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Shaker's Educational Equity Policy

The District will attain true excellence only when all students are exceeding universally high goals. The District is committed to the success of every student in our schools. In alignment with the District’s aspirations of Excellence, Equity and Exploration, it is the belief of the Board that all students deserve to be academically challenged in a safe and supportive learning environment in which they feel a sense of belonging. This environment should be free of bullying, harassment and discrimination. All Shaker students deserve to be held to high expectations while being given the resources and supports they need to exceed those expectations.

Historical and continuing structural inequities create disparate outcomes for marginalized student populations. As a District committed to equity, we seek to disrupt societal and historical inequities and eliminate disparities based on student and family characteristics such as, but not limited to, race, color, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), economic status, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability or military status, so that all students thrive.   

Educational equity is based on the principles of fairness and justice in allocating resources, opportunity, treatment and creating success for each student. Achieving equity means students’ identities will not predetermine or predict school success. The Board believes that expanding opportunities for students who have been historically marginalized will enrich the overall development of all students.

The District’s vision for all students to achieve and exceed at high levels requires the District to see each student as an individual with unique strengths and needs. In order to help all students succeed, we must meet each student where the student is academically, emotionally, mentally, physically and socially.

As such, it is the policy of the Board to promote educational equity for all District students through the budgeting process, the allocation of resources and development of Board policies in order to realize the District’s vision. In order to make educational equity a reality for all students, the Board must utilize a set of guiding principles that reflects the District’s values when addressing issues related to the budget, resource allocation and policy development.

The Board is committed to the following guiding principles:

  1. Board decisions will be made with a commitment to promoting just and fair inclusion and creating conditions in which everyone can participate, prosper and reach their full potential.

  2. Equity benefits the District as a whole.  All students must participate in appropriately rigorous, challenging and diverse educational experiences designed to create a skill set needed to graduate and become career and community ready by being provided targeted supports based on individual needs. Expanding opportunities and increasing support for students, especially those who have been historically marginalized and may continue to be marginalized, will ultimately increase the overall educational experience, general well-being and academic achievement of all District students.

  3. Equity does not mean equal. Achieving educational equity will mean that schools and students may receive different resources based on specific needs. Some resources may be distributed in a universal manner; however, other resources may be targeted to a particular building, location or group of students or staff. The District should provide every student with equitable access to high-quality curriculum, support, facilities and other educational resources, even when the process appears to be differentiated in the allocation of resources.

  4. A targeted universalism approach will guide the District’s equity work. School-based programs and opportunities will be designed and implemented using targeted universalism. Said programs and opportunities must be accessible to all students, but can, and in some cases should, be targeted to provide specific supports for select students to achieve or exceed the District’s universally high goals. This will be achieved by systematically using disaggregated District and school data to inform District decision making.

  5. Roles and Responsibilities

    1. The Board will assure that the guiding principles inform Board-level decisions related to budget, resource allocation and policy-development in order to make progress toward educational equity for all students.

    2. District administration will make recommendations to the Board regarding budget, resource allocation and policy development based on the guiding principles.

  6. Assessment of Educational Equity
    The Superintendent/designee shall recommend and the Board shall adopt a tool and/or method by which the District can assess alignment of recommendations with the principles. The Educational Equity Tool will be available on the District’s website once approved.

  7. Reporting
    Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee and Board will adopt goals and corresponding metrics related to this policy. Reporting will include data on the distribution of staff and financial and programmatic resources across all schools and will be incorporated into the annually prepared budget documents and/or Human Resources report.

  8. Definitions

    1. “Educational Equity” means an intentional distribution of District resources amongst schools, students and staff based on what each needs to achieve universal goals.

    2. “Educational Equity Tool” is a district-wide evaluation tool used to measure the intentionality of the District programs and activities and how they meet the needs of all District students.

    3. “Resources” includes money, programs and curriculum, staff time, expertise, skills, experience and professional learning, information, facilities and materials and services such as technology, food service and transportation.

    4. “Universal” when used in reference to resources, means the distribution of resources to everyone or everything in the established group regardless of any unique or specific qualities or identified needs, such as the allocation of one lead principal to each school building or the provision of a standard mathematics textbook to each student. “Universal” when used in reference to goals, means published goals fostering all students’ acquisition of the skills and abilities to be successful in college, career and community.

    5. “Targeted” means the distribution of resources on top of or in addition to universally distributed resources to support a particular subgroup based on unique or specific qualities or established need, such as the provision of the allocation of an assistant principal only to the school(s) whose student enrollment exceeds a specific number or the provision of supplementary math texts and workbooks to students who achieve within an established range on an assessment.

    6. “Targeted Universalism” is an approach used to achieve equity. It sets universal goals for all students and identifies targeted means and processes for specific populations depending on how they are situated to opportunity. This approach recognizes that the District must respond with necessary resources and multiple paths needed for different school communities and students to thrive.

View the Educational Equity Policy.