Equity — Excellence — Access
In February 2014 San Juan Unified School District convened an Equity Focus group inclusive of African-American parents and teachers and administrators committed to equity issues. The group engaged in a dialogue on how to improve academic efforts for SJUSD African-American students. The Equity Focus group was part of SJUSD’s community planning process under the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
The group reflected on district data that broke out student subgroups. From that reflection the Equity Focus group prioritized four areas of focus: academic achievement, suspensions and expulsions, attendance and school connectedness, and parent engagement. The Equity Focus group engaged in robust discussion on the current barriers that African-American students and their families face that led to the data points seen in SJUSD, to supports and services that can be included in the LCAP to address those barriers which would support students and their families in achieving academic success.The Equity Focus (EF Goals) is comprised of parents and staff leaders committed to closing the achievement gaps with our African American and non-English language Hispanic students. This group will advise the district as it moves forward in developing academic and social-emotional interventions for students.
Tips for helping ALL learners to Succeed.
CURRICULUM CONSIDERATIONS:• Select multicultural texts.
• Be flexible.
• Assess your own biases.
• Set respectful group norms.
• If a student expresses bigoted views, don’t let it slide.STRATEGIES TO ENGAGE DIVERSE LEARNERS:
• Enlarge the variety of strategies you use.
• Arrange for topics that invite all students to exhibit personal knowledge.
• Give explicit feedback.
• Have all students adopt different perspectives on issues.
• Don’t make students speak for their race, nationality, or gender.
• Invite students to speak who don’t volunteer during discussion.
• Call on students evenly.
• Let students speak in a dialect they find comfortable.
THINK ABOUT REPRESENTATION:
• Choose posters, PowerPoint slides, and handouts that portray multiple races.
• Invite diverse guest speakers – role models – to your class.
• Rotate team leaders.
• Learn about students’ home lives and affinities.
• Use eye contact and smile.
• Schedule conferences.
• Pronounce names correctly.
• Translate the syllabus and notes home into other languages.
IF DISCUSSIONS GET HOT:
• Ask students what they learned about themselves from the discussion. Be sure to stay cool – or at least appear calm.