The Parents Diversity Council was formed to support the Bedford Public Schools’ work around diversifying faculty, closing achievement gaps, and bringing students closer together across our racial and geographic boundaries.
Bedford is in the unique position of being a relatively small district and having quite a diverse student population with 33% students of color, the product of Bedford’s own changing demographics, our METCO program participation and our continued commitment to educate the students from Hanscom Air Force Base. This diversity, which also includes significant linguistic variation (over 140 of our students speak a primary language other than English) is one of the key contributors to the high quality of all BPS students’ educational experiences.
But being racially, linguistically and socio-economically diverse does not automatically yield strong social bonds across these differences, nor optimize the learning opportunities that understanding these differences can provide. And this diversity brings with it its own challenges that involve opportunity and achievement gaps,hurtful comments and social isolation. We know, for example, that while some of our Boston, Bedford and Base boys have always bonded over sports and built broader family to family relationships, many of our other students, particularly our girls, have not been so fortunate.
While the district has been working on many of these issues over the years, the challenges are great, and it was realized there is a need to tap into the parent community’s thinking, resources and connections in systematic ways beyond the work of our school councils. PDC council members are residents of Bedford, Boston, and Hanscom; and represent all grade level schools.
Key PDC functions include:
- being a sounding board, source of ideas and information regarding school matters related to race and racism that our students, staff and families experience
- helping to network and brainstorm to better diversify our faculty and staff
- becoming an activist committee that can create the opportunities to bring our students and families together and build meaningful, lasting relationships
- support our efforts to close our achievement gaps
As members, we all have a strong commitment to the values of equity and racial diversity and an interest in having our children and family build bridges with children and families of other racial backgrounds and/or neighborhoods