VPA’s Equity Initiative

VPA’s Equity Practitioners Network 2019-2021


The Vermont Principals’ Association is seeking applications from school leaders and others interested in joining the first cohort of the VPA Equity Practitioners Network (EPN). Program expectations and selection criteria are described below.

The Equity Practitioners Network will consist of educators passionate about true equity in public education and committed to implementing structural systems change in their school and/or district.

The program involves two full school years (2019-2021), and there are 28 to 30 slots available in the first EPN cohort. Principals, Assistant Principals, CTE Directors and Equity/Diversity Coordinators will be given priority, as well as applicants from traditionally marginalized groups. Teams of up to four individuals, with diverse roles, from one school or district, are encouraged to apply, as well.

The Bay & Paul Foundation is supporting this effort to prepare a skilled and Vermont-based team of equity* literate** practitioners who learn together, assess, plan and take action in their school or district, and share their experiences with the network and others.



  1. A professional commitment to your current school or district through June 2021.
  2. The support of your supervisor/superintendent for your participation.
  3. Complete a required two-day introductory training (October 2 & 3, 2019, at VSBIT in Berlin) with the Equity Literacy Institute and WholeHeart.
  4. Monthly, individual, 60-minute coaching sessions between November 2019 and May 2020 with an equity coach from WholeHeart.
  5. Four 90-minute, peer coaching sessions between November 2019 and May 2020 with your school team or otherwise assigned group of four.
  6. Year one fieldwork will focus on personal learning, relationship-building, assessment and information gathering, and development of an equity plan.
  7. Year two fieldwork will focus on the implementation and monitoring of your equity plan.
  8. Sharing your story at the VPA Leadership Academies, August 4-6, 2020 and August 3-5, 2021. This process will be formally integrated into the Academy.
  9. The fee for participation in the program is $995, payable over two years if necessary. The actual cost per participant is just over $2000. The VPA will match your professional development dollars through its support by Bay & Paul Foundation and VSAC/Gear Up.

Applicant Criteria:

  • You have a willingness to suspend your assumptions, explore your biases and blind spots, and experience a bit of vulnerability in community;
  • You are a systems-thinking innovator who is passionate about equity, has a sense of urgency and a bias toward action;
  • You are currently in at least your third year* in this leadership role in your school or district SO THAT you have established internal district and community relationships that would allow you to advance positive change within your district (ex: school board members, parents, students, community leaders) (*if not in your third year or more, but you have established relationships, please describe what and how, and we will consider this);
  • You can make a two year commitment – to the cohort and to your school/district;
  • Our goal is a diverse cohort and traditionally marginalized candidates will be given priority (people of color, women, LGBTQ+, differently abled).


Applications Due Monday, July 29 by 8:00 pm EST

Selection Committee Meeting week of August 12th

Status Emails Out Monday, August 18

Cohort One Required Training Wednesday & Thursday, October 2 & 3, 2019

Contact for More Info:

Linda Wheatley, Equity Coordinator, 802-535-8383 lwheatley@vpaonline.org


Thank you. Deadline for submitting your application is Monday, July 29th. Selection is scheduled for the week of August 12th, and you will be informed of your status on Monday, August 19th.

Equity and Equity Literacy Definitions:

*VPA/VSBA/VSA definition of educational equity: Each and every student receives the resources and educational opportunities they need to learn and thrive.

  • Equity means that a student’s success is not predicated nor predetermined by characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, economics, class, geography, disability, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or initial preferences.
  • Equity means that every school provides high quality curriculum, programs, teachers and administrators, extracurricular activities and support services.
  • Equity goes beyond formal equality where all students are treated the same.  Achieving equity may require an unequal distribution of resources and services.
  • Equity involves disrupting inequitable practices, acknowledging biases, employing practices that reflect the reality that all students will learn, and creating inclusive multicultural school environments for adults and children.

** Equity literacy is a framework for cultivating the knowledge and skills that enable us to be a threat to the existence of inequity in our spheres of influence. More than cultural competence or diversity awareness, equity literacy prepares us to see even subtle ways in which access and opportunity are distributed unfairly across race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, language, and other factors. By recognizing and deeply understanding these conditions, we are prepared to respond to inequity in transformational ways in the immediate term. We also strengthen our ability to foster longer-term change by redressing the bigger institutional and societal conditions that produce the everyday manifestations of inequity. (Equity Literacy Institute, an EdChange Initiative)