Office of Equity and Inclusion-Professional Standards
What is the Office of Equity and Inclusion/Professional Standards?
The Office of Equity and Inclusion/Professional Standards is comprised of two main areas that support goals 1, 3, and 4 of the District Strategic Plan. Two main areas of responsibility are:
- Enforcement and Compliance – to improve education and skill-building for students and staff in order to create a safe environment, free from discrimination, harassment, and threats of violence or abuse; to address underlying issues in the school and workplace that cause discrimination, harassment, and bullying in the school and workplace; and, to deliver key information to students and staff about district civil rights policies and procedures, federal and state-mandated laws, ethics and the standard of professional behavior expected in school and the workplace.
- Prevention – to help eliminate the achievement gap by fostering respect for – and celebration of – our diversity; promote cultural unity, individual growth, and classroom and workplace harmony. The offices work with Professional Development, Human Resources staffing and other divisions within the district to develop and implement an integrated professional development plan and integrate proven, best practices that are aligned with the District’s core belief and commitment to diversity, equity, and to its strategic plan.
Enforcement and Compliance responsibilities:
- Conduct investigations into allegations of possible violations of the district’s non-discrimination, harassment and retaliation policies (see Chapter 10.0 of the Board manual) and the Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida.
- Develop and recommend policies and practices related to the prevention of discrimination and prohibited conduct in our schools and workplace.
- Disseminate the district’s non-discrimination policy and complaint procedures to ensure they are posted in a visible location.
- Conduct policy reviews at our schools and facilities to inform employees and anyone associated with the District of its non-discrimination policies and procedures and the Principles of Professional Conduct.
- Review requests, conduct site visits and make determinations as to appropriate accommodations available with regard to requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADAAA.
- Review and process requests to commence the district's Fitness-for-Duty process pursuant to Board Policy 6.25.II.
- Developed programs and activities for students to give them an opportunity to gain personal skills and awareness around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Such programs included Challenge Day, the SPIRIT (Student Problem Identification and Resolving Issues Together) Program and the Paper Clips Project, which gave students an opportunity to discuss the long-term consequences and devastating effects of hatred and intolerance.
- Developed programs and initiatives for instructional staff and schools. This included a pilot program involving three schools (Englewood High School, Southside Middle School, and Southside Estates Elementary School) that integrated social and emotional learning with academic learning to increase academic achievement and improve morale and productivity. The office worked with 15 schools for two years to increase awareness, skills, and processes to be integrated into classrooms and with adults related to equity.
- Currently developing diversity and cultural competence training and training related to the Principals of Professional Conduct and the district's process related to progressive discipline.
- Complaint Procedures
- Non-Discrimination Policy
- Equity Initiatives
- Progressive Discipline Process
Need to schedule a review on the district’s Non-Discrimination Policy or Ethics?
Contact the Offices of Equity and Inclusion/Professional Standards at (904) 390-2181.
Sherry Jackson, MASS, J.D.
Office of Equity and Inclusion/Professional Standards
Duval County Public Schools
1701 Prudential Drive, 5th Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32207-8182
Phone: (904) 390-2181 or (904) 390-2054
Fax: (904) 390-2468
Office of Equity and Inclusion Staff/Professional Standards:
Reginald Johnson, Investigator
Audris Holt, Investigator
Jennifer Castillo, Investigator
Marshae' Best, Training Specialist
Jeannie Turner, Secretary IV