McLean County Unit School District #5 Board Approved Equity Statement
The Unit 5 Board of Education is committed to dismantling systemic barriers to learning and
educational success for every student. In doing so, Board Members pledge to pursue
educational equity and excellence for all and empower a climate and culture of respect for
students, families, and staff. This commitment advances Unit 5’s mission, philosophy, and equity action plan.
(approved June 15, 2022)
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Reports Presented to the Unit 5 Board
McLean Unit 5 Equity Action Plan SY 23- 24 Presentation
McLean Equity Action Plan for SY 22-23
McLean Equity Action Plan Year 1 Review
McLean Unit 5 Equity Action Plan (EAP) 21-22
Equity Audit Report
Equity Audit Presentation
District Equity Leadership Team (DELT)
DELT Quarterly Update
Recognizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work in our Schools
May 2023 DEI Recognitions
PSE worked with the University of IL Department of Disabilty Resources and Educational Services (DRES) to host Wheelchair Takeover. DRES brought wheelchairs to the PE class to allow students across the building access to the for taking the opportunity to give students a chance to navigate in wheelchairs. he learned about the different muscles and movesments required to travel in a wheelchair. Several student observed how much power it took to use the two days. They played basketball games and drills while remaining in a wheelchair. Principal Ellis said Wheelchair Takeover is one of several efforts to represent student diversity across their learning space. Contact Principal Ellis and PE teacher, Mr. Schwartz or adaptive PE teacher Mr. Triezenberg for more information about this event.
On April 22, Benjamin was the site for Balagokulam’s Guru Vandana, the celebration for educators. During the ceremony, 40 educators were recognized. Students shared their Indian and Hindi culture with the audience through music, dance and skits. Visitors learned about several holidays including Holi, Raksha Bahndan (Celebration of Siblings) and Diwali (Celebration of Lights) and Holi (Festival of Colors). The event ended with visitors tasting several foods from India such as samosa with mint chutney.
Mrs. Mackinson and Eugene Field staff are celebrated for sharing their video about jobs completed by students at Deckers Industries. Check out their video here and support them by purchasing promotional products.
Monthly Equity Spotlights
In the fall, Principal Martin Boyd, Marinela Diaz, and other Evans Jr. High School staff orchestrated Hispanic Professionals Events across several weeks in their building. They invited guest speakers who immigrated to the United States and obtained professional positions in the community. The guest speakers included a physician, a journalist, a business manager, and an attorney. These professionals have immigrated to the US from Venezuela, Mexico, and Columbia. Students were engaged in conversations about navigating potential cultural and linguistic differences to thrive educationally and professionally. EJHS demonstrated intentional exposure to an exciting range of future opportunities.
Dr. Zbrozek and the members Ekal celebrated Raksha Bandhan in December. This celebration of siblings in India was expanded to include relationships across other cultures. The EKAL group invited others such as NIOS, BSU, AAPI, and others to join the celebration of familial relationships and unity.
December 2022 Recognition
Principal Marlys Bennington and Towanda staff learned about the Mexican celebration, DÍa de los Muertos. During the two-day celebration, people pay homage to deceased friends and family members with ofrendas. The ancestor’s favorite foods and drinks are presented to welcome their spirit to the celebration. Towanda students created DÍa de los Muertos artwork that included the traditional bright yellow marigolds. Learning about cultural celebrations supports Unit 5’s goal of building inclusive educational environments.
As we move into the fall and winter months, there are many holidays and commemorations that our students and their families will celebrate. Here are some considerations for supporting our students and their celebrations. Recently, many Unit 5 students celebrated Diwali. Diwali is a celebration of light and the victory of knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. It is celebrated for 5 days at the end of October by many Indian families of Hindu faith. Students and staff at Northpoint helped Mr. Harr dress in traditional Indian attire to join the celebration. Mr. Vogel invited Glenn students to celebrate Diwali by wearing traditional Indian attire to school. We appreciate Glenn and Northpoint staff, students, and families for encouraging inclusion in our schools.
October 2022 DEI Recognition
Please join me in recognizing Evans Jr High School, Principal Kimberly Martin-Boyd for their commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Five community members will speak with ESL/ Hispanic students about their roles as a journalist, project manager, an attorney, an interpreter, and a physician. Four of these community members immigrated to the Bloomington Normal area from Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, or Columbia. These guests will share stories of how they built a path to their successful adult lives. Family coordinator, Marianela “Nela” Diaz says she organized this event to help students “dare to dream”.
DELT DEI Statement
District Equity Leadership Team (DELT) Statement on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
McLean County Unit 5 recognizes that “educating each student to achieve personal excellence” requires a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The district will work proactively to create a safe and welcoming environment for all regardless of identity including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, sex, nationality, ability/differently-abled, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status, and language. This includes ensuring systemic and continuous development toward advancing equity within all policies and practices while removing institutional barriers that affect student learning and achievement.
Unit 5 defines EQUITY as the unbiased treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all people, while at the same time, striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically marginalized populations and that fairness regarding their unbalanced conditions is needed to assist in the provision of equitable opportunities and resources to all groups.
Unit 5 defines INCLUSION as the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and
feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued as a fully participating member. An inclusive and welcoming
climate embraces and celebrates differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people.
- We believe equity is a lens through which all decisions should be made.
- We believe in identifying and changing educational practices, policies, and processes that contribute to and
perpetuate inequities and disparities of those who have been marginalized in society by their identity, culture
or economic status.
- We believe the practices of attracting and retaining staff (i.e., recruiting, interviewing, hiring, supporting, and
promoting) must include and honor, at every level, those who represent the diverse identities of our schools
- We believe that all staff and students deserve a space to be their authentic selves. We believe that seeking
student and staff experiences and feedback on organizational culture and climate will help achieve
- We believe a continuum of professional learning and growth opportunities for all staff will help achieve
- We believe that parents/caregivers, educators, and the community must be active partners in order to help
students achieve academic excellence.
- We believe in an inclusive curriculum, and instruction and assessment that is learner-centered and based on
high standards and expectations.
Unit 5 has made an ongoing commitment to providing an environment that respects diversity among all members of our learning community. District-wide and at the school level, Unit 5 students, staff, parents, and community members are actively engaged in a rich array of programs and initiatives that seek to promote the increased understanding and appreciation of diversity.