The Vermont Principals Association
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The Vermont Principals’ Association’s mission is to support school leaders to improve the equity and quality of educational opportunities for all students.


January, 2018

Educational equity means that 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.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion in Student Activities

DEI Committee: In the spring of 2021, the VPA began a collaborative Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in activities/sports committee. That committee is in partnership with the Vermont State Athletic Directors Association (VSADA). This group meets monthly and has student participants, members of the VPA staff, VPA Activities Standards Committee, Executive Council, and the VSADA. The committee is co-chaired by Mike Jabour of South Burlington High School and Quaron Pinckney of Burlington School District.

Related Statements/Policies/Updates

In addition to the above, some of the VPA’s related work includes:

  • Ongoing Professional Learning & Annual Leadership Academy: Many of our ongoing offerings and the theme of our Annual Leadership Academies over the past several years have been directly linked to improving equitable outcomes and building more anti-racist school communities. (view current offerings)
  • Policy, State and National Collaboration: The VPA routinely advocates for policy, law, and procedures with state and national collaborations that support all students in public education equitably. Some examples include but are not limited to: VPA participation in the ACT 1 advisory working group, VPA member participation on the VT Taskforce on Diversifying the Educator Workforce, Building Bright Futures,  and the NAESP Race and Equity Task Force.
  • Mini-Grants: In 2020-21, The VPA, with support from the VSA (Vermont Superintendent’s Association) and VSCA (Vermont School Counselor’s Association) partnered with The Vermont Community Foundation and Barr Foundation to help distribute $313,000 in the form of $3,000 – $5,000 mini grants to 81 schools around the state in support of student food, mental health, and access to learning needs related to COVID-19 relief. (list of schools that received mini grants)
  • Connecting Vermont Equity Coordinators: Beginning in March 2021, the VSA and VPA started a monthly drop-in for school or district employees who have the role of equity coordinator or a similar title. This space was an initial gathering for participants to shape and help lead collaboratively, now working together as the Vermont Educational Equity Collaborative (VEEC).
  • Leading Equitable, Anti Racist, and Inclusive Education Communities: The Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA), the Vermont Superintendents Association (VSA), and the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) received a grant award of $150,000 from the Vermont Community Foundation and Barr Foundation. An initial advisory group reviewed the results member-driven needs assessment to identify meaningful, actionable goals for this resource. The advisory group was made up of: Alison Sylvester, VT-NEA Representative, Annsunee Swift, VPA Representative, Flor Diaz Smith, VSBA Representative, Mikaela Simms, Equity Coordinator Representative, Jess DeCarolis, AOE Representative, Amy Rex, VSA Representative, Kristin Hubert, VTCLA Representative, Jessica Spencer, VCSEA Representative, Xusana Davis, Executive Director of Racial Equity. Update: Welcoming, Equitable & Antiracist Communities Update (12/7/22)
  • Equity Practitioner’s Network (EPN) Launched in the summer of 2019, the EPN was a two-year cohort of educators from around the state. In the first year, 28 members built more understanding about Equity Literacy Framework directly from Paul Gorski of the Equity Literacy Institute. That workshop was followed by small group and one-to-one coaching provided by WholeHeart, Inc. additional direct content offerings from leaders in the field, and additional shared reflection, reading, and action projects. (Cohort 1, Year 1) In July of 2021, the second EPN cohort was launched. To learn more about this this group, the goals, and the content led by Dr. Wendi WilliamsYou can learn more about cohort #2 that ran from August 2021 to June 2023, here.
  • Act 1 of 2019 Working Group Participation The VPA has actively participated in the Ethnic and Social Equity Standards Advisory Group, helping to update the Education Quality Standards (adopted by the Vermont State Board of Education, Spring 2023) and recommend the Vermont’s IRIS Ethnic Studies Framework (6/30/23) to adoption as well. 

Tools for Consideration

Thank you to the Vermont Community Foundation, the McClure Foundation.