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Aug. 19 Community Session on Equity: Ideas and Feedback

Dear District 97 Families and Community Members,

Thank you! Once again, you have proven your willingness to support and partner with us to enhance the educational opportunities provided to all students.

Last night, our community feedback session on equity had even MORE attendees than last week. Close to 130 participants from a diverse pool of backgrounds joined us. 

This time around, we listened to feedback from last week and provided two tables per pillar, more context around the data and set clearer meeting expectations and norms. The response resulted in a wider-range of ideas generated to help shape our equity work moving forward.

Rather than briefly summarize, I listed a few ideas generated by participants last night. These ideas are meant to help improve equity across each of our discussions areas (or pillars).

The information below and data collected during recent parent and student focus groups will be combined with upcoming survey responses to inform plans that will be released in late September.

Thanks again for your voice and ongoing commitment to D97!
Dr. Carol Kelley, Superintendent

Photo of Aug. 14 community feedback session on equity     Photo of Aug. 14 community feedback session on equity

Aug. 19 Community Feedback Session: Ideas/Takeaways

PILLAR ONE: Equitable access to rigourous, resposive instruction

  • Extend inclusiveness training beyond special education teachers to include all teachers
  • Request specific classroom support from parents and community
  • Hire a more diverse teaching staff
  • More training on restorative justice
  • Improve academic planning between District 97 and District 200 
  • Strengthen support for students who are struggling in math
  • Make tutoring options available for students who are unable to afford it
  • Share best practices from school to school
  • Consider halting suspensions

PILLAR TWO: Strong relationships with families and communities

  • Focus on improving the overall treatment of students 
  • Transparent evaluation of the implementation/outcomes of teacher training
  • Cultural competency training for staff
  • Match up new parents with those who have been in the district for awhile
  • Better communication of the Code of Conduct
  • Stronger individual assessments of what children need
  • Identify how comfortable parents feel with school staff
  • Hire diverse school staff, not just teachers
  • Improve the communication parents receive from the district and the school
  • Think of out-of-the box ways to engage parents, including parent-led meetings that highlight various cultures 
  • Consider home visits or other personalized contact with parents

PILLAR THREE: Effective teachers, leaders and staff for every student at every school

  • Increase accountability for teachers and leaders
  • Peer to peer observation of best practices
  • Specific implicit bias training for staff
  • Clarity around evaluation and teacher training
  • Improvements in how ethnicities, such as Middle Easterners, are identified
  • More training around social emotional learning
  • Explore whether District 97’s policies and practices support equity
  • Greater awareness about the Second Step program