Section: Policy Update - September 2020 - First Installment
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION IN EDUCATION
The Board of Education is committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive learning environment where all students feel safe, included, welcomed, and accepted and experience a sense of belonging which fosters success in college and career.
Generally Accepted Beliefs and Agreements
All students and staff deserve to have equal access to opportunity regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, their sexual orientation, the language they speak, or their background. This freedom is fundamental to our P-12 education program and is extended to everyone without exception. The district recognizes that there are students that have been historically marginalized due to inequities associated with aspects of their identities and their contexts, including, but not limited to, race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex; sexual orientation, or gender (including gender identity and expression). Racism, discrimination, and marginalization of any people or groups of people, whether intentional or not, have no place in our schools, our district, or our community. Such actions damage those individuals and groups at which they are directed and can have short term and long-term effects on our community. We are committed to addressing these inequities and helping each student to equitably access learning opportunities in school to enable them all to thrive and build a better society.
The school district intends to provide equitable, and inclusive opportunities for all and expose staff and students to diverse cultures. The district will acknowledge the presence of all students and the need for students to find relevant connections among themselves and the subject matter and the tasks teachers ask them to perform. The district will develop the individual and organizational knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices to create culturally responsive teaching environments that expect and support high academic achievement. Differences will not just be seen as strengths, but they will be nourished, celebrated, and welcomed because they are what make students and families unique.
Equitable and inclusive education is an ongoing process that requires shared commitment and leadership.
Curriculum and instructional materials shall reflect the diversity and include a range of perspectives and experiences, particularly those of historically underrepresented groups. Extracurricular programs shall be designed to provide opportunities for cross-cultural and cross-racial interactions that foster respect for diversity.
Equity in Education is based on the principles of fairness and ensuring that every student has access to the resources and educational rigor they need.
Inclusivity in education is based on the principles of acceptance and inclusion of all students. Students see themselves reflected in their curriculum, physical surroundings, and the broader environment, in which diversity is honored and all individuals are respected.
Diversity in education means students, staff, families, and community are our greatest strength, and diversity is viewed as an asset. Diversity means being different or having differences, including, but not limited to, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, socioeconomic class, religion, and ability, and other human differences. The district will embrace diversity and move beyond tolerance and celebration to inclusivity and respect, which will help the district create a school community that ensures that each voice is heard and valued.
Accountability, Transparency, and Review
The Board, its officers, and employees accept responsibility and will hold themselves and each other accountable for every student having full access to quality education, qualified teachers, challenging curriculum, full opportunity to learn, and sufficient, personalized learning so they can achieve at success in academic and other student outcomes. The district also accepts its responsibility for moving forward on this journey and committing time, energy, and resources to develop a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse, welcoming environment for all students, parents, and staff. To this end, the Superintendent has established a district-wide committee that includes representation from staff, administration, students, and parents. The district committee advise the administration when developing and implementing specific initiatives. This includes reviewing practices designed to promote diversity, prevent discrimination, and assure equitable access to high-quality educational staff, facilities, and materials to maximize student achievement for all students.
The district will identify the multiple indicators necessary to monitor student outcomes, engagement, and school climate, and specific data used to ensure accountability for student, school, and district-wide performance; to reduce variability in outcomes, and to ensure that academic outcomes will not be predictable by actual or perceived personal characteristics and can be assessed and reported transparently to the public. The district committee will provide the Board of Education with bi-annual progress monitoring updates.