DEI Hiring: La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District


On October 12, 2023, the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District board reviewed and updated its district equity policy to state that “it is imperative that our workforce – our teachers, administrators, and other staff – represent the diversity of our students and families.” It continues: “By June 2024, district and site staff shall fully implement the LHPUSD hiring policy and achieve an increase in the diversity of the workforce in at least 75% of new hires.”

In a December 2023 presentation titled Hiring and Retaining a Diverse Staff 2024-2025, it states that the district should “prioritize messaging that centers diversity/POC” and to “capitalize racial/ethnic categories in a consistent manner.”

On April 27, 2021, the district approved a $19,500 contract with Insight Education to perform an equity audit of the district. The final report recommendations include to “build on existing recruitment practices by developing meaningful partnerships with local universities to actively recruit teachers of color and bilingual teachers into teaching and administrative roles,” “create conditions for district leaders to take time for deep reflection on their personal biases and their institution’s history with race and how these factors may be impacting their decisions regarding recruitment, retention, and advancement of staff of color,” and “review hiring practices to ensure interview questions identify candidates’ experience and skills in working with diverse populations.·”

A district document from April 2021 titled Inclusive Hiring & Retention Practices at La Honda Pescadero Unified School District states that “one of our key goals at LHPUSD is to improve our hiring practices to create a staff that better reflects the student body of our school.”

Key district strategies include hiring practices that “elevate a commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion from job inception.” To meet this strategy, the district states that it will “ensure the interview process is shaped with equity as a central design principle” by including a “diversity liaison” who is “tasked to pay attention to equity and inclusion throughout the search,” using “redacted statements of contributions to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion for the first round of screening” with the intent to “hire more faculty who would continue to contribute to diversity and inclusion efforts,” “implement holistic selection review process” such as “demonstrating culturally-responsive teaching practices,” and shifting “hiring timelines as early as is practical” because “research suggests in-demand candidates of color may be more likely to be available for hire earlier in the year.”

The plan also includes retention strategies such as offering “comprehensive induction to support beginning teachers of color in their first years of teaching” and creating “culturally affirming school environments” that dedicates “resources and time for professional learning on advancing racial equity in schools.”