Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Strategic Plan

2021-2025
(Adopted May, 2021)

INTRODUCTION

The River Rouge School District, embraces its role in establishing a long-term mission and vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is our mission to value differences and to actively promote equity, diversity, and inclusion. We will not passively accept an unwelcoming and unsafe environment for our students and staff.

We envision a district where every student is encouraged to achieve to his or her highest potential and we will maximize our differences to achieve excellence. We will fully embrace our rich, diverse community as expressed through race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, immigration status, language background, language proficiency, and family structure.

We recognize that it will take growth, change, hard work and vigilance to achieve and maintain this vision. We are prepared to do that work and we implement this Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to provide guidance and a clearer path for the Board, District, and community to achieve this noble vision.

This Plan is a living document. As such, periodic adjustments will be necessary to capture progress and improvements as well as the need for redirection to ensure a deliberate course toward our goals for diversity, equity and inclusion.

PURPOSE EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the River Rouge School District for equity, diversity, and inclusion is to actively include and value all students and to meet their unique learning needs while developing their understanding and respect of difference, thus preparing them to live in an inclusive, global community and world.

PURPOSE EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION CORE BELIEFS

  • We believe our schools should be a safe and welcoming environment that supports learning for all students.
  • We believe all students will learn and be successful and we recognize that students have different learning styles and we must provide equitable supports
  • We believe in meeting the needs of a growing and diverse student population and understand that by valuing and supporting our multicultural and multilingual students and their families, students will be more successful.
  • We believe in inclusive curriculum, instruction and assessment that is learner-centered and based on high standards and expectations.
  • We believe in promoting positive self-esteem, self-discipline, and mutual respect.
  • We believe that in order to achieve academic excellence, students, teachers, parents and community members must be active partners.
  • We believe the affirmative recruitment and retention of a diverse and culturally competent faculty and staff is essential for meeting the needs of all our students.
  • We believe that District policies and procedures must support our ability to achieve our diversity and equity goals.
  • We believe that we each have a responsibility to combat racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice, discrimination and harassment for the betterment of our schools and society.

PURPOSE EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION VISION STATEMENT

The River Rouge School District will:

  • Provide a welcoming, safe and equitable school community that is affirming and inclusive, including schools and classrooms that are a reflection of our global community.
  • Commit to a culture that reflects, respects and embraces the voices, perspectives and differences arising from our diverse community.
  • See each student as unique and seek to empower all students to achieve their highest potential.
  • Eliminate educational inequities by providing equitable access to services, school resources, and other learning opportunities.
  • Provide linguistically responsive instruction and supports to ensure ELL students’ academic achievement in mainstream classrooms.
  • Develop and implement ELL programming to further develop students’ English language proficiency
  • Develop a diverse and inclusive curriculum that reflects the wide range of voices, perspectives, and experiences of the students and families in our community and the world.
  • Build trusting relationships with all students and their families
  • Recruit and retain culturally competent and diverse administrators, faculty and staff.
  • Provide regular professional development to assist educators and staff as they increase their understanding of inclusiveness and cultural proficiency.
  • Ensure policies and procedures are consistent with our goals of diversity, equity and inclusion and that they do not act as barriers to our success.
  • Ensure equitable outcomes for all students by encouraging parents and the communityto be active partners in the learning process.

GOAL, OBJECTIVES, AND STRATEGIES

Goal 1: Ensure a welcoming, safe, inclusive and equitable school community

Subgoal 1.1: Regular review and assessment of school and district climate Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators
Timeline: Ongoing
Measures of Success: Number of meetings, minutes and completion of climate survey.
Strategies:

  • Establish and convene Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion District/School committee meetings
  • Review all District/School data collected for MICIP
  • Implement annual climate survey

Subgoal 1.2: Regular review of discipline and suspension data
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators, Wellness Team, Attendance Agent
Timeline: Ongoing
Measures of Success: Decrease in student suspensions, review equity in suspensions
Strategies:

  • Review discipline and suspension data by District/School MICIP Teams • Review of discipline policies toward developing consistent policies across the District
  • Meet monthly with planning room staff
  • Implement Restorative Justice Practices to resolve conflict and disciplinary issues district wide.
  • Collect and use of Positive Behavior Intervention Supports and School Wide Intervention Supports data to drive next steps

Subgoal 1.3: Assess and improve facilities, hallways and classrooms to ensure they are welcoming and inclusive
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators, Teaching and Learning Teams
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Inclusive language and images evident in all buildings, signage, wall hangings, classroom, curriculum and library materials.
Strategies:

  • Development and completion of assessment tools
  • Post multicultural/multilingual signage in schools
  • Create gender-neutral bathroom facilities (if applicable) • Develop a tool to assess inclusiveness in schools

Subgoal 1.4: Ensure that Designated Employees are well trained to address bullying and harassment.
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Reduced incidents of bullying and harassment in all buildings.
Strategies:

  • Provide professional development related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Identify trained staff that students can safely go to for assistance
  • Include more students in conflict resolution that prevents bullying and harassment (Peer Mediation Program)

