The Verona Area School District has made progress on the additional staff and a new partnership related to its equity initiative.

Administrators updated the school board Monday, explaining that starting next fall, there will be five new support positions. That’s one at each of Country View, Stoner Prairie and Sugar Creek elementaries and both of the attendance area middle schools.

District director of instructional equity and bilingual programming Laurie Burgos said the positions will focus on building relationships with students in a limited number of classrooms.

“We’re really thinking about who are the kids who need to connect differently,” Burgos said. “We really want to set this up so it’s not bouncing around too much.”

Other initiatives include a partnership with the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development on professional development opportunities, a new district mental health coordinator to work with families and community resources and efforts to diversify the district’s workforce.

The district’s strategic plan, approved last year, emphasizes the need for equity versus equality -- distributing resources based on where they’re needed, rather than giving everyone the same.

Contact Scott Girard at ungreporter@wcinet.com and follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.