Earlier this year we shared some of the exciting and necessary work the school division is undertaking to ensure that our community fosters, cultivates, and preserves a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and access (DEIBA).
As we build a framework for strategic action around DEIBA initiatives, we are working closely with Dr. Valaida Wise, a prominent diversity educator, qualitative researcher, and consultant, and her firm to lead us through an equity audit as a key step toward our creation of a comprehensive action plan related to promoting inclusion and equity in Isle of Wight County Schools (IWCS).
Now, it’s time for us to hear from you.
The first step in this process – the information and perspective gathering step –will include focus groups, interviews, and a survey.
We are writing today to invite, and encourage, you to participate in this step. Dr. Wise will meet with as many faculty and staff, parents, students, alumni, and community members as possible. These conversations will inform Dr. Wise and her team's recommendations for attention and action around DEIBA issues in the coming years.
She and her colleagues will be holding 90-minute virtual focus group meetings from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., along with a limited number of in-person meetings, beginning Monday, October 4.
Our plan is to have approximately ten individuals per focus group. Please consider joining one or more of the focus groups, which you will find linked below. You can select whichever session best fits your affiliation with IWCS. For parents and guardians of current students, I hope that you will consider signing your student up for an appropriate session so that we can hear from those young people at the heart of our work. This is completely voluntary and student’s participation is at the parent’s discretion.
Ten participants for each group will be randomly selected by Dr. Wise’s organization. Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible. Dr. Wise and her team will follow up via email to share a Zoom link with you ahead of your scheduled focus group. If there is a need for special accommodations please feel free to email [email protected].
A community survey will come out during the latter part of the process for those who are unable to participate in one of the focus groups.
If you have any questions, please contact us at 757-357-4393. Thank you for your engagement in this crucial work.NOTE: Below is a list of the various focus groups along with dates and times. Additional information, including whether the group will meet in person or virtually, can be found on the registration site at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/iwcs. Remember, all participation is voluntary and anonymous.