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.

Our Equity Team – Athena Fliakos and Christina Roberts

Athena Fliakos and Christina Roberts pictured in a school hallway
Athena Fliakos (left) and Christina Roberts (right) are joining the district to help further work in the areas of equity and diversity.

Consultants Athena Fliakos of The Good Brain Project and Christina Roberts of Head Heart Hands Consultant LLC joined the district in March 2019.

Christina and Athena will serve as a resource on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and will focus on building bridges between faculty and staff, students and families in these areas.

They will be in the district on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will maintain office hours at the high school and spend time in all schools. They are here to help at all levels, and can be reached at afliakos@niskyschools.org and cfarinacci-roberts@niskyschools.org.

More about Athena Fliakos and Christina Roberts

Athena Fliakos and Christina Roberts are partnering with Niskayuna Central School District to strengthen instructional approaches and build overall district capacity to make stronger connections with students and families. As a team, they have more than 40 years of combined experience in a variety of settings, including urban, suburban and rural; domestic and international; elementary, middle and high school; public district, public charter and independent schools.

Christina and Athena are eager to provide support in the following areas: improving district culture and school learning environments, increasing community engagement and partnerships, integrating culturally responsive/trauma-informed pedagogy and implementing student-driven initiatives.

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

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

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.