Sag Harbor Diversity and Inclusion Committee Presents Ideas

Betty Reynoso, the Sag Harbor Elementary School assistant principal, presented the Diversity and Inclusion Committee recommendations last week. Christine Sampson photos

An ad hoc committee tasked with examining the Sag Harbor School District’s diversity practices and policies has presented a number of recommendations to the school board, including school-wide training sessions on diversity, inclusion, equality, disabilities, sensitivity and poverty simulation.

So far, the committee, co-chaired by superintendent Katy Graves and Sag Harbor Elementary assistant principal Betty Reynoso, has accomplished several tasks this year, including setting up bilingual email communications and cafeteria menu boards and attending training sessions on topics including race, poverty, cultural proficiency and women in leadership that have helped to frame their conversations.

During a June 4 school board meeting, Ms. Reynoso said the group now wants to become a permanent committee. It is recommending report cards, phone messages and all other tools and forms be done in both English and Spanish. Other recommendations include instituting “universal language,” which eliminates gender references when discussing two-parent households, and forming a “welcoming committee” for new students who arrive after the start of the school year. The committee also wants to see classroom libraries and materials purchased with a “culturally proficient lens.”

“We would like to connect with our partners in our community that can help,” Ms. Reynoso said.