A team of students, parents, community members, and West Des Moines Community Schools employees have selected a guiding structure for the district’s work to ensure equity for students.
At its meeting on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, the committee agreed to recommend the Deep Equity framework to guide the district as it addresses equity through professional development, leadership development, student relations, and curriculum.
The recommendation will be presented to the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education for approval.
The Deep Equity framework, based on the work of Gary Howard, helps schools and districts establish the climate, protocols, common language, and common goal of implementing culturally responsive teaching practices.
The framework is divided into 5 phases:
Phase 1: Tone and Trust
- Build a climate of constructive collaboration and transcend the rhetoric of shame and blame.
- Learn how to engage educators in open conversations about persistent inequities.
Phase 2: Personal Culture and Personal Journey
- Define cultural competence and connect it with student outcomes.
- Learn how lack of inclusivity in school climate can cause both adults and students to bring less than their full energy and focus to the classroom.
Phase 3: Social Dominance to Social Justice
- Explore issues of privilege, power, and difference.
- Link issues of dominance to current educational inequities.
Phase 4: Classroom Implications and Applications
- Honor professionalism and the good intentions of the team, while critically examining how some of their own behaviors and beliefs may be getting in the way.
- Learn which classroom interactions are most effective in reaching the full spectrum of diverse learners using the 7 Principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching.
Phase 5: Systemic Transformation/Planning for Change
- Identify organizational barriers to equity and apply a three-stage model for organizational transformation.
- Establish an evaluation design to track students outcomes and organizational growth.