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Longview School District

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Longview, WA, USA

Policy No. 0130

Governance

 

EQUITY POLICY

All students have the inherent right to an equitable, accessible, inclusive, and culturally responsive learning environment. The District values students’ diverse ideas and contributions, and believes that students’ identities and backgrounds actively contribute to their successful academic outcomes and that of their peers. Diversity is a core strength of our District and requires that we work systemically to eliminate racial inequalities and inequities for all marginalized students.

Equity is rooted in the values of our District and we must intentionally and continually work to achieve it. We can only serve each and every student if we live our District values, including showing respect and compassion for each other. Racism, discrimination, and marginalization of any people or groups of people, whether intentional or not, have no place in our community. Such actions damage not only those individuals and groups at which they are directed, but also our community as a whole.

We acknowledge the inequities many of our students face and that we are challenged to address. District data confirm what broader research shows: many factors impact a student’s performance, including but not limited to race, income level, disability, gender, mobility, and English proficiency. While these factors may be related to one another, each can independently impact students; and students who experience multiple factors can experience greater barriers.

We recognize that students face inequities that are associated with aspects of their identities and their contexts, including race, ethnicity, culture, disability and learning differences, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, and when they are acquiring English, or are experiencing homelessness, in foster care or poverty. We are committed to addressing these inequities and helping each and every student to equitably access learning opportunities in our District to enable them all to thrive.

 

I. Commitments

The Board commits to:

  1. Provide system-wide direction, support, oversight, and shared accountability to advance equity and eliminate inequities in our Longview School District community.
  2. Affirm, inspire and serve each and every student in our diverse population, especially students who have been marginalized through race or other means, and students who face significant barriers.
  3. Create opportunities and remove barriers to identify and nurture strengths in each and every student to ensure our community can in turn be strengthened by each and every student.
  4. Provide ongoing Board development and learning opportunities about inequities and biases that impact students, staff, and families in our community, and about effective strategies for addressing them.
  5. Address inequities and biases that create feelings of fear, lack of belonging, and academic and psychological barriers for students, all of which can contribute to reduced academic participation and performance.
  6. Work with the District administration to develop and review District policies and Board approvals of District plans, budgets, and curriculum materials.
  7. Ensure our policies directly address racism and occurrences of racial tension and discrimination in ways that both provide positive guidelines and expectations, and that direct development of thorough reporting and investigation processes.
  8. Review and update policies regularly to ensure they proactively advance an equitable and exceptional education for all students.

 

This policy establishes that our District shall:

  1. Adopt curriculum, as well as teaching and learning strategies that leverage, reflect, and affirm the unique experiences and social, racial, cultural, linguistic, and familial backgrounds of our Longview School District community and beyond.
  2. Ensure that all students have equitable access to and provision of resources based on their unique needs, including but not limited to, English language learning, advanced learning such as Highly Capable programming, free and reduced-price lunches, special education, homelessness and foster supports.
  3. Ensure that all students have equitable access to all District programs including but not limited to college and career readiness and counseling, sports and activities, and Advanced Placement coursework.
  4. Provide concerted universal instructional efforts and extensive and varied intervention opportunities to support all students, including those who face barriers and inequities, to meet key milestones for student growth and achievement, and their own personal growth and learning goals.
  5. Ensure disciplinary actions are undertaken without bias and/or the unwarranted creation of disproportionality.
  6. Work with the employee groups and staff to ensure that staff members participate in professional development that addresses implicit bias, anti-discrimination, cultural responsiveness, and inclusion. The Superintendent will ensure professional development in these instructional practices is ongoing.
  7. Implement hiring processes that proactively support the District’s commitment to hire, recruit, and retain highly qualified staff of color and various backgrounds that promote and honor other aspects of a diverse workforce.
  8. Ensure that all staff have equitable access to and provision of appropriate and reasonable resources based on their unique needs.
  9. Develop reporting, investigation, communication and accountability processes, particularly related to actions of racism and occurrences of racial tension or other discriminatory actions and when warranted, implement these processes in a timely, thorough and unbiased manner.
  10. Foster strong partnerships with diverse groups of parents and stakeholders and increase direct family engagement, especially with families whose students may be marginalized or face barriers.
  11. The Superintendent or designee shall create and maintain procedures, associated with this policy and other relevant policies as appropriate, to guide how each of the above District commitments will be implemented.

 

Cross References:

  Policy 3205 Prohibition of Sexual Harassment
  Policy 3210 Nondiscrimination
Legal References WA Administrative Code Chapter 392-190

Equal educational opportunity

Unlawful Discrimination Prohibited

  Title 28A.640 RCW Sexual Equality
  Title 28A.642 RCW Discrimination Prohibition

 

Initially Adopted December 14, 2020