Eanes ISD accepting applications for diversity committee, will include students, parents and community members

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Eanes Independent School District opened its application Tuesday for a newly-created advisory committee focused on diversity in the the district.

The application for the Eanes ISD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee is live, and those who live in the district are encouraged to apply, the district says. The application closes at 5 p.m., Sept. 21.

The 27-member committee will work with recently-hired district diversity consultant Dr. Mark Gooden and the Eanes ISD Board of Trustees to recommend how diversity, equity and inclusion can be better practiced in the district.

The committee will consist of:

  • Two community members without students enrolled in the district
  • Four students, two from middle school grades 6-7 and two from Westlake HS (grades 9-11)
  • Nine staff members, one from each school in the district
  • Two principals, one from elementary and one from secondary
  • One staff member from Central Administration
  • Nine parents, one from each district school
  • Dr. Mark Gooden facilitating with Linda Rawlings coordinating

Qualifications and expectations for prospective committee members are as follows:

  • Live within the Eanes ISD boundaries
  • Attend evening and weekend meetings (remotely) as necessary
  • Base recommendations on objective information and relevant data, not on any singular issue or personal viewpoint
  • Serve an initial two-year term unless determined otherwise

Consideration for the committee will be given to people “with an interest in DEI work” and those who have particular experience in the field, the district says, as well as diversity within the committee.

Dr. Gooden, hired by the district in July, will facilitate the committee as part of his overall goal to enhance community, staff and racial awareness — in addition to guiding the district in addressing social justice and racism.

KXAN education reporter Alex Caprareillo reported in a two-part investigative piece about students experiencing racism at the district’s high school, Westlake High School. The investigation was spurred by an anonymous account on Instagram posting student accounts of racism, and the committee was in the works before the story came out, district officials said.

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