On March 12, 2019, the Oak Park K-8 District 97 Board of Education unanimously approved Policy 7:12 - Ensuring Racial and Educational Equity Plan. “This policy, which we will begin implementing this school year, seeks to promote a strong sense of belonging in all of our schools, and is aimed at ensuring that every student we serve has access to an excellent and equitable educational experience.”
District 97 released two follow-up reports on Sept. 26th describing continuing efforts around equity initiatives. The first report describes teacher and community communication and engagement while the second offers updates on SY20 goals and implementation.
The district reported roughly 85% of D97’s 544 teachers having less than a moderate understanding of the Districts equity policy. Still, 95% had a moderate or stronger understanding of the needs of families and the community around equity and that D97 is working collaboratively with all stakeholders.
Of the 785 parents who responded to the survey regarding equity, 79% were aware of the D97 equity policy while only 21% had provided input about the equity plan until this survey. Most were too busy (37.4%), some were unaware (15.8%) and time of day of meeting explained 12.9% of less engagement to date.
The report describes soliciting community feedback through a parent focus group to ensure D97 had strong understanding of parent perceptions regarding equity. Twelve parent participants representing eight of the ten district schools participated in the one-hour focus group.
The complete D97 VISION & EQUITY COMMUNICATION & ENGAGEMENT PLAN.
The school year 2020 action plan names four goals:
Goal 1: Every D97 student is known, nurtured, and celebrated
Goal 2: Every D97 student is empowered and passionate
Goal 3: Every D97 student is confident and persistent
Goal 4: Every D97 student is a creative, critical thinker and global citizen.
To accomplish these goals the five year plan highlights these strategic directions:
Pillar 1: Equitable Access to Rigorous, Responsive Instruction
Pillar 2: Strong Relationships with Families and Community
Pillar 3: Effective Teachers, Leaders and Staff for Every Student, for Every School
Pillar 4: Data-informed Continuous Improvement
District 97 describes the strategy, tactic, benchmark, goal and timeline for each with a snapshop of current status of each measure. For example, the Positive Learning Environment Student Survey is being used to assess progress against Goal 1.