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Beachwood City Schools

Equity Journey

Embracing the organizational responsibility of striving to achieve educational equity.  Our equity journey has taken shape in various ways during our district’s history. In more recent years, the district engaged in audits of its practices, professional development, and the development of partnerships with individuals and organizations dedicated to equity and inclusive practices. A broad summary and description of these efforts follows:

Equity Journey

Pacific Educational Group (PEG): From approximately 2008 - 2012, Beachwood Schools contracted with the Pacific Educational Group and completed leadership development utilizing the “Courageous Conversations” protocol for “effectively engaging, sustaining and deepening interracial dialogue.” PEG helps “organizations address persistent racial disparities intentionally, explicitly, and comprehensively…[PEG] engage[s] in sustained partnerships featuring training, coaching and consulting with organizations to transform beliefs, behaviors and results so people of all races can achieve at their highest levels and live their most empowered and powerful lives.”

Diversity Center of NEOhio (DCNEO): Over many years, Beachwood has utilized the services of the DCNEO.  Most recently, in 2019, the district utilized DCNEO trainer Brian Anthony to prepare student facilitators for peer-to-peer discussions as part of our Many Cultures, One Bison program. DCNEO’s “You Lead” program includes topics such as #RethinkBeauty, #RethinkLabels, Socioeconomics, and Race and Ethnicity.
Diversity Matters in Beachwood (DMIB): For more than twenty years, this parent-led school support organization has worked with the district to achieve its mission “to create unity, diversity and awareness of the African American culture within the Beachwood School system and to enhance educational and community enrichment via programs and events.” DMIB leadership has been instrumental in the district’s contracting diversity consultant Paul James and the creation of the Director of Equity and Community Engagement position. DMIB leaders have served as members of the district’s Diversity Recruiting and Retention Task Force, Chief Diversity Officer Exploratory Committee, and School Reopening Committee (during the COVID pandemic)

Diversity Consultant Paul James: Over two school years, from 2017 - 2019, Beachwood contracted with diversity consultant and executive coach Paul James.  Mr. James designed and conducted Bias Awareness and Reduction as well as Cross-Cultural Communication Training for district leaders and staff.  He organized listening sessions with students and parents and facilitated curriculum audits with the district’s ELA and Social Studies teachers. Mr. James also offered inclusive leadership training for high school students

Director of Equity & Community Engagement: Following upon the recommendations of the district’s Chief Diversity Officer Exploratory Committee, in 2019 Beachwood’s Board of Education created a new administrative position, the Director of Equity & Community Engagement and hired Kevin T. Houchins into the role. Under his initiative and leadership beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the district has earnestly engaged in:

  • Authentic engagement of all members of the Beachwood community

  • Creating a more inclusive curriculum

  • Providing equitable access to services and opportunities

  • Hiring educators from under-represented groups to better mirror our diverse community

  • Conducting implicit bias and restorative practices training for school staff

  • Acknowledging and addressing racial disparity in student discipline practices

  • Building students’ leadership skills to address our society’s most challenging topics with respect for all forms of diversity