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’s 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.
In 2019-2020, CCS shifted to a systems-change perspective instead of working solely to change beliefs and attitudes. Regardless of what school they’re in and who their teacher or administrator, is every student deserves equitable opportunities and outcomes. CCS Leadership seeks to ensure that that is exactly what every child receives. The focus, this school year, was upon addressing policies, practices, and procedures that deliver inequitable outcomes to ensure that they are, in fact, equitable, just, and fair.
- CCS began taking part in the SWIFT Equity MTSS research project along with two other school districts in the US. This intensive project affects the majority of the schools in the district providing instruction in equitable practices with additional coaching.
- Graig Meyer with the Equity Collaborative worked with the principals in CCS with Leadership presentations. Further, a select group of principals, the Equity Leadership Fellows, received intensive training and coaching in equitable practices in their buildings.
In 2017-18, 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.
In 2016-17, 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 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.