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.
Equity Coordinator Matt Grimes
Contact Matt Grimes
(518) 377-4666, ext. 50741
Matthew Grimes was appointed as the district’s first equity coordinator in 2018. His primary role is to serve as a resource to students, families and faculty/staff. He is here to help understand concerns and work proactively within the school community to address issues of differences, diversity and bias. Mr. Grimes is focused on providing a safe space in which all students can share their experiences, ask questions, and explore issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Areas of focus for the Equity Coordinator:
- Build bridges across potential lines of difference as a liaison between students, families and the school
- Provide Staff training in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion
- Promote the use of culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies
- Assist in efforts to recruit a more diverse faculty and staff
Additional Information about Equity at Niskayuna
Environment and Culture Advisory Council
The Environment & Culture Advisory Committee (ECAC) was established by the Superintendent of Schools in the spring of 2016 to bring together a cross-section of the school community to examine, and ultimately develop an action plan to address, a variety of factors related to school culture and the well-being of students. Current areas of focus are: Diversity, Mental Health and Wellness, and Events. Learn more about the Environment and Culture Advisory Council
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
Generation Ready Equity Institute
District administrators and sixteen teachers – two from each school – are participating in Generation Ready’s Equity Institute over the course of the 2018-19 school year. This is eight full days of training designed to facilitate professional learning g around developing culturally proficient instructional practices and policies and creating a school and community system that advocates for equity for all.
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.