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Archive for Topic: 'Equity'

District Equity Team to Select a Guiding Structure for Equity Work

A team of students, parents, community members, and West Des Moines Community Schools employees are close to selecting a guiding structure for the district’s work to ensure equity for students.

Since November, the West Des Moines Community Schools Equity Team has studied five frameworks that will guide the district as it addresses equity through professional development, leadership development, student relations, and curriculum. The selected framework will also help the district evaluate the effectiveness of its work.

“The most important work we have this year is to select a framework because it will guide all subsequent decisions [regarding equity],” said WDMCS Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D., at a School Board workshop in September.

The team is studying the Anti-Racist Education, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Cross-Cultural Competence, Deep Equity, and Equity Pedagogy frameworks. Articles about each framework are available below.

Four of the frameworks were recommended by Iowa State University in its equity audit of Valley High School.

According to the district’s “Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change,” the team will select a framework by Feb. 28, 2017.

For more information and background on the district’s equity work, please visit www.wdmcs.org/category/equity/.

Topics: Equity

District and Valley Announce Equity Team Members

Two new groups began working with the district and Valley High School on education equity in our schools. The district and Valley High School equity teams met for the first time on Thursday, Nov. 10. The membership of each team includes students, parents, community members, and employees.

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Equity Team and the Valley High School Equity Team will strengthen the voices and participation of students, families, and community to inform district policies, practices, and procedures. They will also build capacity among students, teachers, staff, and administrators in transforming school policies and practices.

The district team will align districtwide efforts to an equity framework, which the group will select to guide the equity work. The Valley team will review school data and align schoolwide efforts to the work of the district team and framework.

In addition, Valley High School reviewed the results of the school’s equity audit to students in grade-level presentations in October.

The district and school used demographic data to ensure the membership of both teams represents our historically underrepresented students and staff populations.

The members of the WDMCS Equity Team are:

  • community members Mandy Abbas, Dan Berry, Bernell Edwards, Gabriela Garza, Jim Hall, Phil Hall, Claudia Henning, Vicky Long Hill, J.D., Mark Hillenbrand, Byron Jarrett, Henny Ohr, Marshall Orsini, Travis Ourverson, Sanjita Pradhan, Sonia Reyes-Snyder, Michele Soria, and Le Mar Yeager;
  • students Thomas Hathaway, Jamia Jordan, and Angela Wilkening;
  • staff members Mike Beranek, Wanda Borger, Kim Davis, Ed.D., Becky Duchesneau, Janelle Green, Laurene Lanich, Ed.D., Tim Miller, Carol Seid, Lisa Remy, Ed.D., John Villotti, and Paul Wenger; and
  • WDMCS Board of Education President Tali Greenspon and members Liz Cox and Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D.

The members of the Valley High School Equity Team are:

  • community members Milton Cole-Duvall, Jana Edwards, Tina Hadden, Del Marion, Victoria McQuerry, Sheila Miller, Eva Otanez-Ortiz, Rich Salas, Heidi Samples, Josh Samples, Jackie Santana, Sonia Reyes-Snyder, and Craig Weatherall;
  • students Andrew Behrens, Savannah Burnham, Jackelin Castro, Tim Dorn, Blake Edwards, Marcos Flores, Daniela Gaytan, Rachel Greene, Thomas Hathaway, Jamia Jordan, Stacy Kabenda, JJ Kapur, Jessica Lewis, Olivia McQuerry, James Meng, Jade Miller, Teresa Otanez-Ortiz, Lizbeth Salinas-Reyes, Langston Samples, and Noah Samples; and
  • staff members Megan Dean, Jamie Ehlert, Kristin Friedrichs, Carrie Jacobs, Callie Kane, Stef Kaylor, David Maxwell, David Meeks, Tim Miller, Ryan Penning, Dave Perrigo, Brad Rose, Rob Schebel, Crystal Tate, Willie Thornton, Piet Van der Meer, and Erica Whittle.

Topics: Equity

WDMCS Taking Action to Address Education Equity

Equity workshop 092016 ewmedits

Race & Equity in Our Schools: Actions Steps for Positive Change

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) recently released its plan to address education equity in its schools. “Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change” outlines short- and long-term action steps the district and Valley High School will take during the 2016-17 school year and beyond.

These steps include:

  1. Establish a District Equity Team—Complete by Oct. 31, 2016
  2. Establish a Valley High School Equity Team—Complete by Oct. 31, 2016
  3. Select a Framework to Focus Equity Work—Complete by Feb. 28, 2017
  4. Hire an Outside Entity to Provide Professional Development—Complete by April 30, 2017
Equity actionsteps slide

WDMCS Equity Action Steps

Details about these action steps are available in the full action plan document available here:

“Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change”

The district and Valley High School are currently working with community members and organizations to assemble the equity teams, which will hold their first meetings in November 2016. Once determined, the teams’ members will be announced, along with the date and time of their first meetings.

The goal of the equity work is to improve the district climate and culture in order to establish equitable practices for all students that:

  • eliminate systemic racial inequity,
  • provide equitable educational opportunities for students of color, and
  • nurture authentic and trusting relationships between staff and students and between students themselves to make a positive difference in how students of color experience school.

To learn more about this effort, including an equity audit the district commissioned from the Iowa State University, please see the following information publically available on the district website:

 

Equity Action Plan (Full Document): “Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change”

Equity Action Plan (PowerPoint): WDMCS Board of Education Workshop Session Presentation

Equity Audit (Full Document): “Developing an Action Plan for Creating a More Equitable School”

Equity Audit (PowerPoint): “VHS Racial Equity Report” Presentation

Equity Audit Presentation (Video): WDMCS Board of Education Workshop Sept. 12, 2016

 

Topics: Equity

WDMCS Making Positive Changes for Education Equity

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) has released its plan to address education equity in its schools.

“Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change” outlines short- and long-term steps the district and Valley High School will take during the 2016-17 school year and beyond.

Find the full plan and other resources at www.wdmcs.org/news/wdmcs-making-positive-changes-education-equity/.

Topics: Equity