Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice

Adopted by the DEIJ Committee on December 12, 2021

OUR VISION of the Oyster River Cooperative School district's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Group is to create and sustain a school community that acknowledges, integrates, and honors a diversity of histories, identities, and lived experiences.

OUR WORK centers the concepts of anti-racism, equity, and justice within the K-12 educational experience and shapes compassionate and humanizing polices, practices, and procedures within our school systems and culture.


  1. Recognize and acknowledge the historical centering of dominant histories, lives, and experiences in our school district’s culture and curricula;
  2. Dismantle discriminatory systems and policies and establish ones that are equitable and inclusive;
  3. Disrupt instances of interpersonal discrimination and work to repair relationships among consenting parties;
  4. Prioritize the development and support of all faculty, staff, and administration in gaining the skills necessary for engaging in and sustaining this work;
  5. Communicate, collaborate, learn, and grow with the wider community around this work;
  6. Develop ongoing assessment, evaluation, and reflection tools that support us to maintain our vision, mission, and goals.

Transgender and Gender Expression Policy

School Board Second Read/Adoption: June 1, 2022

The Oyster River Cooperative School District (ORCSD) is committed to fostering a learning environment that is safe, equitable, and free from discrimination, harassment and bullying as well as to assist in the educational and social inclusion and acceptance of all students and their gender expression in our schools. The ORCSD is committed to being accepting to all gender expressions by counteracting expressions of bias that may occur on District property or at any District event.

This policy is not intended to anticipate every possible situation that may occur, since the needs of particular students, and families may differ. In addition, the programs, facilities and resources of each school also differ. Administrators and school staff are expected to consider the needs of students on a case-by-case basis, and to utilize this policy and other available resources.

Oyster River Cooperative School District works to ensure that all students have a safe, equitable, and welcoming educational environment. As with other protected classes, it is important for the District to build awareness and acceptance of the existence of transgender and varying gender expression.

ORCSD Racism and Anti-Racism Policy

School board second read/adoption: May 5, 2021

The Oyster River Cooperative School District (ORCSD) policy on racism is both a denouncement of racism and a public commitment to continually support social justice and equity for all in the ORCSD community by becoming anti-racist. We recognize this is a journey and that staff and students will be at different phases of that Journey, however, we are committed to this critical work as we aspire to be an inclusive and equitable school system. We support in the words of Ibram X. Kendi HTBAAR

“…being anti-racist requires persistent self- awareness, constant self-criticism and regular self-examination.”

Racism in any form is not acceptable nor will it be tolerated in the ORCSD. Racism can take many forms including implicit bias, as well as personal, cultural and institutional racism.

The ORCSD is committed to being anti-racist by counteracting expressions of racism that may occur on District property or at any District event.

The ORCSD has identified steps to take that support anti-racism and to confront racism in all forms. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

Educate and teach about stereotyping. Stereotypes are destructive to and undermine the learning environment that ORCSD seeks to foster for all staff and

  1. Educate and teach about stereotyping. Stereotypes are destructive to and undermine the learning environment that ORCSD seeks to foster for all staff and students. Inform ORCSD students about stereotyping and the negative consequences and that by not intervening when stereotypes occur, one is complicit in the face of injustice.
  2. Educate students that combatting racial bias involves more than inter-personal behavior. It involves recognizing, and working to change systems including, but not limited to banking, health care, education, food security and availability, and incarceration that perpetuate racial inequality.
  3. Responding to the role racism has played and is playing, the District will teach the history of racism and its negative effects on society and the individual.
  4. Expect that staff and students be role models against hate language, and speech in any form. All members of the ORCSD community are expected to intervene when witnessing discrimination in any form. If someone who sees or experiences discrimination is uncomfortable in the moment, they are encouraged to report the incident to someone in Authority.
  5. Educate and remind all students and staff to think before you speak, words can hurt especially racially charged words. Educate about microaggression which is indirect, subtle or unintended language against marginalized groups. Microaggression is an act of racism.
  6. In teaching, emphasize how culture and race enhance and enrich life. Across the District community, promote awareness of the contributions all people and cultures make to global citizenship.
  7. Embracing hiring practices that recruit from diverse candidate groups. The District recognizes that this recruiting requires us to go beyond traditional/typical local postings to make working in Oyster River attractive to all candidates specifically including minority candidates.

The ORCSD will use metrics which objectively measure equity in delivery of services, disciplinary action, and other relevant characteristics and report on these annually in the Annual Report of the District. The metric used will be the annual report to the Office of Civil Rights.

This policy will be reviewed every year that ends in an odd number to ensure that it is under continuous review.