Equity Advisory Group – Phase 2
The Equity Advisory Group (EAG) was initially formed in the fall of 2018 to help the district engage a diverse breadth of voices from among our community to better understand the unique and shared student needs across our district and to ensure those needs are being addressed in both policy and in procedure – the way we do our work every day. The formation of this group affirms the district’s commitment to provide a positive and supportive learning environment, meeting the needs of each and every student through individualized and innovative supports and services.
The second phase of this work, from August 2019 to June 2020, is designed to give then BSD Superintendent Dr. Ivan Duran input with respect to implementation of the BSD Board Policy 0130 – Equity and Accountability (PDF). BSD Board Policy 0130 calls for the Superintendent or designee to create and maintain procedures associated with this policy and other relevant policies as appropriate, to guide how each of the ten District commitments will be implemented.
Specifically, the EAG will generate recommendations for policies, procedures and other actions that will provide accountability to the implementation of Board Policy 0130. Teams focused on seven of the District Commitments from the Board Policy:
Team 1: A, D, and F
Commitment A: Adopt curriculum, and teaching and learning strategies, that leverage, reflect, and affirm the unique experiences and social, racial, cultural, linguistic, and familial backgrounds of our Bellevue School District community.
Commitment D: 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.
Commitment F: Work with the employee groups and staff to ensure that, at least once every three years, and within the first year for all newly hired staff, every staff member participates in professional development that addresses implicit bias, anti-discrimination, cultural responsiveness, and inclusion. For those staff who work directly with the instruction of students and for those who support such staff, the professional development will include training on culturally responsive instruction and inclusive practices. The Superintendent will ensure professional development in these instructional practices is ongoing and will provide job-embedded opportunities for collaborative learning and application of these practices with respect to other instructional priorities.
Team 2: B and C
Commitment B: 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, free and reduced-price lunches, special education, and homelessness supports.
Commitment C: Ensure that all students have equitable access to all District programs including but not limited to all District choice schools, college and career readiness and counseling, sports and activities, and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate coursework.
Team 3: E and I
Commitment E: Ensure disciplinary actions are undertaken without bias and/or disproportionality.
Commitment I: Develop reporting, investigation, communication and accountability processes, particularly related to actions of racism and occurrences of racial tension or other discriminatory actions. Ensure these processes.
The teams made the following recommendations to then Superintendent Dr. Ivan Duran in June 2020
- EAG Subgroup A,D,F Recommendations (PDF) modified by Dr. Paul Sutton and PowerPoint Presentation for A, D, F (PDF)
- Summary of EAG Recommendations (PDF) modified by Maina Tran (for group B/C) and PowerPoint Presentation for Group B/C (PDF)
- PowerPoint Presentation for E and I (PDF) EAG Subgroup Recommendations Group E and I modified by Melody Birch
Note: Plans for Community and Student Forums were interrupted by COVID-19 and the subsequent cancellation of all in-person gatherings.
Why is this Important?
The district currently faces many challenges in how it serves the diversity of students who attend BSD schools. Inequity, in particular racial inequity, constitute the common denominator amongst many those challenges. The district’s ability to provide systems-wide guidance on more equitable policies, procedures, and practices to better serve the diversity of students who attend BSD schools represents a moral imperative for the Bellevue School District. Despite efforts to bridge the achievement gap of students of color, students with special needs, ELL students, and students living in poverty, these efforts have typically been programmatic and not systemic or cultural, and thus have been insufficient.
- Pia Dey, at large parent
- Mohammed Bakr, parent and community member
- Paul Sutton, parent and External Expert
- Alma Gonzalez, parent and NISO (Latino Parent Advocacy Group)
- Susie Pietz, parent and Special Needs PTA
- Haruka Kojima, former parent and Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (APIA)
- Maina Train, parent and PTSA Council
- Kimberly Walker, Bellevue Schools Foundation
- Myra Arnone, School Admin – High
- Terry Jess, Educator – High
- Maria Ocampo, Educator – Middle
- Betty Nahn, School Admin – Middle
- Brook Garcia, School Admin – Elem
- Lena Pothitou-West, Educator – Elem
- Johanna Wong, Psychologist – Middle
- Melody Birch, Instructional Mentor
- Dr. Ivan Duran, Superintendent
- John Harrison, Executive Director of Schools
- Shomari Jones, Director of Equity and Strategic Engagement
- Pat Hughes, Group Facilitator, Trillium Leadership Consulting
Expectations for Members:
- EAG members support the purpose of the project
- EAG members will identify perspectives and capacity needed to do the work and ask Dr. Duran to fulfill those needs
- Committee members will engage in research, learning, dialogue, listening and making recommendations
- Work sub-groups will form to do the research, review and recommendations
- Members can bring their own experience and perspectives to the process, as well as perspectives from other parents or community members which will serve as additional data points to inform the eventual recommendations
The EAG will deliver recommendations on a select group of policies and procedures related to the 10 District Commitments by June 2020. The EAG has no power to implement changes in the district, including determining, implementing or executing procedural or policy changes.
Provide feedback on the gap (if any) between the intent and impact of current, selected procedures and policies
The committee is focusing on the following Commitments :
- August 23, 2019 – Advance
- September 2019 – two meetings
- October 10 and 24, 2019
- November 7 and 21, 2019
- December 12, 2019
- January 22, 2020
- February 26, 2020