During a joint meeting, July 19, the Essex Selectboard and Village board of trustees unanimously approved a joint resolution in support of the Essex Westford School District’s Equity Policy.
“The Town of Essex and the Village of Essex Junction have committed to being a community that embraces equity and is more welcoming to all people,” the resolution states. “The Town of Essex and the Village of Essex Junction partner with EWSD to better serve the community.”
On June 15, the EWSD board approved a district-wide Equity Policy that among other goals seeks to:
Inform pre-K to grade 12 curriculum, including anti-racist and LGBTQIA+ education
Support and protect people in underserved and marginalized positions
Support and retain educators, administrators and staff from marginalized groups
The policy was created by the EWSD Policy Development Committee in conjunction with a Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) affinity group and community feedback sessions.
Because EWSD educates the children of residents in both the Village and the Town, Unified Manager Evan Teich said it is appropriate for the boards to weigh in on whether to support the policy.
Selectboard member Patrick Murray said the Equity Policy aligns well with the Village and Town’s Committee on Equity for Essex.
“Overall, they align pretty well from a values standpoint,” he said.
Village Trustee Raj Chawla said he commends the EWSD faculty, staff, students and community members who worked on this policy.
“They set a great example, and I’m just grateful for the work they’ve done,” he said.
Editor's Note: This article was edited at 8:16 p.m. July 21 to correct a selectboard member's name. The Reporter apologizes for the error.