"Equity," A Theme of Aug. 25 Inservice Day

Image: Cliff JonesAs incredible as it seems – wasn’t it just Memorial Day Weekend? – yet another summer has come and is poised to go. As fall approaches, Douglas Education Service District welcomes employees to our next annual Inservice Day this Friday.

For those of us who report to work in Douglas County, the mandatory meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. (when breakfast is served!) to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 25. We’ll gather at the county fairgrounds complex south of Roseburg. Our office will be closed and services suspended that day so everyone can attend.

This year, for the convenience of our folks to the south of us, the Jackson County EI/ECSE staff will take place from 11:30 to 3:30 Aug. 30 at the Table Rock Campus of Rogue Community College. (The address is 7800 Pacific Ave., White City.) If you have questions about the Aug. 30 inservice, please contact Shirley Stinson at shirley.stintonatdouglasesd.k12.or.us.

Our Aug. 25 inservice at the Douglas County Fairgrounds will center around themes that Superintendent Michael Lasher has identified as areas in which we will seek to improve – namely, equity and inclusion.

“Well before recent experiences in the news, we at Douglas ESD have sought to provide services to people who are traditionally underrepresented,” Lasher said. “Going forward, we want to be aware of the challenges people face, especially those who have grown up in poverty.

“It’s really up to us to be sensitive to their experiences and to think about how we can make things more fair for everyone in our communities.” 

Speaking to us this year about diversity, equity and inclusion will be Cliff Jones of The Nonprofit Association of Oregon. Jones is a senior consultant who seeks to build alliances across cultural differences, working with people who are willing to explore difficult issues. He is a co-founder of Tools for Diversity, which presents solutions to problems caused by privilege, prejudice, discrimination and oppression.

In addition to our main speaker, we’ll hear updates from our payroll and human resources departments and will get a report on progress on the Blue Zones Project as it unfolds in the Umpqua Valley. Once again, vendors will set up booths describing their products and services.

Inservice Day energizes us and helps us approach a new school year with confidence. Please plan to join us to learn what’s new this year and have your questions answered. See you there!