The Ottumwa Community School District released details of its equity plan during a school board meeting last week.
Last September, the school district assembled a group of stakeholders (staff, family and community members, administrators, and students) to form an equity committee to determine the next steps and main areas of focus. This equity committee was able to develop and use surveys to guide an equity audit. The district has now put together action items from the survey responses for the remainder of the school year and for years to follow.
From February to May 2023, Ottumwa Schools says it will expand its equity work by:
● conducting a building-level equity audit aligned with the building’s school improvement plan.
● sharing the role of the ombudsperson (equity coordinator) to advocate for family needs and concerns.
● ensuring families are heard at the building level and at the district level is a priority
● creating and displaying visual representations of our diverse student body portrayed in every school.
○ student designed/student created, celebrated by all
● recruiting and promoting diverse employees through growing our own staff in various positions (associate to teacher, teacher to leadership, etc.)
● reviewing policies and procedures and ensuring the language is accessible to all families
● reviewing our visitor policy to ensure a strong partnership between families and the school in the education of our students.
Over the next year, Ottumwa Schools says it is committing to:
● ensuring every building has met the indicators of safe, supportive, and collaborative school culture in our high-reliability schools’ journey
● providing teachers with more learning on how to support the needs of our diverse populations (culturally relevant professional development opportunities)
● Use the data presented in our equity audits and school performance profile to enhance our school improvement plans
● evaluating and adopting new curriculum resources that provide rich learning experiences for ALL students where they can see themselves in the curriculum and in their classrooms