding over traditional disciplinary measures.
  3. Career Skills Panel: Aimed at reviewing opportunities for students to develop career skills that promote an inclusive and equitable school community.
This year is about preparation, gaining essential knowledge, and setting actionable goals that pave the way for meaningful progress in the subsequent years.
Year Two: Data Collection and Program Access
The second year will see the district collecting behavioral data and scrutinizing access to extracurricular programs. This phase is crucial for identifying barriers to inclusivity and tailoring our approach to dismantle them, ensuring all students have equal opportunities to participate and excel.
Year Three: Expanding Access and Embracing Restorative Practices

Our focus in the final year will include:

  • Creating processes to widen access to academic programs and extracurricular activities, ensuring every student benefits from our rich educational offerings.
  • Implementing a comprehensive approach to student conduct, emphasizing restorative practices. This involves bringing together individuals involved in conflicts to discuss the impact of their actions, fostering empathy, understanding, and personal growth.

This action plan stems from extensive summer collaboration among teachers and school officials, who reviewed recommendations from a year-long equity study conducted by a prestigious university. The study, which included surveys and focus groups with students, educators, and parents, highlighted the importance of creating welcoming schools, discussing race-related issues openly, auditing programs to increase access, and developing a system to track discipline referrals more effectively.

The school board has given its full approval to this forward-thinking plan, signaling a firm commitment to transforming our district into a model of inclusivity and respect for all. As we move forward, we are guided by the principle that every student deserves a supportive environment where they can thrive, learn, and grow into socially responsible contributors to our global community.

Westport Public Schools welcomes students of any race, age, sex, body type, gender expression, gender identity, color, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, language, cultural background, sexual orientation, nationality/citizenship, religious or spiritual beliefs, and physical or intellectual abilities.