- 400 Series: Personnel
The mission of ISD 622 school district, which includes the School Board, is to commit each day to develop and empower lifelong learners who thrive in diverse communities. The purpose of this policy is to act to eliminate racial disparities experienced by students of color while overcoming the achievement gap caused by the opportunity gap and promoting multicultural solidarity. Furthermore, the school district will support changes that further the successful educational development and well-being of every student including those most impacted by racism of any type.
1) General Statement of Policy
All students have an inherent right to an equitable, accessible, inclusive, and culturally responsive learning environment.
a)Equality: giving each individual the same thing without recognition of their unique needs.
b)Equity: giving each individual what they need to be successful recognizing that everyone’s
needs and visions for success are unique.
c)Racial Equity: giving each individual what they need with respect to their racial backgrounds and needs as one part of racial justice included to address root causes of inequities, not just their manifestation. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or that fail to eliminate them.
d)Educational Equity: the condition of justice, fairness and inclusion in our systems of education so that all students (especially those who are a part of traditionally underserved communities) have access to the opportunities to learn and develop to their fullest potentials.
f)Disparity: differences between groups in measurements of health, wealth, status, achievement etc. brought about by social advantage or disadvantage
g)Culturally responsive: To provide individuals what they need based on their unique cultural background.
3) Context and Need for Racial Equity Policy
a) The concept of educational equity goes beyond formal equality -- where all students are treated the same -- to fostering an environment where all students, regardless of their race, have the opportunity to benefit equally through intentional support that provides students with what they need to succeed.
b) Wherein the District does not have the capacity to eliminate all societal oppression, the ability exists to create school structures for students that nurture and uplift the whole child. District students must be honored and valued in every classroom by supporting their social, emotional and cultural needs. District students must be seen for all that they are and included and celebrated for being as such. Educational equity benefits all students and the community. Students of all races shall graduate from the District ready to thrive in a racially and culturally diverse local, national and global community.
c) White students have traditionally outperformed Black, Hispanic and Native American students on state assessments in every subject at every grade level, and have graduated at predictably higher rates than students of color. Additionally, Black, Hispanic and Native American students are disciplined at rates greater than their White peers and at disproportionate rates. These disparities are unacceptable and are directly at odds with the fact that all students can achieve.
d) Given the District’s mission and beliefs, a historic and persistent opportunity gap resulting in disparate outcomes between racial groups is unacceptable. Closing this opportunity gap while raising achievement for all students is the top priority of the School Board, the Superintendent and all district staff. Race must cease to be a predictor of student achievement and success.
4) Areas of Responsibility
The responsibility for the disparities rests with adults and systems, not the students. The District must address and overcome inequity and institutional racism within its schools by disrupting any and all systems and practices which perpetuate our racialized opportunity gap.
The District is committed to explicitly identifying and addressing all areas where racial disparities exist. The District will significantly evaluate and change its practices in order to achieve and maintain racial equality in education.
This policy establishes that the District shall:
a. Provide every student with equitable access to high quality and culturally relevant instruction, curriculum, support, facilities and other educational resources.
b. Create multiple pathways to success in order to meet the needs of our diverse students and actively encourage, support and expect high academic achievement for students from all racial groups.
c. Remedy the practices that lead to the over-identification of students of color in areas of special education.
d. Remedy the practices that lead to the under-representation of students of color in gifted and accelerated programs.
e. Remedy the discipline practices that lead to the disproportionate exclusion of students of color from the learning environment.
f. Recruit, employ, support and retain racially and linguistically diverse and culturally competent staff. The district shall require and provide professional development to strengthen employees’ knowledge and skills for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities. The District shall actively strive to have the teacher and administrator workforce reflect the diversity of the student body.
g. Create environments that intentionally educate all stakeholders on critical race consciousness including understanding one’s racial identity and the impact of their racial identity on others.
h. Identify and address areas of inequity across all departments and programs.
6) Regular Ongoing Equity & Accountability Reporting
a. The Board will ensure that an equity focus is integrated in all work including current, upcoming and future strategic plans.
b. The Board recognizes that these are multifaceted goals with far reaching implications that require the significant and earnest work of multiple stakeholders to implement across the district. The Board will hold the Superintendent, and school leadership staff accountable for making measurable progress in meeting the goals. Every employee is responsible for the success and achievement of all students.
c. As such, The Board directs the Superintendent to develop and implement clear, realistic and time bound targets and action plans related to the policy annually. Targets shall include:
i. clear criteria for evaluating measurable annual progress in improving academic outcomes for students
ii. metrics for staff accountability in this work.
Every school and department will annually set specific equity goals. Progress will be measured and reported to the Board twice a year by the Superintendent.
d. Stakeholders with concerns about issues of equity will be able to submit concerns to the Office of the Superintendent.
e. The Superintendent will provide the Board with updated goals and action plans each year and will report on progress towards these goals at least twice a year.
7) Education Plan Alignment
This policy is in alignment with the Governor of Minnesota's Due North Education Plan and Minnesota Department of Education’s Strategic Plan and Minnesota’s Equity Commitments. The Board desires for this document to serve as one of the District’s guiding documents alongside its mission, vision and strategic plan.
Adoption and Revision History
This Policy Adopted: April 27, 2021
Cross References: Portland Public Schools
Oakland Unified Schools
Governor of Minnesota's Due North Education Plan
Minnesota Department of Education’s Strategic Plan