Subgoal 1.5: Provide training for parents on bullying and harassment and information on all aspects of the process
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Parents will learn know how to report, what to report, and to whom to report bullying and harassment
Strategies:

  • Hold 2 meetings a year for parents

Goal 2: Respect and value diversity

Subgoal 2.1: Cultural Celebrations and Recognitions
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Calendar of celebrations and monthly recognitions events.
Strategies:

  • Participate in District-wide Multicultural Extravaganza
  • Participate in District-wide African American Extravaganza District-Wide Event
  • Participate in District-wide Cinco de Mayo Celebration
  • Promote Bullying Prevention during the month of October
  • Plan building based cultural sharing and celebrations

Subgoal 2.2: Increase Disability Awareness
Person(s) Responsible: Director of Special Education, Building Administrators
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Increased participation district-wide in disability awareness trainings and improved climate as evidence by climate survey data; Greater representation of differently-abled students in leadership roles.
Strategies:

  • Expanding Reading for Inclusion across the District
  • Professional Development on Inclusion for all District Personnel

Goal 3: Empower all students to achieve excellence

Subgoal 3.1: Provide leadership opportunities to students, especially marginalized students.
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Greater representation of marginalized students in leadership roles
Strategies:

  • Create student leadership groups and opportunities for marginalized students

Subgoal 3.2: Develop opportunities for cross-cultural conversations for students Person(s) Responsible: Building Administrators
Timeline: Ongoing; Ongoing
Measure of Success: Participation in cross-cultural dialogue
Strategies:

  • Establish Annual Student Summit

Subgoal 3.3: Provide training for students on cultural awareness, responsiveness, and understanding
Person(s) Responsible: Building Administrators
Timeline: 3 times per year

Goal 4: Strengthen connections with ELL and New American families (Newcomers) and communities

Subgoal 4.1: Provide education to families about their children’s schooling
Person(s) Responsible: English as a Second Language (ESL) Director, ESL Multilingual Liaison
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Improved student outcomes, increased understanding by parents of student’s program
Strategies:

  • Explain ESL programming at meetings
  • Disseminate information regarding ESL updates
  • Provide policies and other district information in multiple languages and formats

Subgoal 4.2: Work collaboratively with other organizations that provide resources to families to broaden our collective impact
Person(s) Responsible: English as a Second Language (ESL) Director, ESL Multilingual Liaison
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Improved use of the ESL Multilingual Liaison, provide interpretation supports in different languages, provide families with supports and resources as needed
Strategies:

  • Collaborate with community organizations and parent organizations • Maintain the RRSD ESL program website as source of information about the program for parents and the community
  • Upload recorded parent and teacher webinars

Subgoal 4.3: Provide supports for ESL Multilingual Facilitator
Person(s) Responsible: ELL Director, ESL Multilingual Liaison Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Numbers of parents and families served by the ESL Multilingual Liaison during professional developments, webinars, parent meetings, etc.
Strategies:

  • Develop capacity of ESL Multilingual Liaison through trainings, workshops, tuition reimbursement
  • Ensure sufficient resources for the ESL Multilingual Liaison initiatives are in the budget
  • Develop and deliver high quality based parent and teacher professional development

Goal 5: Close the academic achievement gap

Subgoal 5.1: Ensure that data on academic achievement gaps are shared in district and school meetings to make sure that proper supports are provided to students in the program.
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: District Strategic Plan for Diversity and Equity is integrated into the Michigan Integrated Continuous Improvement Process (MICIP)
Strategies:

  • Include Central Office, Building Administrators, Teachers, Support Staff, Parents, Community on the MICIP Team

Subgoal 5.2: Identify and implement Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) strategies and supports needed to improve academic outcomes for English language learners
Person(s) Responsible: ESL Director, ESL Multilingual Liaison, Teaching and Learning Teams
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Percentage of current and former ELL students meeting proficiency in math and reading increases based on WIDA assessment results.
Strategies:

  • Identify how to best provide instructional interventions for underperforming students.
  • Provide professional development to mainstream teachers on teaching ELLs
  • Ensure that school-based MICIP plans have diversity and equity embedded.

Subgoal 5.3: Provide additional learning opportunities for students who are not at grade level during the day, after school, and during the summer.
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators, ESL Director, Teaching and Learning Teams
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Percentage of non-White, ELL, students with disabilities and low-income students enrolled in honors classes’ increases by 2% points
Strategies:

  • Provide after school and summer programming that focuses on developing academic skills

Subgoal 5.4: Expand understanding of the achievement gap in the District
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators, Teaching and Learning Teams
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Higher student academic success rate, lower dropout rate, higher student college/trade school enrollment rates of marginalized students.
Strategies:

  • Discuss achievement gap through equity conversations
  • Expand data collected for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Implement META 24 District-wide K-12

