FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Diego Perez
Coordinator of Communications
Foster City, CA – The San Mateo-Foster City School District has been awarded a $200,000 Antibias Education Grant to increase professional development and support training for over 200 middle school staff in a universal understanding of bias and the impact of racism on academic achievement. In 2019, the Board of Trustees passed resolution No. 09/18-19 San Mateo-Foster City School District Equity which publicly prioritized the establishment of systems to create educational equity.
“Our Board has made a commitment to equity through the passage of multiple resolutions and the implementation of anti-racist practices. Our teachers and staff are eager to continue this work and have asked for additional training and support. This is a huge step forward, and while it won’t be easy, it is what we need to do in order to better support all of our students,” says Board President Shara Watkins.
The commitment to the multidisciplinary approach to change systems has been underway since the beginning of the 2018 academic school year. The creation of the district’s subcommittee, the Culturally Responsive Curriculum and Practices Task Force, has begun the work to address the systemic approaches needed to create district-wide equity.
The pandemic created a sense of urgency to respond to inequities that impact disenfranchised students. The district has already increased antibias efforts through district leadership, with all administrators and principals engaging in a monthly community of practice and implicit bias training. The new funding will facilitate even more implicit bias training.
“Achieving education equity is one of our three district-wide goals. These funds will greatly support our work in this area,” says Superintendent Diego Ochoa.
The district will create a series of implicit bias and equity training that builds the skills to facilitate critical conversations about race, power, and privilege to create a culture of shared accountability. These efforts will allow administrators, teachers, social workers, counselors, and other student support staff, to identify and address behavioral and linguistic biases and beliefs that hinder instruction excellence and equitable school culture, normalizing feedback as a tool for interrupting racism.