Equity in CCS

  • How do we define equity?

    Every child has a fair & impartial opportunity for a successful education.

    What does CCS’s Strategic Plan say about equity in the school system?

    CCS' Strategic Plan states: Every student will have equitable access to engaging learning that prepares them to be competitive, collaborative, and successful in our global world.

    Why is it necessary to focus on equity?

    First, we must have a comprehensive understanding of equity in order to deliver services to our students that assist them in being to be successful in a diverse, global world. Cumberland County Schools personnel must have an understanding of the varied lenses of all of our stakeholders and be able to meet them where they are. Cumberland County is a very diverse school system with students, teachers, and staff of various races, ethnicities, religions, gender identification, sexual orientation, handicaps, and abilities. We strive to ensure that everyone's experience who comes in contact with CCS is positive and beneficial.

    Further, we are focused on furthering the equity work of our district. We strive to move beyond understanding diversity and cultural proficiency to being in a place of cultural sustainability and inherent affirmation.

    What has CCS been doing about equity?

    For the past four years, Cumberland County Schools has focused on equity work with an emphasis on administrators receiving training that they then bring back to their schools. The emphasis has been on building relationships with our students, exploring our implicit biases, and examining how these play out in our buildings.


    CCS' equity work has grown tremendously. Following its 5-year Equity Framework, the district is focused on shifting from delivering piecemeal professional development to a structurally deep, systems-change approach. CCS will begin offering an Equity Foundational course(s) in Equity for all staff, Cumberland's Commitment to Equity & Inclusion, levels 1, 2, & 3

    • Level 1: All employees will take the foundational course to understand Cumberland County’s position on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
    • Level 2: Differentiated paths based on types of work and interests
    • Level 3: Mentored Next Steps in Equity - coaches who help individuals carry forward individual plans to advance equity

    The district will continue the implementation of Equity MTSS with SWIFT Education Center, with all schools receiving training.


    CCS shifted to a systems-change perspective instead of working solely to change beliefs and attitudes. The focus shifted to implementing an equity plan that would address the root of inequitable policies, practices, and procedures and begin the work of transforming the system to deliver outcomes to ensure they are equitable, just, & fair for students, staff, and families.

    • CCS began taking part in the SWIFT Equity MTSS research project along with two other school districts in the US. This intensive project provided district- and school-level intensive instruction and coaching in equitable practices.
    • With the Equity Collaborative, Graig Meyer worked with the principals in CCS on leadership presentations. 


    The school system began that year’s Equity work with a kick-off featuring D.J. Batiste and Mrs. Porter. DJ and Mrs. Porter shared with building and district administrators and community leaders their experience of growing an at-risk student into a successful adult through the practices of Conscious Discipline.  After that introduction to equity in the classroom, the district Equity team gave a series of presentations to building and district administrators that focused on cultural proficiency and Gary Howard’s Deep Equity. Principals were to bring what they garnered in the sessions back to their schools and deliver the presentation to their staff.


    CCS began its dive into the world of Equity by pulling together a District Equity team that worked across departments with members from Curriculum and Instruction and Student Support Services. This team presented a four-presentation series entitled “Equity: A Cultural Connection.” The focus of the presentations was on noting the issues in the county and delving into understanding diversity and culture as well as establishing relationships in the classroom as solutions to the issues.

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Contact Us

  • Equity and Opportunity Department
    Educational Resource Center
    396 Elementary Dr.
    Fayetteville, NC 28301
    Phone: 910-678-2781

    Jovan Jones
    Coordinator, Equity & Opportunity

    Jemn Hershberger
    Equity Facilitator