On June 22, 2020, the Board adopted Policy 128 to create an environment that fosters awareness and self-awareness of diverse perspectives and backgrounds; to build a community where everyone feels accepted and valued, and to be purposeful in looking for value in others. The Board strives to overcome conscious and unconscious bias, participate in courageous conversations and create an inclusive culture that welcomes the diverse beauty of the entire school community.
Culturally responsive teaching - an educator’s ability to recognize students’ cultural displays of learning and meaning-making and respond positively and constructively with teaching moves that use cultural knowledge as a scaffold to connect what the student knows to new concepts and content in order to promote effective information processing. All the while, the educator understands the importance of being in relationship and having a social-emotional connection to the student in order to create a safe space for learning.
Cultural proficiency - the policies and practices in an organization or the values and behavior of an individual, that enable the person or institution to engage effectively with people and groups who are different from them. Cultural proficiency is a lens for examining one's work and one's relationships.
Diversity - refers to a variety of differences among people in the school community. It is an understanding that each individual is unique, and a recognition of individual differences, which can include but are not limited to race, color, class, religious creed, ancestry, language, disability, sex, gender (including gender identity or expression) or national origin.
Educational equity - raising the achievement of all students while narrowing the gaps between the lowest and highest performing students and eliminating the racial predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories.
Equitable access – refers to the ways in which educational institutions and policies strive to ensure that students have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. Increasing access generally requires schools to provide additional services or remove any actual or potential barriers that might prevent some students from equitable participation in certain courses or academic programs.
Inclusion - refers to a cultural and environmental feeling of belonging. It can be assessed as the extent to which individuals are valued, respected, accepted and encouraged to fully participate in the school community. Individuals in inclusive environments feel appreciated for their unique characteristics and are therefore comfortable sharing their ideas and other aspects of their true and authentic selves.
School Community - includes school employees, students, parents/guardians, Board members, and all individuals who interact with Spring-Ford Area School District for any reason.
The district shall work to:
- Raise the achievement of all students while narrowing the gaps between the lowest and highest performing students;
- Eliminate the racial predictability and disproportionality in all aspects of education and its administration;
- Ensure all students graduate from the district ready to succeed in a racially and culturally diverse local, national, and global community.
In order to achieve educational equity for our students, the district shall:
- Provide every student equitable access to curriculum, support, facilities and other educational resources, even when this means differentiating resource allocation;
- Review existing policies, programs, professional development and procedures to ensure the promotion of racial equity;
- Increase racial, gender, and linguistic diversity among the teacher and administrator workforce;
- Implement culturally responsive professional development to strengthen employees’ knowledge and skills for eliminating opportunity gaps and other disparities in achievement;
- Ensure that each school creates a welcoming culture and inclusive environment that reflects and supports the diversity of the district’s student population, their families, and communities;
- Provide multiple pathways to success in order to meet the needs of the diverse student body, and shall actively encourage, support and expect high academic achievement for all students;
- Provide materials and assessments, consistent with state regulations and district policy and within budgetary considerations, which are geared towards the understanding and appreciation of culture, class, language, ethnicity and other differences that contribute to the uniqueness of each student and staff member;
- Facilitate equitable access to co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, and enrichment opportunities; and
- Ensure resource distribution to district schools that is responsive to individual school needs to further equity goals, while maintaining compliance with laws, regulations and Board policy.
Programming and Service Delivery
Special attention will be given to ensure that racial and ethnic diversity is a primary consideration in the district. Racial and ethnic diversity as well as cultural responsiveness shall be considered when staffing individual schools as well as staffing patterns within the district.
Teachers shall practice equity in their classrooms by providing reasonable supports and accommodations necessary to ensure all students have access to the same opportunities.
The district shall strive to ensure cultural proficiency among district staff so every adult exhibits the ability to understand cultural differences and effectively interact with a diverse population.
Curriculum and Instructional Materials
The curricular materials used by the district should include realistic and respectful portrayals of the members of various racial, ethnic, and cultural groups that reflect balanced representation. Within curricular materials, students and staff should be afforded a wide range of culturally responsive experiences and opportunities to broaden their bases of understanding.