FCPS Establishes Student Equity Ambassador Leaders Program

News Release
November 30, 2020

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has established a new leadership program—Student Equity Ambassador Leaders (SEALS)—to amplify student voices and provide an increased understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion through leadership development, projects, and relevant experiences of high school students.  

“As part of our efforts to support students as they look at their school through an equity lens, this new program will offer students the opportunity to take on a leadership role while recognizing and encouraging different points of view, experiences, and histories,” said Leona Smith Vance, director of equity and family engagement. 

SEALS was designed to enable students to take an active role in fostering a school culture that affirms and sustains racial, linguistic, and cultural identities. As the stories of marginalized students appear, SEALS participants will be able to contribute to a more equitable and culturally responsive learning environment.
 
Students in the SEALS program will participate in cross-regional committees such as student-led professional learning and school-based equity coalitions. Each FCPS high school selected from two to three sophomores and juniors to participate. 

The Virginia Department of Education is observing EdEquityVA Week this week, November 30-December 4. Governor Ralph Northam issued a proclamation designating this week as EdEquityVA Week. It includes the commonwealth’s commitment to providing a high-quality public education for all students and eliminating the predictability of student outcomes based on factors such as race, zip code, family income, ability, or home language.

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For more information, contact Leona Smith Vance at lmsmith3@fcps.edu