District Leans In to Second Year of ICS Equity Work

Since the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, all staff in the District have been actively engaging in Year 2 of ICS work. Staff started with an extensive review of the ICS module work from year one, which helped not only onboard the new staff members but also allowed staff to continue to build their individual and collective capacity around equity. They reviewed the History of Marginalization, Asset vs. Deficit Based Language, Engaging in Identity Development, andApplying Equity Research, to name a few.  The reviewing of these modules grounded staff in the “why” behind the District’s equity work and the District’s commitment to analyze its systems for inequities.  

“Year 2 of ICS will continue to help staff build our collective capacity on recognizing, acknowledging, and dismantling (RAD) our system which creates marginalization,” says Director for Equity Shari Tucker. “We will continue to look at our implicit bias and how that impacts our work within a system that has created and sustained inequities for hundreds of years.” 

Tucker led professional development this fall with the District’s administrative team whose role is to support the building level principals, leadership teams, and teachers as they plan and implement more ICS concepts.  

During the months of September and October, the Board completed two of the six slated two-hour ICS training sessions for the 2021-22 school year with ICS co-founder Elise Frattura and ICS facilitator Nasif Rogers. These training sessions are intended to help the Board continue to support ICS work at the school level, District level, and in the community.  The School Board’s continuing equity work will include participating in the final four sessions of the school year.

“We are continuously working to evaluate and eliminate inequities that exist in our systems,” says Tucker. “With support from our Interim Superintendent, Dr. JoAnn Sternke, and our Board we are working to communicate our ongoing commitment to our ICS and equity work.  Having the buy-in of our Board, the community, the Superintendent, and our staff helps us become aligned together in doing this work, day in and day out.” 

Year two of ICS will allow the District to take a deeper look at creating its Collaborative Commitments for Equity.  These commitments will be developed at each school first, then sent to the District Administrative Team to review and revise to ensure that the commitments are aligned with the work.  Finally, the Collaborative Commitments for Equity will be shared with the School Board for review.

Year two of ICS also marks the beginning of the District’s work with a district-wide Equity Audit.  The audit process includes three key concepts: 1) proportional representation anchors the audit process 2) the District and the School Leadership team analyze the data using the ICS Equity Audit form to determine inequities and how they can begin to be eliminated  3) the District creates a system for completing the Equity Audit annually to see where the District has made gains, and where it can continue to improve. 

When it comes to the gains that have been made so far this year, Tucker says the biggest celebration has been the District’s revamped interview process. 

“Human Resource Director, Kim Salem, and I worked with building level leaders to ensure that our hiring process focused on our commitment to ‘Equity, Growth and Excellence for All.’  The questions that our new staff had to answer during the interview process had an equity lens which showed our continued commitment to making sustainable, structural, systemic change in the District.”  

For more detailed information on the District’s ICS for Equity work, visit the ICS for Equity webpage at