Equity Task Force

During the June 2, 2020, Board meeting, Dr. McLaughlin, Superintendent, CVUSD, announced the need for our district to launch an Equity Task Force. Dr. McLaughlin’s recommendation came on the heels of the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd, national and local protests regarding discrimination and racism and ultimately a reflection that as the leader of a comprehensive public school district there is a moral imperative to be transparent in our responsibility and obligation to create an inclusive and safe learning environment for all students - and in particular for our students, families and staff that are persons of color.

Building the Task Force

The formation of the inaugural 15 member Equity Task Force was a thoughtful process that took place across approximately two months. An initial message was shared with our community inviting interested individuals (staff, parents, students, other family members and community members) to submit an interest form. Over 200 individuals responded. A subsequent interest form was requested for the original interested individuals to complete, this time with specific questions about the individuals race, ethnicity, primary language, role and an open ended question about any other indicator that would inform CVUSD about background and/or experiences with equity. Approximately 130 individuals responded.

In an effort to create a non-biased process for member selection, four educational leaders outside of CVUSD, who also represent racial, ethnic and primary language diversity, were invited to volunteer their time in the selection process. The four individuals who made up the Equity Task Force Forming Committee are:

  • Mr. Daryton Ramsey, Director of Accountability and Continuous Improvement, Ventura County Office of Education
  • Dr. Zenda Mitchell-Abbott, Consultant (Previously Director of CTE Outreach and Support, Ventura County Office of Education)
  • Ms. Elena Jaloma, Director of Student Support Services, California Lutheran University
  • Ms. Diana Herndandez, Admissions Counselor, California Lutheran University

The Equity Task Force Forming Committee

The Equity Task Force Forming Committee reviewed all 130 responses and individually made a recommendation of individuals to consider for a small group informal interview. The Forming Committee was informed about the overall purpose of the CVUSD Equity Task Force (work towards creating an equitable and just learning environment for all) and the need to create a space for people of color and others who have first hand experiences with equity-based issues and/or discrimination. From the 130 responses, 40 individuals were invited to participate in a small group informal interview.

Eight groups, made up of approximately five individuals, participated in a 45 minute small group informal interview. The purpose of having a small group was to create the opportunity for the Forming Committee to observe how individuals engage with others, build off other’s input, ask questions and ultimately collaborate with one another. At the end of all the small group informal interviews, 15 individuals were recommended to be invited to make up the first CVUSD Equity Task Force. All 15 accepted the invite. All other interested individuals did receive an email letting them know that at this time, although they are not invited to represent the Equity Task Force, there will be future opportunities and we hope to build a larger community dedicated to creating a more equitable and just school district.

Equity Task Force Members

For more information about the inaugural Equity Task Force members, please see the individual information below:

Ana Alvarez
Alysia Flamer
Azaybath Gonzales
Mia Greenidge
Isaac Huang
Manas Khatore
Nadia Lucero
Sandra Martinez-Galvan
Jacques McClendon
Roshnee Moorthy
José Pino
Deja Townsend
Catherine Xu
Ava Zasloff

Areas of Focus for the Equity Task Force

Given the vastness of the important work to be done with CVUSD on equity, the formation of subcommittees will allow us to address multiple areas simultaneously and eventually create opportunity for other community members to be involved. Following is a list of the anticipated subcommittees:

  1. Student Success: this subcommittee will focus on analyzing current student data (e.g. A-G course access, AP course access, graduation rates, discipline, college entrance, etc.) and make recommendations to CVUSD on how to improve student success for our students of color.
  2. Professional Development & Training: this subcommittee will review what training has been provided to CVUSD staff regarding anti-discrimination, anti-racism and equity and make proposals for future training topics and potentially participate in the training for CVUSD staff.
  3. Curriculum Subcommittee: this subcommittee will review the existing curriculum (both required and supplemental), and make recommendations to CVUSD on how to increase diversity in authors and content made available to our students.
  4. Parent and Student Advisory Committee(s): this subcommittee would evaluate the need for and potentially lead the work towards the development of an Equity Focused Advisory Committee, potentially two: one for parents and one for students.
  5. Hiring and Onboarding of Staff: this subcommittee would collaborate with Human Resources on existing hiring and recruitment practices and make recommendations on how to increase diversity and the onboarding process to be more inclusive of anti-discrimination and anti-racism training.