ICS Community Equity Ally Academy Session #4 Recap

On Thursday, June 10, approximately 30 community members including parents, educators, School Board members, and Village Board members participated in the fourth Integrated Comprehensive Systems (ICS) Equity Ally Academy Workshop.  This meeting was the last of a four-part series which will help support the work the District is doing with ICS.  The goals of the ICS Equity Ally Academy are to:

  1. Learn more about the Shorewood School District’s Equity work
  2. Learn how to support the district’s efforts-as an ally
  3. Learn how to advance equity in your community spaces (e.g., home, work, church, community)

During the fourth session, participants learned about the importance of applying equity research to proportionally represent students in classrooms within the District.

ICS for Equity uses the following eight strands of research to inform organizations on improving their structures and systems:

  • Heterogeneous Classrooms/Academic Benefits of Diversity
  • Tracking
  • Ability Grouping
  • Students Labeled with Disabilities Proportionally Represented
  • Education of Students Labeled as English Language Learners
  • Education of Students of Color
  • Students who are Labeled as Gifted
  • Response to Intervention

Participants also learned about how C3 teams will begin to be constructed throughout the District.  C3 teams are teams that work to co-plan, co-serve, and co-learn together.  These C3 teams work together to build collective equity capacity among team members to better meet the needs of all students. In doing so, the C3 teams can more effectively serve all students within a heterogeneous environment.    

Below is some of the feedback participants provided, when answering "What resonated with you?" from the session:

-The potential of small groups with specialized designed instruction based on how the student learns
-The equity non-negotiable = strategic framework for all the work in the district. It really clicked tonight.
-I was struck by the need for teachers to share expertise to fully serve every student. We have to take the competition and silos out of the job of teaching. I think our teachers are highly collaborative, but they also face too many structural barriers to that collaboration.
-Relocating the problem is another powerful thought shift and is a paradigm shift that will ultimately make our schools more equitable.
-The willingness for collaboration and education.
-Relocating the problem -- square peg meets round hole... peg shouldn't have to change shape - hole should be widened so all can fit! Or no hole at all :) I LOVED Norman Kunc's video and his statement about disability as an "inherent part of human experience," just like aging, just like skin color, just like personalities and learning styles -- why are we so tolerate and permissive of personality differences and not of "disability?"
-Having a disability is part of human experience.
-It's exciting to reimagine what education can look like and I can imagine the positive impacts for students who are historically marginalized
-The system being responsible for not allowing students to fail is a revolutionary concept and I love it!
-I am very inspired by the descriptions of the heterogenous small groups. I can see a lot of value in that style of instruction and the benefits it could have for all learners.

"We want to thank all of our participants for leaning into this necessary work," says the District's Director for Equity Shari Tucker. "The commitment from the Board, parents, educators, district leaders, and our community allows our work with equity to continue to be a priority."

For more background information on the ICS for Equity partnership, visit the ICS for Equity webpage