Excellence Through Equity

 

To achieve excellence for every student, we recognize that we must focus on equity. That is why equity is at the center of our "All Together for All Students" strategic plan. We believe that the strategic initiatives we have launched will finally address the core themes that have led to our decades of achievement and opportunity gaps, ultimately ensuring excellence for all of our students.

A Message from Superintendent Anderson on Equity

The following message was shared with our community in June to show our steadfast support for our students of color and social justice.

BVSD Equity News

Students come to school to learn, see their friends, and be part of the community. However, there are factors that make the school environment itself a very different experience for each of them. That’s why it was crucial to have BVSD student voices at the table to discuss equity.

“It was a great honor to have the opportunity to speak about some of the issues that our community is grappling with and that Boulder Valley School District is so thoughtfully approaching,”  said Parent and Equity Council Member Rebecca Vlasin. “I’m inspired by the fact that this Equity Council has convened. To be a part of that as a parent was really meaningful.”

On Tuesday night, November 10, the BVSD Board of Education voted 6-1 to approve a resolution that directs the district to address disparities in school discipline, previously identified by district administration, and adopts the recommendations made previously by the District Accountability Committee and Equity Council, including the end of BVSD’s School Resource Officer program.

Equity in BVSD

In the Boulder Valley School District, we have defined Equity as:

  • removing institutional barriers to success

  • providing intentional support for each student, staff member and family or community member so that each has opportunity to achieve at the highest levels

  • embracing and respecting the dignity and diversity of each individual within our community

  • questioning assumptions and examining our own biases

  • challenging systems of power and oppression

  • creating counter-narratives to the common habits and assumptions that inhibit inclusion

  • confronting discrimination against our own or another person’s identity

  • commiting to building our own and others’ capacity for culturally responsive teaching, learning, and leading

Equity vs. Equality

"The terms equality and equity are often used interchangeably; however, they differ in important ways. Equality is typically defined as treating everyone the same and giving everyone access to the same opportunities. Meanwhile, equity refers to proportional representation (by race, class, gender, etc.) in those same opportunities. To achieve equity, policies and procedures may result in an unequal distribution of resources."

-- Winston-Salem State University: Working Toward Equity

In the News

The Mountain-Ear

The Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) District Accountability Committee (DAC) had its monthly meeting on September 1, 2020. This meeting, as well as all of the meetings since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic in March, have met virtually on Zoom. 

The Mountain-Ear

 On August 18, 2020, the District Accountability Committee (DAC), had a special virtual meeting to discuss the district’s effort to address equity among students. This was in response to the discrepancy in accessing resources between different segments of the student population.

Resources

Becoming Culturally Responsive

These videos are part of a training that BVSD employees will be required to participate in this fall, but they offer helpful tips for anyone in our community that would like to join us in becoming more equitable.

What we're working on

Working with John Hopkins School of Education, we will utilize their Knowledge Map to analyze BVSD's ELA curriculum "to determine the knowledge it offers students about the world and human condition" -- in an effort to provide district leaders with "compelling, actionable data used to adopt or amend classroom materials."

Learn More about Knowledge Map

12 ways to be an anti-racist ally

Here’s how we can help chart a path forward to meet this seminal and potentially watershed moment and harness everyone’s capacity to catalyze genuine change.

1. Start with looking in the mirror. Embrace these words from the poet Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

2. Don’t just fight racism at special events. Make it an everyday effort to notice, unpack, confront, and disrupt it every day, everywhere. Speak up when you hear racist language, whether it is subtle or overt.

3. Become more aware of your own biases and how they shape your perceptions and interactions with others.

4. Take responsibility for your own learning. Don’t turn people of color into your unpaid tutors.

5. Listen to the marginalized. Hear what they are telling you. Respect their perspective even if you don’t yet understand them.

6. Show the courage to have difficult, uncomfortable, painful conversations.

7. Take risks as you speak your truths. Overcome your fear of making mistakes. Make them, apologize, learn—and then teach others.

8. Form diverse coalitions to dismantle unjust systems.

9. Elevate traditionally marginalized voices in decision-making within the organizations that you are a part of.

10. Provide financial support to organizations doing vital work to eliminate racial disparities.

11. Take stock of your own privileges. Notice any that disadvantage others, directly or indirectly. Ask yourself: Am I willing to give up any of my privileges to create a more just society?

12. Bottom line, get out of the comfort of your existing bubbles and open your heart to cultivating meaningful relationships across racial differences. As my favorite sign at the recent march put it, “Love black people as much as you love black culture.”