Goal 6: Develop a diverse and inclusive curriculum

Subgoal 6.1: Review existing curriculum materials for bias to ensure multicultural perspectives
Person(s) Responsible: Curriculum Director, Instructional Coaches.
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Inclusive curricula materials at all grade levels
Strategies:

  • Assessment of all materials for all subjects and grade levels
  • Provide teachers with multicultural inclusive resources to identify curriculum sensitivity and biasness

Subgoal 6.2: Research and purchase needed multicultural inclusive and trauma informed social emotional curriculum materials
Person(s) Responsible: Curriculum Director, Building Administrators, Instructional Coaches.
Timeline: Annually
Measure of Success: All subject areas, all grade levels curricula materials are culturally inclusive district wide
Strategies:

  • Advocate for resources to purchase multicultural inclusive curriculum materials
  • Ensure that newly purchased resources are culturally and linguistically inclusive

Goal 7: Recruit and retain diverse and culturally competent administrators, instructional and support staff.

Subgoal 7.1: Develop and maintain affirmative hiring process for all hiring departments to meet the district wide goal of culturally competent administrators, teachers and staff
Person(s) Responsible: Director of Human Resources
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: An increase in candidates who are culturally fit and competent candidates in all hiring pools
Strategies:

  • Develop hiring plans for all hiring departments, including non-licensed positions
  • Pursue resources which will allow for regular support and monitoring of all hiring processes across the district
  • Review of RRSD recruitment and hiring policies for unintentional bias or exclusionary practices.
  • Update job descriptions where applicable
  • Update job descriptions to include cultural proficiency as a criteria of employment
  • Include questions and scenarios related to diversity and equity during a candidates interview
  • Require all participants in hiring processes complete anti-bias training prior to participation

Subgoal 7.2: Develop mentoring programs to support new teachers
Person(s) Responsible: Director of Human Resources
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: An increase in candidates who are culturally fit for employment; less turnover of all teachers, especially male teacher of color
Strategies:

  • Develop partnerships with local community organizations, teacher organizations and faith institutions
  • Develop Equity Retention Ambassadors (mentors) for each school to support all new teachers in their building
  • Develop monthly cultural competency opportunities

Subgoal 7.3: Engage collective bargaining units in discussions regarding diversity and equity concerns before and during negotiations
Person(s) Responsible: Director of Human Resources
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Partnership with Unions in addressing equity concerns
Strategies:

  • District and Union Leadership dialogue on Diversity and Equity

Goal 8: Organizational change and development

Subgoal 8.1: Ensure equitable policies and procedures
Person(s) Responsible: Director of Human Resources
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Consistent and equitable implementation of policies and procedures district wide; reduction in “unfairness” complaints
Strategies:

  • Human Resources review policies for equity
  • HR and district policies and procedures placed as an agenda item at All Admin meetings
  • Create centralized location for all policies and procedures by building • Support Building Administrators with employee evaluation and performance matters
  • Provide information and timely response to employee questions on policies and procedures

Subgoal 8.2: Develop and support culturally proficient and transformational leaders Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Increased cultural competency District-wide
Strategies:

  • Assess professional staffs’ cultural proficiency in performance evaluations
  • Offer supports to staff as indicated by performance evaluations

Goal 9: Training and Professional Development

Subgoal 9.1: Maintain professional development plan for District that is aligned with the MICIP Strategic Plan as it relates to Diversity and Equity
Person(s) Responsible: Central Office, Building Administrators
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success:
Strategies:

  • Continue Anti-Bias and Cultural Competency trainings for District Personnel
  • Develop annual professional development plan to include diversity and equity across the district

Subgoal 9.2: Provide professional development in teaching English Language Learners to all teachers
Person(s) Responsible: ESL Director, ESL Multilingual Liaison
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Improved scores on standardized content assessment by current and former ELL students, increase number of teachers using SIOP strategies, offer a variety of trainings
Strategies:

  • Develop plan including barriers and opportunities to supporting teachers in earning ELL endorsement
  • Collaborate with Wayne RESA to develop opportunities for teachers to get ELL endorsement
  • Develop additional PD opportunities for teachers

Subgoal 9.3: Regular professional development for all employees
Person(s) Responsible: Curriculum Director, Building Administrators
Timeline: Ongoing
Measure of Success: Teachers and staff taking advantage of summer coursework; Improved climate in schools as evidenced by the Climate Survey
Strategies:

  • Offer voluntary summer trainings focused on diversity and equity to all teachers and staff
  • Offer professional development on Cultural Competency

Goal 10: Strengthen Parent and Community Partnerships

Subgoal 10.1: Improved Communications with Parents and Community regarding Diversity and Equity
Person(s) Responsible: ESL Director, ESL Multilingual Liaison
Timeline: 4 times per year
Measure of Success: Improved communications and support of District, Diversity and Inclusion goals; Greater parent and community engagement
Strategies:

  • Improve District communications within the community and develop support for ongoing school initiatives
  • Provide training for the ESL Multilingual Liaison

Deputy Superintendent

Alisa Berry-Brown

HR Administrative Assistant

Kim Buckner