School-Based Equity Team Guidelines

For a printable version of the School-Based Equity Team Guidelines, please click here.



Purpose

The purpose of a school-based Equity Team is not to replace but to enhance, build on, and improve the school’s past and current efforts to ensure academic success for all students by closing opportunity gaps for students, providing culturally proficient teaching and learning practices, and ensuring equitable and inclusive environments for all students, families, staff, and community partners with an intentional equity-focused anti-racist lens.

Composition Guidelines of the Equity Teams

An Equity Team is a school-based collaborative team of stakeholders primarily responsible for advancing and centering equity in the culture and practices of the school through an anti-racist and anti-bias lens. The desired outcome is the closing of the academic achievement gap for students and ending the opportunity gaps that permeate the school community. The number of team members can vary but should represent and be representative of the many different stakeholders in the school community and needs to be manageable in size to work productively and efficiently. The following guidelines are meant to ensure inclusion and transparency.

 

  • Diversity across race, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and other important characteristics.
  • Diversity across stakeholder constituents, especially those who have not been traditionally heard from, including caregivers, educators, support staff, community partners, school administrators, and when appropriate, students,
  • A minimum of two caregivers, two classroom teachers, one non-classroom educator, one paraprofessional, the Family Liaison, a community partner, and Principal/Head of School or Assistant Principal and, when developmentally appropriate, two students
  • Consider involving stakeholders who have not been actively engaged in the life of the school community
  • The team should be co-chaired by the Principal/Head of School or the Assistant Principal and a non-administrative educator or caregiver or community partner
  • At the first meeting, have members introduce themselves and why they have agreed to be on the team
  • Review the expectations of the Equity Team
  • Establish norms for your discussions to promote equitable participation
  • Determine when, where, how often and how long will your Equity Team meet?
    • The team should meet a minimum of twice a month until the completion of the Equity Self-Assessment
    • The team should meet a minimum of once a month after the Equity Self-Assessment and the Equity Plan are initiated
    • Designate a recorder/note-taker

Duties and Expectations of Equity Teams

  1. Conduct an Equity Self-Assessment that examines and deconstructs current practices and policies through the lens of equity and anti-racism (self-assessment tool and training provided by OEIB);
  2. Design and help coordinate a school-based equity plan with findings from the assessment (and other resources) that includes actionable initiatives that support systems change to center equity and actively promote anti-racist practices (guidance provided by OEIB);
  3. Meet regularly to discuss and deploy initiatives and chart the progress of current initiatives;
  4. Provide timely updates and progress reports to the OEIB (this information will be used to update and inform the school and district Equity Dashboard);
  5. Address issues within the school community’s locus of control and focused on improving the student experience (academic and social-emotional learning) ;
  6. Meet or liaison with, and collaborate with other school teams (e.g. ILT/ Data Team, SST, RTI/MTSS, Counseling Teams, etc.);
  7. Leverage the opportunity to inform and implement strategies and plans to advance racial equity and social justice across the school community;
  8. Leverage the opportunity to collaborate and build relationships with stakeholders across spectrums, and leverage internal expertise to advance the goals of the effort; and
  9. Leverage the opportunity to build personal and professional knowledge and skills, including strategic planning, effective communications, complex problem solving, application of equity assessment tools for planning and decision-making, and in-depth analysis of equity and racial justice.

Desired Characteristics of Individual Equity Team Members

  1. Commitment to anti-racism, social justice, educational equity; with passion and energy to motivate others;
  2. Knowledge of equity and inequity and issues in CPS related to race, culture, learning differences, linguistic challenges, gender identification, and sexual orientation, etc.;
  3. Collaborative in working across differences and organizing for collective results;
  4. Leadership experiences and ability to be a visible and vocal champion for equity;
  5. Communication skills to be a liaison and ambassador with a variety of audiences;
  6. Creativity to think outside the box to craft forward-thinking, innovative strategies;
  7. Capacity to engage in difficult conversations about race and equity;\
  8. Flexibility to work across barriers and to seize opportunities;
  9. Humility and curiosity to continually learn and engage in self-reflection;
  10. Relationships, internally and externally, that can be leveraged to expand engagement and buy-in; and
  11. Resilience to engage in deep, challenging, and long-term work.

OEIB Definitions
Anti-bias lens
refers to an intentional approach designed to increase understanding of differences and to center equity and actively challenge bias, stereotypes, and all forms of discrimination.

Anti-racist lens refers to an intentional focus by schools that acknowledges that racist beliefs, structures, and anti-Blackness sentiment are pervasive in education and requires schools to actively work to dismantle those beliefs and structures.

Achievement gaps refer to any significant, persistent disparities in academic performance between groups of students, based on income level, race, language, or program participation.

Opportunity gaps refer to gaps in access to resources, programs, etc.

Equity lens
refers to is a process for analyzing the impact of the design and implementation of policies and procedures on under-served and marginalized individuals and groups, and to identify and potentially eliminate barriers.

Office of Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

CPS Definitions of Equity and Racial Equity
In 2019, the Administration and School Committee adopted definitions of equity and racial equity.

Equity means that each student, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or socioeconomic status will have access to the opportunities, resources, and support they need to attain their full potential.

Racial Equity means the absence of institutional and structural barriers experienced by people based on race or color, that impede access, opportunities, and results.

Achieving racial equity requires proactive and continuous investment in communities of color, who have endured centuries of systemic oppression. CPS is committed to dismantling structures rooted in white privilege, to hearing and elevating underrepresented voices, and recognizing and eliminating bias.

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