Equity & Excellence

  • CCSD93 Equity & Excellence

    CCSD93 is devoted to ensuring students are healthy, engaged, challenged, safe, and socially and emotionally supported. In 2018 the district initiated an Equity and Excellence Committee composed of staff members, administrators, parents and Board of Education members to accomplish this. The Committee was charged with removing bias and increasing diversity and cultural sensitivity to create more equitable experiences throughout the district so all of our students and families have greater opportunities to know they are an equally vital part of the CCSD93 community.  The Committee was composed of subcommittees, which are listed below, along with their goals.

    • Systemic - To ensure a systemic and continuous development toward advancing equity within all policies, processes, procedures, initiatives, decision-making and fiscal responsibilities.

    • Curriculum & Instruction - To intentionally embed equity-driven pedagogy in the curriculum, resources, instructional approaches, use and consideration of assessments and academic programming for the purpose of advancing equity among all students.

    • Employment & Retention - To provide a continuum of professional learning and growth opportunities for all staff in pursuit of fully understanding and embracing educational equity.

    • Student Voice Climate & Culture - To consistently seek students’ feedback and experiences, and nurture a positive, authentic and meaningful organizational culture and climate.

    • Family & Community - To partner with families and the community for authentic opportunities to serve the students, the school and the school district.

    Starting in the summer of 2020, CCSD93 added an essential component to the Committee: the voice of parents through the advent of our Equity & Excellence Parent Advisory Committee. This helped to provide terrific insight into our Equity & Excellence Committee, with suggestions from parents being directly integrated into the work of subcommittees and acted upon by the District. The following are examples of those suggestions.

    • Review curriculum for equity, including representations in history, civics and Innovation Center books

    • Empower students to have a voice and be heard

    • Increase awareness of unconscious biases

    • Train staff on equity

    • Partner more visibly with our local police departments

    • Empower students to take charge if they see something unjust

    • Review how clubs are developed and organized

    • Ensure equal access to technology

    The committee’s work continued through the 2021-22 school year and included equity training for our staff and Board of Education members through the reading and analysis of the book “All Students Must Thrive.” It led to the implementation of the following district-wide equity-focused practices and procedures:

    • The use of restorative practices at all schools to more equitably discipline and support student behavioral needs,

    • Increased student voice within the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework through ongoing systemwide classroom community circles,

    • The review and update of Innovation Center books and resources to ensure that all students and families are reflected,

    • And the initiation of an Adopt-a-Cop program to strengthen relationships between police and students.

    It was then determined that having a standalone Equity and Excellence Committee did not harness the power that embedded equity work would. As a result, CCSD93 transitioned away from a single Equity and Excellence Committee and instead toward a system review process intended to embed equity into all aspects of the organization. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, conversations about equity occur within all committees to ensure that it is top of mind and an essential consideration in all aspects of the organization. An equity lens is applied within committees that examine and pilot curricular resources for students, ensuring that they reflect all students and families. The practice continues today, with the first such example being that of the English Language Arts (ELA) resources introduced throughout the district in 2023-24.