Eanes ISD approved changes to its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion charter at its May 24 meeting.

The approved alterations add four additional students to the committee, change the way students and staff members are appointed, allows transfer parents outside of the district to be on the committee and more.

The board is currently comprised of the following:

  • two community members without students currently enrolled in EISD schools

  • two middle school students

  • two high school students

  • nine staff members (one from each school)

  • an elementary principal, a secondary principal

  • one central administration staff

  • nine parents (one from each school)

  • Consultant Mark Gooden and EISD Senior Advisor Linda Rawlings

All members were initially appointed by the school board, but that model is unsustainable in the long-term and results in extended vacancies, Rawling said. The principals on the committees can now appoint staff members and students to the committee. Parents and community members are still approved through the board.

The revisions add two additional middle school students and two additional high school students. Committee members previously had to live within EISD to be on the committee, but the updated rules now allow students of transfer parents outside the district to also apply for a spot.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee was formed in 2020 amid concerns about school climate shared by students, parents and alumni. The board decided in July and August of 2020 that the support of an outside expert would be necessary and hired Gooden, chair of the department of organization and principal leadership at Columbia University, as a consultant for 2020-2021 and renewed his contract for 2021-2022.

Gooden and Rawlings have spearheaded DEI activities since 2020, but new leadership will be appointed for 2022-2023 following the expiration of Gooden’s contract. One co-chair will be a staff member, and the other will be a parent and community member.

“It’s been a true pleasure and honor to be engaging in this work,” Gooden said. “It’s hard to believe we’re at the end of two years, but I’ve really enjoyed my time with Eanes Innovative School District and the broader Westlake community.”