Main Menu

Explore More

District Efforts to Support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Creating an inclusive culture where all students feel safe, accepted, valued, and that they belong is a priority for the Onteora Central School District.  The New York State CRS-Framework guides our work in creating student-centered learning environments that affirm cultural identities; foster positive academic outcomes; develop students’ abilities to connect across lines of difference; elevate historically marginalized voices; empower students as agents of social change; and contribute to individual student engagement, learning, growth, and achievement through the cultivation of critical thinking. In addition, we utilize the NYS Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Benchmarks to create learning environments where students will be fully and authentically engaged in their own social and emotional learning, be more connected to school, and become more empowered learners.

There are several initiatives in place to support this work including: 

  • Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility - OCSD has partnered with this organization since 2019 to support social-emotional learning, cultural competency, and processes that create a caring and equitable school community. 

  • Our staff utilizes restorative practices - Restorative practices are a set of processes and tools that help us create a caring school community and keep that community whole. The premise is that people and relationships are valued first and foremost. When people make mistakes or cause harm, restorative practices can help them understand the impact of their actions, heal the harm, and restore the community.

  • J.E.D.I. Library - Our elementary Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) libraries feature recently released children's literature emphasizing human relationships sensitive to a broad range of cultural experiences. The books in these libraries contain age-appropriate and accurate historical content with a true sense of story and a strong potential to kindle empathy. The content of this library is based on the NYS Social Studies Standards and the NYS CRS Framework.

  • Professional Development - The district continues to offer internal professional learning for staff and supports external professional learning opportunities in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Anti-Racism work, restorative practices, and Social Emotional Learning.

  • Counseling Support for Students and Families - School-based counseling support is available to all students in each building at OCSD. At the secondary level, students can meet with their school counselor to initiate and discuss a need for additional school-based counseling support. Social workers and psychologists in our buildings can assist all students and families. 

    • In addition, virtual monthly parent support sessions are available to all OCSD families. Dates and topics are advertised on the OCSD website.

    • A parent and community liaison social worker is also available to support families with resources and to support communication between different social services and mental health resource organizations.

    • For families interested in utilizing community-based counseling support, OCSD supports and houses an ASTOR clinic in our MS/HS. This service is available to all OCSD families.