KSD Equity Council
The Kent School District (KSD) Equity Council exists to advise, assist and advocate for the full implementation of the Race and Equity Policy, specifically related to issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and cultural responsiveness. This council has no legislative, administrative or programmatic authority and is advisory only.
The Equity Council works cooperatively with the superintendent and school district officials in deepening their understanding and expertise of the KSD Race and Equity Policy. Members are volunteers who represent the KSD community and have a shared interest in our mission of Successfully Preparing All Students For Their Futures.
Pending any major disruptions, the Equity Council plans to meet a minimum of once per month in the 2020-21 school year. Over the summer the Council identified four major goals for this school year to align to current student and staff needs, out district strategic goals, mission and vision and in recognizing the larger complex context of COVID-19, social and racial unrest, and the diverse needs in our community.
- Expand Equity Council to include School-Based Membership We have added two new school administrators and have representation from each school level. In collaboration with the Kent Educators of Color Network (KEoCN) we now have representation from each school building on the Equity Council. Additionally, many schools have one or more alternates from each school as building liaisons supporting the Equity Council's work. We are continuing to partner with KEoCN to leverage these volunteers for ongoing important race and equity initiatives in KSD, beyond our Equity Council and this partnership is working both ways where KEoCN invites district leaders into their ongoing work and initiatives. Students and parents interested in joining the Equity Council should contact Melissa Laramie for more information.
- Update policy and procedure On October 22, the Council discussed and prioritized this goal's work after the Council has data from the student survey (goal 3) and the equity audit (goal 4). The Council feels waiting better serves our students and staff, and this work is aligned to 1801P reviewed in April 2019. The Council is preparing for a discussion and presentation as in past years before this global health crisis prevented this work in April 2020 of the suggested revisions to policy, and revised procedure, in Spring 2021.
- Student Equity Survey - Grades 6-12 If we have learned nothing in 2020, it is that our student's voice can serve as a compass, helping us as teachers, district leaders, and parents to identify specific levers to pull to improve equity in education, in our community, our nation, and our world. On October 20, 2020, Equity Council members began revising draft questions for the student survey. The survey was deployed in December 2020, and the results were posted in January on our website. All results are anonymous. The Equity Council will offer this survey to students again in the 2021-2022 school year to begin looking for trends.
- Develop a KSD Equity Audit for KSD Leaders The Equity Council believes if we want to change how funds are allocated, we need to help leaders transform their lends when they build their budgets every year. An equity Audit provided to KSD Leaders to help them review their programmatic equity will come with awareness, then lead to a change in practice, leading to a change in attitudes and beliefs and result in positive outcomes for students. After developing the tool in February 2021, due to the continuing shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equity Council decided to launch the KSD Equity Audit Tool in 2021 as a pitot tool for testing. KSD Leaders will be invited to use the tool and participate in testing in the 2021 budget development season and provide feedback to the Equity Council, the council will refine the tool before the next school year and launch it in the fall with supporting training tools for implementation district-wide in 2021-2022.
Equity Council meetings are co-hosted by Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts and Melissa Laramie, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs.
Meetings have ended for the 2020-21 school year, the Equity Council will convene for their summer retreat and begin planning for the 2021-22 school year.