Daring Greatly 

Equity and Diversity in Action

  • Henrico County Public Schools new office of Equity and Diversity is making good progress. We would like to share that during the past 60 days the following activities have occurred and are ongoing:

    • Establish the Department:  Below you will find my phone number and email address. Please contact me anytime. Our web presence is being developed, and once complete it will serve as the primary mode of communication.  
    • Assess the Community Pulse:   A “Listen and Learn” session was held in all five magisterial districts, and we had more than 140 participants. Thank you! The most significant issues were identified, and a survey will be distributed to collect additional quantitative data. Due to it being late in the year, the survey will be sent out at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.  This will allow the new Advisory Committee and incoming Superintendent Dr. Amy Cashwell to review current data and to assist with formulating the survey questions before they are distributed. This will also allow more time to publicize the survey to our diverse school population.
    • Engage Stakeholders:   In support of Equity and Diversity we have reached out to various community and religious organizations that support students and families in HCPS, and I have been invited to speak or engage in cultural activities.  Please contact me if you would like to invite me to an event to learn about a culture, or speak about the new department.
    • Support the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee:  First, we established a non-biased process of selecting members for the advisory committee. There will be 25 voting members, comprised of five people representing each magisterial district and then five additional members serving in an ex-officio role. We had more than 250 applicants, and we hope to name the members in late June. The selection process was a blind one (meaning names were redacted), and individuals were identified based on bringing together a diverse, talented group of individuals.  All members will have a biography available, and these bios will be located on the department’s website.  Also, the department is completing the final draft of our advisory committee bylaws that will be presented to the School Board on June 21st for approval.   These bylaws will located on the website. The advisory committee will conduct its first official meeting in September.
    • Coordinate with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities:  VCIC has worked closely with the school division these last few months to set up summer trainings for staff.   Staff from the Brookland magisterial district, as well as Short Pump Middle School, will be attending a summer retreat in support of inclusivity.  In addition, they will be providing training to school-based instructional leaders for World History, U.S. History and Government. In collaboration with VCIC, a mandatory training for identified participants will take place in August.
    • Additional Programming:  We will implement supports to increase the use of diverse literature on both the elementary and secondary level; craft a religious sensitivity document; craft a Diversity Appreciation Month manual with background, guidelines and suggestions.

    Please bookmark this page to keep up to date on our efforts!

  • Assess inequities, acknowledge the systems that perpetuate them, develop a plan that moves beyond intent to action.

    Henrico Schools’ new Office of Equity and Diversity wants to hear from members of the community. Monica Manns, the office’s new director, will hold listening sessions at five Henrico County Public Library locations in late April and early May to hear residents’ ideas about equity and diversity in the school division.

    “I appreciate all the community support and feedback around these issues that I’ve heard so far,” Manns said. “These sessions will be a chance for me to listen further and learn more. If we identify themes emerging from the talks, those will be possible areas of focus for the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee.”

    The application process for the new advisory committee is in the planning stages; it will be comprised of students, parents, staff and community members. More information will be forthcoming.

    The sessions will begin with an introduction and an update on the advisory committee. The bulk of the time will be for reserved for citizens to talk. Feedback received at the listening sessions will be shared with School Board members, Henrico Schools administrators and the new advisory committee. In addition, a survey will be forthcoming. The data from both will help guide the division’s next steps.

    The equity and diversity listening sessions include one in each of Henrico’s five magisterial districts:

    • April 23 (6-7 p.m.) Sandston Branch Library, 23 E. Williamsburg Road, Sandston, Va. 23150
    • April 24 (6-7 p.m.) Fairfield Area Library, 1001 N. Laburnum Ave., Henrico, Va. 23223
    • April 25 (5-6 p.m.) Glen Allen Branch Library, 10501 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23060
    • April 30 (5:30-6:30 p.m.) Tuckahoe Area Library, 1901 Starling Drive, Henrico, Va. 23229
    • May 1 (4-5 p.m.) Twin Hickory Area Library, 5001 Twin Hickory Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23059

    More information about our efforts to increase equity and diversity across the school division can be found here: http://henricoschools.us/henrico-county-public-schools-hires-director-to-oversee-equity-and-diversity-efforts/

  • Stakeholders that are reflective of our diverse school division.

  • Promote and proactively implement actionable steps making HCPS a model school division for equity and diversity.

Director of Equity and Diversity

Monica Manns, MRC, M.Ed, ABD