Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Hilary Sloat

Hilary Sloat

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion leads the district’s work on building a culture of diversity and inclusion for all students, families, employees, and community. The district understands that without an inclusive and equitable learning environment, every student will not fully realize their potential. 

Ultimately, Hilliard City Schools goal is to ensure that every student, without exception, is ready for tomorrow. 

The district will continue to define and implement an action-oriented approach to accomplish this goal. Hilliard is continuously developing and implementing an inclusive education for all students, across all schools, and within all departments in Hilliard City Schools. It is our commitment to create spaces that are intellectually and emotionally safe for all students. 

To achieve this commitment, our instructional design reflects students’ experience, culture, and developmental characteristics by providing engaging opportunities for students to demonstrate learning and thinking. To become ready for tomorrow, we design rigorous learning opportunities and environments with regard to students’ assets, perspectives, experiences, and culture. We want all students to feel welcome, included, heard, valued, and celebrated.

Our Team:

Hilary Sloat– Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 

Janet Monseur-Durr – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator

Sabine Canty -Community & School Equity Coordinator 

Equitable classrooms provide accessible programming and opportunities for students and staff by being intentional in our behaviors, practices, and policies. The district will empower and create experiences for all students to have access. Equity applies to all students including but limited to race, ethnicity, background, socioeconomic status, ability, orientation, belief system, and perspective. When students learn in an equitable classroom, all students have a better opportunity to succeed and receive a more full and well-rounded educational experience.

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, OSU Professor Emeritus, coined the term, “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” in the 1990’s. She stated that students needed resources and experiences in the classroom that would provide a mirror where their lived experience is reflected back to them. Students also need windows where they can see the lived experiences of others. When the learning is just right, those windows can turn into sliding glass doors where students can come to understand others with different perspectives than themselves. You can find a link to her video below.

By studying the history, text, values, beliefs, and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds, our classrooms bring the rich lessons to students that reflect the history and experiences of people around the world, including but not limited to the cultures represented in the classroom. This type of education prepares students to interact with a global community and become global citizens in a global economy.

Additional Resources:

    • Social Justice Books features several dozen curated book lists for children, young adults, and educators on a variety of experiences and social justice topics. We encourage parents and teachers to look through this list to determine what would be best for your child. This resource will identify books with heroes and protagonists that represent our community.
    • Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors video interview by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop OSU Professor Emeritus

Building and achieving a culture of diversity and inclusion is not limited to the classroom, it requires everyone to participate. On July 9, 2020, the Hilliard City Schools Board of Education passed a resolution that outlines the District’s commitment to equity and diversity with four main goals:

  1. Establishing and sustaining a school culture and community that shares in the collective responsibility to address, eliminate, and prevent action, decisions, and behaviors that permit or perpetuate racism;
  2. Establishing and supporting the Director of Equity and Diversity, the Diversity Coordinators, and the Equity and Diversity Task Force to lead the Hilliard City School District’s commitment to eliminating inequitable practices;
  3. Respecting and championing the diversity and life experiences of all students and staff to support the school district’s mission, vision, values, and goals;
  4. Creating a three-year strategic plan, under the Director of Equity and Diversity leadership, includes policy recommendations, recruitment of a more representative workforce, curriculum review and guidance, and system support to target systemic racism in the District.

Definitions and Terms

Diversity: refers to the various backgrounds, lived experiences and races that comprise a community, nation, or other groupings. Diversity acknowledges and appreciates the existence of a combination of background, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, language, and ability.

Equity: offering different levels of support depending upon the need to achieve outcomes. For example, a teacher gives each child the additional minutes of literacy education they need to learn how to read. One child may require 90 minutes of daily literacy instruction while another student receives an additional 30 minutes of reading instruction to achieve success. 

Inclusion: means all students, staff, and community members are respected and valued members of their classroom, learning community, and the greater community. In an inclusive school, all students and staff participate in cultivating an environment in which all people feel accepted, safe, empowered, respected, valued, and have an equal voice.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion FAQ’s

What is the Inclusivity and Justice Task Force?
The task force was formed to recommend a 3-year action plan to the Board of Education to combat any form of racism and to help ensure that our district is inclusive for all students. The task force work began over the summer of 2020 by collecting feedback from the community on how we can be more inclusive. Smaller working groups began in November. There were about 40 people on the task force work groups (divided into 4 groups). Each group consists of staff, parents, students, board, and community members. The focus areas are Professional Development; Curriculum; Hiring; Discipline/Policies. Our task force completed our work and presented the Equity and Diversity Action Plan to the board in April.

I heard that HCSD is teaching Critical Race Theory. What curriculum is HCSD using?The Hilliard City School District does not teach Critical Race Theory. HCSD has not adopted a specific curriculum around our diversity and equity work. Our guiding philosophy is to build a culture of inclusion through developmentally appropriate learning strategies. In classrooms, we use literary, historical and philosophical works as materials that allow for exploration from multiple perspectives. Being “Ready for Tomorrow” prepares students to interact with, make decisions about, and build skills to think critically in our diverse world.

You are supposed to teach the standards. Where does this fit in the standards?
Hilliard City Schools teach the Ohio Learning Standards set by the Ohio Department of Education, (ODE). Throughout various grade levels and content areas, there are specific academic standards regarding the instruction of heritage, diverse cultures, personal history, celebrations, and topics of American Government, American History, Modern World History, and Contemporary World Issues. See the ODE website for Ohio’s Learning Standards and Hilliard City Schools policy INB – Teaching about Controversial Issues.
Will my Student feel uncomfortable or isolated in the classroom?
The goal of this work is to create an inclusive environment for all students. Students will not only recognize and celebrate their own identity but recognize and celebrate the identities of all of their peers. This happens by building empathy and increasing a sense of belonging through classroom communities. These conversations may include current events or controversial topics that directly impact students every day. If your student is feeling isolated, please reach out to the classroom teacher or the school counselor to discuss your student’s situation.
Why do we need to diversify our literature?
Offering experiences and literature in the classroom gives all students the opportunity to see themselves and learn from others in the classroom. Research conducted by Rudine Simms Bishop, OSU Emeritus Professor, found that children’s literature is a powerful tool for students to see themselves in the classroom. She uses the terms windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors. The windows are where students can see into others’ perspectives, the mirrors are where they see themselves, and the sliding glass door is where a student can hear literature and step into another person’s experience. Her research found that “Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection, we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.”
What if I have a concern about what my child is learning?
Teachers should always be the first point of contact for any concerns you have about what your child is learning. Teachers can share specific information about the learning experience and the alignment to state standards. After speaking with the teacher, if you have further questions, a building administrator can help clarify any concerns.
How do I learn more about what Hilliard is doing?
Our district has an Equity and Diversity Board Committee. This committee will meet to discuss the work our district has done around Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. These meetings are open to the public. You can find more information about meeting dates, times, and agendas here.
Is Hilliard changing its hiring practices?
Hilliard has not changed hiring practices. We are not hiring only people of color. The recommendations from the task force mention diversifying our teaching staff to be more inclusive of our student population. Currently, only about 2% of our teaching staff are people of color. We were awarded a grant from the Ohio Department of Education to diversify our teaching staff. There is a grant committee focused on this work. Hilliard will always hire the best candidates for a position, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. Here is more information about the grant: Diversifying the Education Profession in Ohio.

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