Boone County schools part of first cohort of Equity Playbook training

Originally written by Patricia A. Scheyer for the Northern Kentucky Tribune.

Educators in the state of Kentucky have written a plan called the Equity Playbook, and they have high hopes for this program to change how students are educated all over the state.

Last July promoters of the program created podcasts and presented the program at conferences to help people become familiar with this Equity Playbook. Currently the Kentucky Department of Education is picking up the costs for this program.

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“All students have the right to a free and public education,” said Damien Sweeney, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at the Department of Education. “We believe every single student in Kentucky deserves to be seen and heard. We know, based on data and based on conversations with educators and students and families that there are some students who don’t feel seen and heard. They don’t feel that sense of belonging that everyone deserves to have.”

Out of the 171 school districts in the state, 23 districts have signed up to be part of the first wave, or cohort. In the 23 districts, 180 schools have agreed to be part of the program.

Boone County signed up, and Ryle High School, Cooper High School, Boone County High School, RA Jones Middle School, Ockerman Elementary, and Burlington Elementary are the schools that agreed to be part of the program.

Ryle Principal Matt Shafer explained the key priorities for him and his school for being part of the program.

“I believe we need to lead our school well, we’ve got some — a couple of changes that we’re working through,” said Shafer. “I think we all need coaches, we all need people to help us along the way. I was a former coach. We sometimes don’t receive that too much in a leadership role, so I really like the framework of being able to use some of the tools that we learned today, me being coached and also to help to coach others.”

The premise of the Equity Playbook and the accompanying engage2learn program is to conduct one on one coaching with the main players involved. Sweeney said that according to evidence, one on one coaching makes a huge difference in the transference of knowledge.

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