On Jan. 1 of 2020, the role of the Essex Westford School District’s (EWSD) Voices for Education (VFE) expand into more of a supportive role for engagement efforts both in the district and the communities that it serves.

Voices for Education has spent the last three years doing a deep dive with the community to identify what matters most. Moving forward, VFE will be offering small grants and opportunities for technical assistance on engagement efforts or initiatives that are aligned with the shared values of the EWSD schools.

Since the grant started, VFE has helped to create and lead engagement efforts in the EWSD by:

  • Training 23 student and adult facilitators
  • Helping improve student voice, which included working with 3 students who facilitated equity activities at local, statewide, and regional conferences
  • Working to have a pair of student representatives added to the EWSD Board
  • Reaching out to the community and talking to over 300 residents in an effort that led to the creation of the EWSD vision
  • Hosting ‘It takes A Village’ community forum in December of 2018
  • Providing engagement support (conversations around transportation, start and stop times, life skills, community partnerships, community equity events, etc.)
  • Helping create, and now support, the Essex Westford Equity committee
  • Working with EHS students to develop, and now host, an annual multicultural potluck dinner each spring

VFE will continue to support the development of a system of engagement that fosters trust and relationship building between the EWSD Board, administration, students, and the community.

People interested in working with VFE to help sponsor and offer support for an upcoming event are invited to reach out to EWSD Communications Coordinator Ben Dickie (bdickie@ewsd.org).

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