Diversity on the docket for Hadley schools: Equity dashboard project gauges how district is faring

  • Hadley Elementary School on River Drive. Gazette file photo

Staff Writer
Thursday, March 16, 2023

HADLEY — Reducing disparities in education in the town’s public schools, based on factors such as race, ethnicity and special needs, is an ongoing objective for school leaders, who are compiling data that looks to assess the district’s existing culture of equity.

Superintendent Anne McKenzie recently presented to the School Committee what is called the “equity dashboard project,” which details how both Hopkins Academy and the Hadley Elementary School are doing in meeting a commitment to creating access to opportunities for all students and families, and promoting an anti-racism culture.

McKenzie said the dashboard comes out of the idea of collecting data to show whether all students are experiencing an environment that appreciates and promotes diversity, and fosters equity and inclusion, all of which are part of the public schools’ vision statement.

“This is just the beginning,” McKenzie said, noting that the document, which covers topics such as student achievement and discipline, will be shared at least twice a year.

McKenzie said the dashboard can help prevent disparities and provide direction for rectifying them.

“We believe strongly that you can’t effectively solve any problem that you haven’t precisely defined, and you can’t define a problem you are unaware of,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said the dashboard has not yet collected survey data from families, staff and students on whether they think the schools are providing a diverse, equitable and safe space.