Equity at Niskayuna

What is equity?

Equity is our commitment to ensuring that all students are able to fully access educational experiences and services in our schools – and eliminating necessary barriers to achieving this. Equity is doing everything it takes to ensure that all students feel valued, safe, and welcome. Equity is about building authentic relationships with students and families and embracing the unique perspectives and contributions of all in our community.

Headshot of Latisha BarnettLatisha J. Barnett, Chief Equity Officer

Phone:  (518) 377-4666, ext. 50741
Email: lbarnett@niskyschools.org

Latisha J. Barnett became the district’s Chief Equity Officer in July 2019. She came to the district from Skidmore College, where she has served as the director of student diversity programs since 2016. She also worked as the director of student life and the assistant director of multicultural affairs at The College of Saint Rose. The chief equity officer role involves working collaboratively with stakeholders to implement best practices related to diversity, equity and inclusion, including in the areas of professional development and staff recruitment and retention. Latisha will be a valuable resource for students, families and staff in this area that is an important part of our strategic plan.

Strategic Plan for Equity

In the spring of 2021, a Strategic Plan for Equity Team involving stakeholders from across the school community outlined a plan that has four major areas of focus: Bias Response & an Inclusive & Welcoming School Climate; Professional Learning; Inclusive & Anti-Racist Curriculum and Instruction; and Anti-Bias Recruitment, Hiring & Retention Practices. Learn more

Equity Statement of Commitment – #24United

The Niskayuna Central School District stands together with the 24 school districts that comprise the Capital Region BOCES region in our shared responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students, particularly those who have been historically marginalized. It is our commitment that the diverse experiences and perspectives of our students, families and staff will be recognized, reflected and embraced in our educational institutions.

While our 24 school communities in the Capital Region each have a unique makeup, we all share one commonality: Our desire to provide an equitable educational experience that ensures opportunities and the necessary support for success for all students. It is our pledge to embrace the diverse experiences, values, beliefs, backgrounds and perspectives of our communities as we endeavor to prepare our students for the society they will encounter in life beyond our school systems.

Niskayuna Diversity Goals

The Environment and Culture Advisory Council developed District Diversity Goals in the Fall of 2016 that were adopted by the Board of Education. They state, “The Niskayuna Central School District is committed to promoting the principles of inclusion and diversity as integral to the education of all students. In keeping with our district’s mission statement, our community believes in empowering each and every individual through education to better embrace socioeconomic, cultural, racial, gender, ability, ethnic, sexual and religious diversity. We are committed to developing a safe and healthy environment where each student’s self-esteem is nurtured to achieve responsible and compassionate citizenship.” View the full District Diversity Goals

No Place for Hate

Since 2016-17, Niskayuna Schools have received the No Place for Hate designation through the Anti-Defamation League. This program recognizes schools that have implemented a broad-based approach to combating bias and bullying and promoting a culture of respect.