The governing principles of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education states, “An excellent school system provides an environment that is culturally responsive, free from bias and discrimination, and commits to ensuring that all stakeholders uphold educational equity as an essential principle of our school system that is integrated into all policies, practices, operations and processes in order to yield equitable educational outcomes for all students.” It is with this principle in mind that an Equity Policy Task Force was convened to craft a racial and educational equity policy for the district.
The purpose of this policy is to center equity in all of the district’s functions and practices so that disparate outcomes that result along the lines of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status, physical/mental ability, sexual orientation, religion, age, etc. will be dismantled and eliminated. We name race as the primary predictor of outcomes in society and, thus, prioritize racial equity as foundational to the dismantling of all disparities.
The Board of Education recognizes that a number of factors have a positive impact on the academic success and socio-emotional well being of all students. These factors include: Disrupting and Dismantling Systemic Inequities to Eliminate the Opportunity Gap; Honoring and Strengthening the Connections between Home and School; Addressing Social and Emotional Well Being of Students and Staff; Ensuring Access & Representation in Academic Programming in Schools; and Building Staff Capacity for Equity-Centered Practices; and Addressing Social and Emotional Well Being of Students and Staff. These factors serve as the pillars for our Racial and Educational Equity Policy and every Durham Public Schools employee will operate from and is accountable to the pillars set forth in this policy consistent with all applicable U.S. Constitutional rights, civil rights, federal and state privacy laws, rules, and regulations. Additionally, the Durham Public Schools Board of Education will continue to advocate for resources, with the Durham community, at the federal, state, and local levels to support this vital work.
Pillars of Racial and Educational Policy
A. Disrupt and Dismantle Systemic Inequities to Eliminate the Opportunity Gap
B. Honor and Strengthen the Connections between Home and School
C. Address Social and Emotional Well Being of Students and Staff
D. Ensure Access & Representation in Academic Programming in Schools
E. Build Staff Capacity for Equity-Centered Practices
To ensure that this policy is implemented with fidelity, Durham Public Schools will:
A. Develop systems, structures, practices, and annual plans for training with timelines for operationalizing this policy.
B. Develop evaluation plans and accountability standards for measuring success, progress monitoring, and continuous improvement.
C. Create and regularly convene an Equity Advisory Committee consisting of students, parents/guardians, community members and employees to engage with the Office of Equity Affairs on the status of equity in Durham Public Schools.
D. Support each school and department in the development of annual equity priorities and plans.
To ensure that this policy results in measurable equity outcomes for students and employees, Durham Public Schools will:
A. Develop an equity dashboard to compile, maintain and communicate progress on equity measures that are outlined in this policy and as suggested by the Office of Equity Affairs.
B. Provide annual status reports on each pillar of the Racial and Educational Equity Policy through the Office of Equity Affairs.
C. Develop and implement equity audits across each school and department to monitor the progress on equity goals and benchmarks.
D. Develop plans of accountability and adherence to this policy for all employees, including school administrators, central office staff, certified staff, classified staff, etc.
E. Provide an annual report on equity through the Office of Equity Affairs to ensure implementation of the policy.
Adopted: June 24, 2021