Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office

  Comprehensive Equity Plan- School Years 2019-2020 through 2021-22

The Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion works with stakeholders to support the mission and vision of the district while creating instructional environments and developing programs that support academic rigor, cultural relevance, and builds relationships while allowing access for all students by promoting an inclusive environment that celebrates every student's ability, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, language, and sexual orientation. The Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion also fosters a safe space for ongoing discussion and professional development to address issues of equity and access in schools and the classroom, racial and cultural awareness, and diversity for students and staff.

 The Hoboken Public Schools is committed to preparing confident and resilient graduates who not only value academic achievement but also embrace challenge, honor diversity, appreciate collaboration and respectfully contribute to their local and wider communities. We are honored and proud to share our Board of Education approved resolution regarding our commitment to social justice and educational equity. 

 This year, the Hoboken Public School District was identified as a Lighthouse Award District for 2021-2023 by the New Jersey Department of Education. The NJDOE Lighthouse District Initiative recognizes districts that have demonstrated measurable progress for equitable outcomes. The Hoboken Public School District is proud to be a part of the third cohort of Lighthouse Districts and to share our equity story.

 In our schools, we believe that when diversity, equity and inclusion are woven throughout research-based curricula and are the centerpiece of sound professional development, the entire school community benefits and feels welcome. Diversity is more than race. Of course, the social construct of race must be discussed and explored. Yet, we also recognize that to only focus on race significantly limits the scope of diversity and can marginalize our students and families, as well as our faculty and staff. Instead, the Hoboken Public School District chooses and seeks to have conversations about many identifiers such as:  culture, ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, socio economics, body image, geographic & regional background, language, learning style, and beliefs.

 We strive to be intentional about the practices and principles that guide interactions, and understand that conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion are sometimes difficult. We also work to foster an environment in which all voices are lifted. The Hoboken Public School District is not perfect. We do not admit that we have learned all things or flawlessly practice all things we believe. However, we are relentless at trying and see improvements each and every day. 

 When there is a gap or a hole in our practices, the Hoboken Public School District provides our entire school community with a clear procedure by which they can seek remedy for alleged violations related to discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, affectional or sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, national origin, disability, or socioeconomic status. The guidance, protocols and procedures for Affirmative Action can be found here

The Hoboken Public School District is committed to a bully free environment and is guided by policy. Acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying are prohibited. A safe and civil environment in schools is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. Harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students. Since students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers are commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying.

 In an effort to foster inclusion between and among all students, each of our schools participate in Best Buddies International. Best Buddies is an organization dedicated to establishing opportunities and one-to-one friendships for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our students are proud to serve as best buddies while enhancing the school age years of their peers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Hoboken Public Schools understands that Professional Development in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion serves to strengthen and add to our knowledge base. To that end we are active members of Kean University’s Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship and in New Jersey's Consortium for Excellence and Equity-North Region. This year, after a rigorous application process, we were awarded a participation grant to work with the New Jersey State Bar Foundation via their Beyond Bias Virtual Workshops. These workshops will be highly interactive with the goal of  supporting educators as they address issues of bias, race, and ethnicity in the classroom in ways that create brave spaces and promote empathy.  They will provide insight and perspectives that will develop common language, improve pedagogical practices, and increase self reflection both personally and professionally. We have committed 60 staff participants from all of our schools to engage in this exciting opportunity on January 12th, March 16th, and May 18th from 9 am-12 pm. In addition to these professional development opportunities, we provide our staff members with a wide-variety of DEI and Social Justice resources in an organized and ever growing toolbox.

 Each month, the Hoboken Public School District will provide a toolbox for Social Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. All previous months’ content will be cataloged and accessible to all school community members. The monthly toolbox will include books of the month, suggested readings of the month, Ted Talks of the month, podcasts of the month, teaching tools, website & internet resources and more. The Hoboken Public School District invites you to interact, learn and grow with our students and staff.

Toolbox with Frequently Asked Questions and Informational Video/Webinars

We have put together some amazing resources to continue to engage with community stakeholders in conversations and reflections regarding the critical DEI work in Hoboken and beyond. 

Frequently Asked Questions-Here you will find some common questions and answers regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion related legislation. Here we will unpack the requirements of the law and how local education agencies will implement them. 

Videos and Webinars-These resources will focus on different aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusive education. Here you will find videos that range from an introduction to culturally relevant pedagogy to reflecting on anti-bias education in action. Additionally, the featured webinars unpack the role the media plays in understanding race and racism as well as allow you to deepen your understanding of race through professional learning. 

Social Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Toolbox

Books of the Month

Selections by Ms. Sandra Rodriguez-Gomez, Assistant Superintendent