The Chappaqua Central School District has a section on its website dedicated to “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” On a DEI page labeled as “Student Life,” the district promotes affinity groups for students. Affinity groups are groups of people segregated by their characteristics, such as race and ethnicity.
The school district additionally has a “District Equity Policy” that was adopted on July 6, 2023. This policy states that students have been historically marginalized due to “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” The goal of the policy is to implement “culturally responsive learning environments.” The term “culturally responsive” is often used to describe a method of teaching that includes the race and ethnicity of students as part of the lessons taught in classrooms. The policy explains that the district will change the curriculum taught to students to achieve this goal:
Curriculum and instructional materials for all grades shall reflect diversity and include a range of perspectives and experiences, particularly those of historically underrepresented groups. All curriculum materials shall be examined for bias and historical accuracy. Instructional activities, cultural enrichment opportunities and extracurricular programming will be provided for students that foster respect for the values embodied in this policy.
The school district commissioned an “Equity Audit” to support its “work in antiracism and social justice education.” The report was published on January 12, 2022. Surveys were provided to students and parents. This equity audit appears to tell the district to hire staff based on race: “Develop District processes and structures to support the active recruitment, retention and advancement of staff of color.”
The audit also promotes training to implement DEI into every facet of the district: “Ensure that all aspects of equity and cultural competence, including race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ and other identities, are addressed during professional learning.” The district is additionally advised to “develop or revise curricula based on findings, working toward ensuring representation of a diversity of perspectives, authors and characters; a focus on social justice, and; resources for customizing curriculum to meet students’ unique needs and interests.”
The audit shows data for students based on race and gender identity. One category for gender identity of students is “non-binary.”
The school district has “a District Equity Team (DET) and School Equity Team (SET) in each building.” These teams “will assist in developing and implementing specific prevention initiatives, including the adoption and revision of policies and implementation of practices designed to promote diversity, prevent discrimination, assure equitable access to high quality educational staff, facilities and materials, and to maximize outcomes for all students.”