Despite many competing priorities during a dynamic start to the school year, the Shorewood School District is progressing in its commitment to create a more equitable district, says Director of Curriculum and Instruction Sam Coleman.
Earlier this year, the District adopted Integrated Comprehensive Systems for Equity, a research-based and multi-year approach proven to eliminate inequities by building the capacity of all educators and transforming systems.
In September, ICS for Equity coaches began supporting District leaders in facilitating monthly, equity-centered training modules for all staff. The modules are designed to help staff become more aware of their own complex identities, understand the impacts of personal and implicit bias, and analyze the historical and current effects of marginalization in education contexts.
This phase, Coleman says, “is vital to laying a strong foundation and building the District’s capacity for the journey of transformation we are taking.” He adds that the District’s equity work “does not merely live in a space of training and workshops. Our staff are supported as they develop competency for implementing strategies that produce equitable results we can measure and be accountable for.”
The District plans to offer opportunities for community members to engage in ICS for Equity training in late winter or early spring. “All of us are responsible for systems that produce inequitable results,” Coleman says. “The more we spread this equity work out among individuals, parents and board members within our system, and prioritize it as the lens that we see our practice through, the further we get down the road that leads us to the kind of District we agree our students all need.”