Equity Statement Survey - English Version

Early in 2018, Danbury Public Schools (DPS) was awarded funding from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to identify the root causes of inequities in our schools. As part of our equity journey, this past December, over 50 school staff and community members attended a workshop where they assisted DPS in revising our vision and mission, and helped create an equity statement and guiding principles. Prior to adoption by the Board of Education, we would like your opinion. Thank you.

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* 1. Vision
A vision is what an organization wants to become (the future). A quality vision statement:
·  Embodies what an organization wants to achieve in the long term.
·  Is bold and resonant - may be just out of reach, or even impossible to achieve.
·  Is not up for debate and provides a clear focus and makes stakeholders excited about being involved with the organization everyday.

Proposed Vision Statement
Danbury Public Schools will be a world-class educational system that advances ALL learners to their highest potential.

The proposed Vision meets the characteristics of a quality statement:

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* 2. Mission
A mission is what an organization does (present). A quality mission statement:
·  Defines between what the organization is and does.
·  Highlights the guiding purpose and fundamental values.
·  Describes the social justification for the organization to exist.
·  Addresses the needs or problems that the organization exists to address.

Proposed Mission Statement
Danbury Public Schools, in partnership with families and the community, will be an innovative learning organization that provides relevant, accessible, and transformational student learning experiences designed to cultivate thoughtful and prepared graduates.

The proposed Mission meets the characteristics of a quality statement:

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* 3. Equity Statement
An equity statement defines an organization’s beliefs.

Proposed Equity Statement
Equity is the full and equal access to opportunities, power and resources so that all people achieve their full potential and thrive. By equity we mean the just and fair inclusion into a society in which everyone can exercise their individual agency and achieve lived justice.

Equity in education is transformational; acknowledging and actively working against structural barriers that oppress. These include race, sexual orientation, religion, language, gender, gender identity or expression, socio-economic status, culture, and other historically marginalized populations.  Equity work includes building awareness, deepening understanding, and taking actions, particularly at the institutional and structural levels, ensuring high quality outcomes for ALL students in our educational system. As such, we must maintain transparency, accountability, and ensure intentional, courageous conversation. This includes the disruption of inequitable practices, examining biases, and creating liberating and transformative school environments.

Equitable learning environments where adults hold high expectations for every child, from birth to post-graduation, and work relentlessly to provide the opportunities and resources needed to help students reach unbounded success. Further, Educational Equity in Danbury means that students are able to self-actualize, experience joy in learning everyday, and see themselves reflected in the content and context of their learning, as well as in the educators who serve them.  

Adopted from: Ossining Union Free School District and William C. Graustein Memorial Fund.

The proposed Equity Statement aligns with my beliefs:

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* 4. Guiding Principles
The guiding principles define how an organization will act.

Proposed Guiding Principles
As we work to ensure educational equity in Danbury, we are committed to ensuring students are at the center of every action by focusing on four critical components:
Talent Development
Recruit, employ, develop and retain a culturally competent workforce that reflects the full diversity of our students
Academics
Provide equitable learning environments and culturally relevant curricular experiences, by working relentlessly to provide the opportunities and resources needed to help students reach unbounded success.
Culture & Climate
Promote a welcoming and nurturing school culture where we define priorities and action through meaningful collaboration with students, families, teachers, staff, and community.
Operations
All district decision making regarding strategic planning, programming, and aligned resource allocation, includes the lens of equity for all.

The proposed Guiding Principles support the vision, mission and equity statement:

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