Hornell School System Continues Focus on Student Equity

April 14, 2021

Expert input, information gathering prompt next steps

HORNELL — The Hornell City School District moved forward on its focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with a presentation on Implicit Bias during Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting.

The presentation is one of many steps being taken in partnership with regional experts and those already working in the space, including other school districts like Elmira, Horseheads, Corning and institutions like Corning Incorporated.

Educators recently worked with multiple professionals, including Dr. Bryant T. Marks Sr. – an award-winning educator, and former Obama Administration advisor, during a half-day session on March 15th. It resulted in calling out specific examples of implicit bias observed by educators in the district.

Presenters Ted Illy and Erica Siebert detailed key takeaways from the event.

“If you live in a society and have a brain, you have a bias. It’s that simple,” Illy recapped. “It’s up to us that kids are educated equally and that they can all learn.”

Next steps will include a review of a two-year survey, then moving on to gathering student feedback, working with a district leadership team to organize action plans and follow up with a nationally accredited training in August.

“It’s a journey we’re on to ensure that we as a district are looking at what we’re doing and make sure it is representative of the students we have. It’s a need for all organizations and we’re trying to be thoughtful of that,” Superintendent Jeremy Palotti concluded.