BENNINGTON — The Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union is looking to hire an equity coordinator for the district, a new position that will aim to further the conversation about equality in the SVSU districts.
At Tuesday night’s Southwest Vermont Union Elementary School District meeting, the board reviewed the district’s anti-racism statement that was put out in June.
Asked by board member Jeff Leake if the school was looking at the curriculum in regards to updates or changes, chairman Chris Murphy said that signing and adopting the anti-racism statement was the first formal step in talking about those items.
SVSU superintendent James Culkeen said that to that end, the district has been pushing for an equity coordinator position.
“We got into a grant for it, and we had it advertised but we couldn’t come to an agreement on the pool of candidates,” Culkeen told the board. “So now it’s being re-advertised and the deadline for applications is at the end of the month.”
It was unclear what the salary for the position would be, but it is a year-round position.
A top candidate would have experience as a teacher, social worker, advocate, or leader in a socio-economically diverse, multicultural, multi-ethnic school or community environment.
According to the job position posted on the SVSU website, the equity coordinator “provides communication, guidance and support to all students, staff, community members, board members, families and administrators of the [SVSU] in an effort to provide safe and healthy school environments and improve school conditions for student learning.”
According to the job posting on the SVSU site, the coordinator will develop programs to support students and professional learning.
“To improve school conditions for student learning, the Equity Coordinator will develop programs and activities that support all students including children that are historically marginalized, and develop professional learning for staff, students, and families based on data. In this role, partnerships with community entities will be developed to strengthen relationships between the schools and community.”
The position also focuses on issues of diversity that include sex, race, religion, national origin, color, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, homeless status, handicap or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability or any other characteristic protected by law.
“We represent people from all different [walks of life],” Murphy said. “The best way to improve education for all our students is to look at how equity is addressed in our pedagogy and approached both in and out of school. It should be an inherent part of what we provide for our students.”