In an effort to better reflect the mission and actual work of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), the Leander ISD Board of Trustees approved policy change to AEA (LOCAL) at the Feb. 15, 2024 Board meeting to effectively changing the name to the Office of Educational Access.

Historical Overview

In 2021, the Board approved the establishment of the Office of DEI. In January 2022, LISD hired the first Chief of DEI to lead the Office. During its first year in operation, the Office of DEI spent a great deal of time engaging both internal and external stakeholders regarding the role and function of the office. The Chief of DEI met with LISD staff, parents and community members to ensure alignment of the Office with ALL stakeholders.

Moving Forward

After several lengthy discussions, it was decided that to better reflect the mission and actual work of the Office, its name should be changed. The name change will communicate to all stakeholders that we are relaunching the Office, based on operational needs and to better align with the LISD Strategic PlanGoal #4: Equitable Access. The new name – the Office of Educational Access (OEA) – ensures that we are focused on the needs of each and every one of our 42,000 students and their families who are central to the practice of the Office.

The Mission

The LISD Office of Educational Access (OEA) will have four major areas of focus.

  • Ensuring that each and every student has equitable access in academics, extracurricular and cocurricular activities by identifying and removing any barriers, both structural and perceptual to their engagement. Ongoing data collection and cultural competency education will be foundational components of this area.
  • Reducing academic gaps between student groups as measured by the LISD equity access data. This data will be reviewed by each feeder pattern during the school year and mitigation plans will be devised as warranted.
  • Ongoing professional development for staff to enhance organizational cultural competency and inclusive leadership. This will include workshops, article reflections, action learning tabletop scenarios, and a staff survey administered in the fall and spring.
  • Continuing to serve as an internal consultant for LISD campus and District leadership.

The Road Ahead

The Office of Educational Access will continue the work of increasing equitable access for each and every student as a permanent part of the LISD community. This work will bring value and intentionality to our focus on enhancing student outcomes for every demographic group.

Special thanks to the Board of Trustees and Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D., for their vision and leadership over the past two years. We are excited and look forward to continuing this important and impactful work.