Equity in Education
Working Together for Equity, Inclusivity and Excellence in the Kyrene School District
Kyrene School District is committed to ensuring equity among all students through the development of a system-wide culture of inclusion. This systemic approach includes professional development for all educators, leaders and staff members. In making professional development a cornerstone of Kyrene's equity work, the District will be better equipped to address key elements of Kyrene's Strategic Plan 2022, by increasing the knowledge and skills of our staff in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and restorative practices.
View Kyrene's Equity Policy on BoardDocs.
One of the five goals of Kyrene's Strategic Plan 2022 is to promote an inclusive culture of respect, high expectations, collaboration and shared accountability for student success. Through this goal, Kyrene seeks to foster a culture of trust and high expectations by engaging parents, students, staff and community members to ensure transparency and strengthen relationships that support a shared responsibility for student success. Specifically, this work includes the creation and implementation of short- and long-term training and development focused on leveraging diversity and building the capacity of cultural competency, equity and inclusion for all stakeholder groups.
Inclusion means students and employees feel welcomed, seen, safe, respected, cared for and understood.
Inequity prevents students from accessing opportunities over their lifetime. It creates opportunity gaps, discipline gaps and achievement gaps.
Equity in education means school outcomes (both positive and negative) are distributed equitably across different demographic and identity groups, while negative outcomes are reduced for all groups. Resources are distributed equitably across all groups, schools and communities. An example of this equitable distribution in action can be seen in Kyrene's RISE UP Schools. As part of Kyrene School District’s unwavering commitment to its vision that all students achieve at their maximum potential to become problem-solvers, creators, and visionaries of tomorrow, the District has identified four schools to receive additional support and resources in order to close achievement gaps and transform the lives of students.
Kyrene School District has a history of excellence and aims to keep the bar high. Kyrene empowers students and employees in the preservation of their identity and culture. Substance, depth and critical thinking are as important as test scores and more important than mere compliance.
Kyrene Visioning Survey: Equity Policy Development
In Kyrene, we believe equity and inclusion are the work of all staff, not just one individual. The only way to truly close achievement, opportunity and discipline gaps in our schools is with systemic solutions. We must create a culture of equity throughout the District. We are hopeful that by embedding the lens of equity and inclusion in every one of Kyrene’s functions—teaching, learning, hiring, community engagement—we can begin to close the gaps in achievement, opportunity and discipline, to ensure equity for all.
What Equity Means in Kyrene
Diversity: Including or involving people from a range of backgrounds and different characteristics that make members of the school district community unique. (Policy AC)
Equity: Understanding the unique challenges and barriers faced by individuals or subpopulations and ensuring people have what they need to participate in school or work to reach their full potential in life by making essential programs, services, activities, and technologies accessible to all.
Inclusion: Creating conditions within an organization where each stakeholder feels accepted, affirmed, safe, empowered, and supported, while also striving for each stakeholder to have an equitable voice.
Culture: A social system of meaning and custom that is developed by a group of people with similar ethnicity, race, color, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin. These groups are distinguished by a set of unspoken rules that shape values, beliefs, habits, patterns of thinking, behaviors, and styles of communication.
Culturally Relevant Practices: Creating meaningful connections between what students learn in school and their cultures, languages, and life experiences in which students feel a sense of belonging, independence, mastery, and generosity.
Social Emotional Learning: The process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.
Co-curricular: Activities that are supplemental to the curriculum.
Extra-curricular: School-based activities that are not tied to the curriculum.
Outcomes: Behavior, academic, and social-emotional learning achievement of students.
Opportunity Gap: Systems and structures which result in differences in outcomes between groups of students.