Equity and Instruction
Lysette Torres, Ed.D. | Director of Equity and Instruction
22 Liberty Street | 203-630-4188
The Office of Equity and Instruction provides both direct and indirect support to administrators, teachers, support staff, students, families, and the community. The Director of Equity and Instruction provides a culturally responsive approach to teaching and learning and articulates a systemwide vision of equity. In working with teacher leaders, the director builds instructional capacity to lead equity work within the district. The director ensures that professional development programs support equity at all levels. In addition, the director chairs the District Leadership Team's Equity Committee.
To achieve equity and access for all, we must collectively challenge existing inequities, build meaningful relationships, and actively remove barriers to success. We value the uniqueness and varied experiences of all our students and staff and believe that regardless of racial identity, socioeconomic status, or prior learning experiences, all students must have access to equitable learning opportunities and digital resources to expand their world. The recognition of unconscious or conscious systemic and individual bias continues to guide our efforts and commitment to assure equity for all.
Summary of Equity Work
The Meriden Public Schools continues to be proactive in combating systemic racism in our schools. We embrace the richness of our diversity, value our tapestry of different colors and cultures, and remain committed to addressing racial discrimination and unconscious bias. Meriden applies an equity lens to all its initiatives, ensuring all students have access to quality educational experiences and graduate college, career, and life ready. Our long-standing commitment to equity is evident in initiatives implemented during the last decade. We have eliminated tracking, ensured courses were rigorous and college level, implemented a “no zero” grading practices to support students, transitioned from traditional to student-centered learning classes, opened access to all courses, including honors, Advanced Placement and Early College Experience, initiated restoratives practices and youth dialogues, developed a cadre of Equity Leaders, generated a series of Racial Equity Awareness training modules, created an Affinity Group for educators of color and other interested teachers, and reallocated resources to provide 1:1 environments with district-issued Chromebooks, mobile hotspots for families lacking internet access, and we allow students to keep their Chromebooks over the summer to access online learning. Our commitment to ensuring equity for all, combating racism, and addressing unconscious bias are continuous efforts as we advance our equity initiatives.