Skip To Main Content

March 24, 2021 - Study Session



Redwood City, California


March 24, 2021


  1. Call to Order

President Alisa MacAvoy called the closed session to order at 6:09 p.m. via Zoom Teleconference Meeting.

Present during Study Session: President Alisa MacAvoy, Vice-President María Díaz-Slocum, Trustees Cecilia I. Márquez, Janet Lawson, Mike Wells and Superintendent John R. Baker.

Others Present: Deputy Superintendent Wendy Kelly, Chief Business Official Priscilla Aquino-Dichoso, Assistant Superintendent Linda Montes, and Assistant Superintendent Liz Wolfe and 18 other attendees. 

  1. Welcome

2.1 Welcome

President MacAvoy welcomed those present. The School Board dispensed with the Pledge of Allegiance. 

  1. Changes to the Agenda

3.1 Changes to the Agenda

There were no changes to the agenda. 

  1. Approval of Agenda

The School Board approved the agenda as submitted, (Wells, Lawson; 5-0).

  1. Oral Communication


  1. Study Session

Linda Montes, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Equity addressed the School Board and Superintendent Baker by providing them with information related to the Equity Consciousness Committee. Assistant Superintendent Montes mentioned that the Equity Consciousness Committee was established to review practices across the Redwood City School District departments to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. 

The School Board adopted the Equity Policy back in December of 2020, due to issues of equity, race, implicit bias, and equitable outcomes for all students. Subsequently, the School Board requested that each department in the Redwood City School District review its practices and create Administrative Regulations to lead to actionable outcomes for all students. The Equity Committee was formed in Spring of 2021. The School Board contracted with the National Urban Alliance (NUA), a non-profit organization that works with urban school districts. 

Yvette Jackson from NUA, facilitated a series of workshops for the Equity Consciousness Committee made up of 63 participants, comprised of parents, community partners, teachers, classified staff members, site administrators and department directors. The Committee participated in a series of readings, discussions and activities that raised the awareness of the impact of implicit bias, racism, stereotypes, and student self-perceptions based on the beliefs from adults in their lives on their educational trajectory. A series of workshops was also given in Spanish to hear perspectives from families typically underrepresented in District committees.

The Districts Advancing Racial Equity (DARE) Tool was used by the subcommittee department groups to analyze current practices. Members reviewed gaps between what we currently have on place and what is suggested for equitable practices. Administrative Regulations helped put actions to the Equity Policy. Each Department Director took the information from their subcommittee and developed ARs for their own department. The final outcome of the Equity Consciousness Committee was the School Board’s desire to align the Redwood City School District’s vision and mission with the Committee insights and recommendations. 

Scarlett Mineta, parent at Roosevelt School, commented that she had the privilege of working with gifted English Learner students. Ms. Minetta expressed that the four sessions she participated in, were intense discussions centered on equity. Ms. Minetta said she had an opportunity to listen to other community members and through those conversations many inconsistent practices were identified.

Susana García Fernández, Assistant Principal at Roosevelt School, commented that she attended a National Urban Alliance summer seminar, where she immediately fell in love with the work of Yvette Jackson and the National Urban Alliance. Ms. García Fernández described her experience with the inequity of technology amongst students when there were many students that needed a device and a hotspot to access their work from home, whereas other students were facilitated with up to two devices from home. Ms. García Fernández added that the School District worked collaboratively to immediately help resolve the inequity on technology and help close the gap. Ms. García Fernández expressed that the Equity Consciousness Committee has been working diligently to help the School District identify the areas where more work needs to be done in order to close the inequity gap. 

Kyle Brumbaugh, Director of Technology and Innovation, commented that in this past year, he has observed a significant inequity with technology distribution. Mr. Brumbaugh commented that the Technology Department has been working diligently to provide hotspots and Chromebooks to students, in addition to providing troubleshooting assistance to families at the District Office. 

The School Board thanked Assistant Superintendent Montes, the National Urban Alliance and the Equity Consciousness Committee for all of their hard work!

**Due to timing, President MacAvoy motioned to table the continuation of the discussion during the regular board meeting, (Lawson, Díaz-Slocum; 5-0).

President MacAvoy (Ayes)

Vice-President Díaz-Slocum (Ayes)

Trustee Márquez (Ayes)

Trustee Lawson (Ayes)

Trustee Wells (Ayes)

7. Adjournment (Action Required)

The board adjourned the study session at 7:00 p.m. (Lawson, Díaz-Slocum; 5-0).

Cecilia I. Márquez, Clerk