WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington School Committee recently approved funding for a Coordinator of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the 2021-2022 school year.
This full-time position will be shared by six districts — Lynnfield, North Reading, Melrose, Stoneham, Wilmington and Woburn. All of these districts are members of the SEEM Collaborative, which is a North of Boston special education collaborative.
The position’s job responsibilities will include:
- provide support and coaching for faculty and staff, including leadership of affinity groups and equity teams/committees, and staff retention
- develop meaningful, sustained professional development opportunities for students and staff
- participate and/or advise in recruitment, hiring efforts (both district-based and possibly regionally via job fairs/active recruitment)
- provide instructional leadership and curriculum development through an equity lens
- conduct equity audits and/or assist in the development of strategic planning
- assist districts in data collection and analysis regarding equity and inclusion
- collaborate and support key stakeholders, including parent/community groups
- perform other duties as assigned
The Coordinator will dedicate 30-35 days to each school district.
The districts will each contribute a maximum of $20,000 to fund the position, for a total compensation of $120,000, which includes both salary and benefits.
Wilmington’s $20,000 will come from grant funds.
Wilmington will have a seat on the Search Committee for the position.
The position will run from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, with the potential for renewal.
The Coordinator will have an office at SEEM’s Central Office in Stoneham.
“Adding a full-time role just for Wilmington would a difficult first step, financially,” Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand told the School Committee. “The idea of a collaboration emerged and I think it makes sense as a first step.”
Brand noted that — prior to formulation of this position — the school district was researching how to conduct an equity audit, but was surprised by the cost estimates to conduct one — $20,000 to $35,000. The expectation is that this new position, which is costing Wilmington no more than $20,000, will lead an equity audit for the school district, in addition to accomplishing other important tasks.
“This is the best jumping off point,” agreed School Committee member Jay Samaha, who serves on the Committee’s Inclusion Subcommittee. “On the whole, this is what makes the most sense, given that the equity audit cost way beyond what we thought. So this makes a ton of sense.”
Assistant Superintendent Christine Elliott noted that Wilmington already benefits from a position that is successfully shared between other SEEM districts — an inclusion specialist. She envisions the Coordinator of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will be shared smoothly amongst the six school districts.
School Committee Chair Jennifer Bryson noted that sharing the position with five other school districts will come with some advantages. The Coordinator will see form partnerships and relationships with surrounding districts that could prove successful. He or she can also discover what’s working particularly well in one district and bring it to the others.
Bryson and Brand do hope that, one day, Wilmington will have an EDI Coordinator of its own.
The School Committee unanimously approved funding for the position after 15 minutes of discussion.
Watch the conversation below from the May 12 School Committee Meeting, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, beginning at the 2-hour, 34-mintue mark.
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