Central Rivers AEA Board approves agency equity initiative

During their regular board meeting on July 28, the Central Rivers AEA Board of Directors approved a contract with The Leadership Academy, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization, to perform an equity audit for the agency. 

The purpose of the audit is to gather broad input on the current state of equity within the agency, which will surface learning needs for our organization and engage leadership in collaborative action planning and shared development of metrics for tracking process. This will take place from September 2021 – February 2022 as part of Phase 1.

Once learning needs are identified, personnel from The Leadership Academy will help the agency develop an internal definition of equity and a multi-year professional learning plan, focusing on what learning will need to be offered over the next two to three years to help us build capacity to strengthen our support for diverse populations and improve culturally responsive practices. In addition, we will use our awareness and experience to provide future support for our district partners. This work is considered Phase 2.

The work of the audit, and subsequent steps, will be guided by the agency equity committee, which is made up of staff representing a variety of service areas.

It’s important to note that this initiative is not about prescribing a set of beliefs that staff must adhere to but rather collectively developing a definition and accompanying learning to further our goal of being a respectful and inclusive organization that values diversity. All aspects of the project fall under the scope of HF 802 and adhere to all components of the intent of the law. Please note that this has been a sensitive topic statewide and we take our responsibility to adhere to the law very seriously.

All staff should know and understand the language and intention of HF 802. These FAQs provided by School Administrators of Iowa (SAI) serve as a helpful resource that staff are asked to review.

For more information, contact Karl Kurt, Assistant Chief Administrator/Director of HR.

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