Month 1: Equity in Education
Joliet Public Schools District 86 is committed to the belief that all students deserve every opportunity to reach their full potential and to succeed personally and academically. District 86 further believes that ensuring equity is essential for improving student achievement and promoting student and staff well-being. To affirm our beliefs, in June 2019 the Board of School Inspectors adopted and approved the Joliet Public Schools District 86 Equity Blueprint for Action.
What is Educational Equity?
Equity in education requires putting systems in place to ensure that every child has an equal chance for success. It requires understanding the unique challenges and barriers faced by individual students or by populations of students and providing additional support to help them overcome these barriers. While this in itself may not ensure equal outcomes, Educational Equity works to reduce the predictability of who succeeds and who fails, interrupt the reproductive practices that negatively impact vulnerable and marginalized groups; and cultivate the unique gifts and talents of every student.
Joliet Schools are to be places where students not only learn about diversity but also experience it. Students should see themselves and their classmates reflected in their studies. Students and families should expect their interactions with their school community to leave them feeling accepted for who they are. All students should believe in their potential and know that they will be supported along the way from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8 and beyond, no matter what pathway they choose. The vision of equity and inclusion for all must be extended to our teachers, principals, and education staff who, together, anchor the broader school community.
Key Terms to Know
EQUITY: Providing all students with the individual supports needed to reach and exceed common standards in collaboration with strong community partnerships that recognize, respect, and respond to the diverse needs of all stakeholders. (This definition of Equity was established by the Joliet Public Schools District 86 Board of School Inspectors on January 18, 2018).
EQUALITY: Equality means each individual or group of people are given the same resources and opportunities, regardless of their circumstances. Equality can actually increase inequities in schools and communities, as not every individual or group needs the same resources or opportunities allocated to them in order to thrive.
DIVERSITY: The presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within a group, organization, or society. The dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, ancestry, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, physical and intellectual ability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.
INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: Education that is based on the principles of acceptance and inclusion of all students. Students see themselves reflected in their curriculum, their physical surroundings, and the broader environment, in which diversity is honored and all individuals are respected.
Reflection & Discussion
- How much do you know about equity challenges in education?
- Identify and begin discussing the "Equity Challenges" in your school, department and/or community. Identifying an Equity Challenge
- How does equity work align with our cycle of continuous improvement?
- Complete the Common Beliefs Activity: Common Beliefs Survey
- Complete this self-assessment to help identify your next steps on this journey.
Did You Know?
Joliet Public Schools District 86 serves students speaking 26 different languages representing over 40 countries. More than 25 percent of all District 86 students are multilingual learners.
Resources for Learning
Professional Learning via Ed Leaders Network (for District 86 Employees)
Thank you for taking the Journey!
Tanisha Cannon, Ed.D., Deputy Superintendent