Presidential Taskforce to Advance Racial Equity

Climate & Culture Subcommittee

GOALS & OBJECTIVES
In accordance with our mission statement, Hunter College Campus Schools strive to reflect the city they serve by admitting and educating a population of students who are culturally, socio-economically, and ethnically diverse.  HCCS leadership is committed to articulating and promoting the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Leadership needs to foster a community in which we all hold ourselves accountable for aligning our practices with our values.  We seek to serve as a model for combining excellence and equity, serving as a catalyst for change in New York City and the nation.

We serve students who demonstrate advanced cognitive ability, and we assist in the development of creative, intellectually curious, and original thinkers who are passionate about learning. We prepare our students to be life-long learners and leaders. Our schools use the principles of gifted education, including depth, complexity, challenge, enrichment, and acceleration of the curriculum, to meet the needs of intellectually advanced students. Our schools support an experienced faculty who aim to stay current in their fields and who employ developmentally appropriate pedagogy with their students.

The HCCS student body is gifted and talented and by definition consists of a large array of learners with various backgrounds, abilities and experiences. HCCS is committed to the goal of increasing the number of socioeconomically and/or ethnically/racially underrepresented students admitted and enrolled to Hunter College Campus Schools. With a more diverse population coming from a larger array of academic, social, and cultural environments, HCCS and in particular The High School must meet the needs of this new and increasingly diverse student body. Students must feel welcomed, supported and ultimately thrive academically as well as socially and emotionally. We believe that the faculty plays a key role in accomplishing this. Therefore, we endorse the idea that a more diverse faculty AND student body, with respect to lived experiences, as well as academic experiences and pedagogical approaches, will benefit the community at large. A diverse faculty is critical to achieving our climate and culture goals.

The HCCS leadership, in partnership with the HCCS community, is committed to the social and emotional well-being of all students. We seek to develop the individual potential of each student in a collaborative atmosphere that values intellectual freedom and inspiration. We value families as partners in this work, and as partners in creating the schools’ unique environment. As a community we foster respect for and appreciation of individual and cultural differences; emphasize social responsibility and leadership, community service and good citizenship; and value civility and ethical behavior. 

I. CLIMATE AND CULTURE: The goal of our subcommittee is to help ensure our community will emphasize the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of school life, for all stakeholders (students, faculty, parents, and staff included). Hunter will work to create a welcoming, warm, supportive community in which all people feel affirmed, respected and valued. We will all strive to hold ourselves accountable for aligning Hunter’s climate and culture with the overall mission and vision of the school.

Our goal is to develop and recommend strategies to achieve the following four outcomes:

  1. More robust communication methods to articulate expectations.

  2. Improved methods to keep members of the community accountable to meet expectations

  3. Maintenance of consistent protocol and procedures. 
     
  4. Increased levels consistent professional development opportunities which emphasizes the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of school life, for all stakeholders (students, faculty, parents, and staff included).

II. SUPPORT AND RETENTION OF STUDENTS: Our subcommittee recommends Hunter College Campus Schools improve and expand support for the social, emotional and academic well-being of all K-12 students through the lens of equity and inclusivity. Student supports and interventions must elevate all students as well as affirm their identities and lived experiences. We have a responsibility to improve retention, particularly in grades 6-9 and among students with varying learning styles, from lower SES backgrounds and/or ethnically/racially underrepresented students. (Throughout the goals below Support refers to both specific interventions as well as programming and efforts which create a more welcoming and supportive environment.)

Our goal is to design and recommend strategies to achieve the following six outcomes:

  1. A school-wide review and evaluation of all current academic support, social and emotional education, and student support services and interventions for efficacy. Measure effectiveness of new student support systems as it relates to retention—expand on what works, adjust what needs improving and eliminate what is not working.

  2. Implementation of professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to further support diverse learners and a diverse student body. 

  3. Implementation of systems of support specifically designed to support socioeconomically disadvantaged students. 

  4. Implementation of systems of support specifically designed to support ethnically/racially underrepresented
    students.
     
  5. Creation of academic and social-emotional support programs that specifically address the transition into 7th grade. 

  6. Formalization and standardization of a process utilizing data on retention rates and exit interviews for departing families. The school must create a process for that information to be reviewed and utilized for planning and designing support systems.

III. HIRING AND RETENTION OF FACULTY: The Culture & Climate Committee believes there is a direct connection between the inclusive and supportive nature of the school community and the diversity of faculty. Research has proven over and over again that students from ethnically/racially underrepresented groups benefit from having teachers who belong to those groups. Furthermore, we endorse the Curriculum Committee’s reasoning that all students benefit from a more diverse faculty with diverse lived experiences, pedagogical approaches and academic expertise. 

Our goal is to design and recommend strategies to achieve the following six outcomes:

  1. The recruitment of and increase in faculty applicants from ethnically/racially underrepresented groups. 

  2. The increased retention of ethnically/racially underrepresented faculty.  

  3. The implementation of a process to collect, process and utilize data on faculty retention. 

  4. The institution of a more standard and robust school-wide approach to mentoring (can be department-specific, school-wide, cohort-specific, etc.).

  5. The development and implementation of a system specifically designed to support and retain faculty from underrepresented groups.

  6. The creation of a stronger sense of community and solidarity among the faculty and staff populations at Hunter College Campus Schools.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

David Joffe, Co-chair (HS Faculty, Social Studies)
Sabra S. Pacheco, Co-chair (Director, Admissions)
Eric Adisa (ES Asst. Principal)
Roseanne Almanzar (ES Parent)
Amelia Betancourt (HS Faculty, Languages)
Julian Bryce (Staff, IT)
Mia M. (HS Student)
Maysa Perez Antonio (HS Asst. Principal)
Lynda Rovine (HS Faculty, Learning Specialist)
Sunny Park Suh (HS Counselor)
Mahalia Watson (HS Parent)