As the new school year begins, The Equity Initiative remains committed to helping the Healdsburg Unified School District become a model community for inclusive and equitable practices that enable all students to achieve their maximum potential.
This group of parents, educators and local residents is pleased with Superintendent Chris Vanden Heuvel’s formation of an equity task force as well as his plans to seek the guidance of a third-party equity-in-education expert.
The Equity Initiative has identified five key areas where the community can support the district in its efforts to become more equitable. The group is looking for volunteers interested in helping out on the following subcommittees:
School board accountability: Identify, recruit and support school board trustees who understand equity and will support policies that enable HUSD to achieve equitable education for all students.
Community engagement: Educate the community on the importance and implementation of equitable education.
District equity task force: Support the superintendent’s special committee on equity.
Latino community outreach: Connect with members of the Latino community to understand resources needed and advocate for those resources; engage with families to support their decisions in the public school system.
Curriculum: Research and share best practices in curriculum.
In each of these five areas, we will work to achieve our overarching goals: elementary school classrooms should reflect the school district’s ethnic and economic makeup; all of Healdsburg’s children should have equal access to the various programs at our public elementary schools; all family outreach materials should be readily available in both English and Spanish and the programs should make clear that all children are welcome and what steps families need to take to enroll their children.
The Equity Initiative does not believe that the achievement of any of these goals would weaken existing successful programs at the elementary schools, but that they would instead ensure that all of Healdsburg’s children have access to the best our public schools have to offer.
As the district works to improve equity in the classrooms, it must also be focused on strengthening its programs. Integrated classes that are not implemented in accordance with best practices are as great an injustice to our students as the current separate but equal division of students in the disproportionately white Healdsburg Charter School and the disproportionately Latino traditional elementary school.
The group would like its support of the district in these efforts to be transparent and inclusive and encourages anyone concerned about these issues to sign up for an equity subcommittee at our website at
Commentary authors Jenny Levine-Smith, Laura Flores, Lauren Parne, Nora Almaras and Holly Fox are members of The Equity Initiative, Healdsburg.

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