Standards make “actionable” the Juneau School District’s beliefs about and commitment to equity as stated in BP1265. These standards are linked to the intent and language of BP1265, adopted November, 2010, that defines “(e)quity in education (as) the deliberate act of providing resources and opportunities – both educational and co-curricular – to assure that all JSD students develop the academic and social-emotional skills to be successful.” The standards and indicators are intended to make measurable and objective that which is set in policy. Equity and the standards that make it concrete must be part of the district’s identity and daily conversations.
Equity cannot be based on an “endogenous” theory that posits that those not experiencing success are to blame for their deficiencies. These standards are based on an asset model that builds on and supports high expectations for staff and students. These standards are intended to be a living set of guidelines that can be changed and revised as needed. These standards state expected behaviors and practices of those persons who work for the Juneau school system. Ultimately, as the policy states, it is the responsibility of the Board to hold itself and the Superintendent accountable to assure appropriate and effective implementation of these standards through systemic and systematic processes, such as targeted professional development, school and district improvement plans, principal observation and feedback, and staff evaluation.
The development of these standards has drawn from and been informed by: the initial draft equity matrix developed in 2008 by the original equity committee which was formed in 2006; subsequent stakeholder feedback; the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership Five Dimensions of Teaching Framework; the Alaska STEPP school evaluation tool and process; the state Cultural Standards for Alaska Educators (adopted June, 2012), the state-approved guides, “Culturally-Responsive Teachers,” “Culturally Responsive Schools,” and “Culturally Responsive School Boards;” “and the text “Using Equity Audits to Create Equitable and Excellent Schools,” (Skrla, McKenzie, Scheurich, National Association of Secondary School Principals).
The original Equity Committee grew out of a 2004-2005 school-community task force that focused on how to ensure that enrollment in optional programs was equitable. During 2004 and 2006, when the district hosted biennial school-community strategy groups, the Strategy II committee focused on Alaska Native student success. Strategy II included participants who became part of the original Equity Committee, formed in 2006. Most of this original group participated in training with equity consultant Enid Lee in Boston in 2007; in 2008 and 2009, Ms. Lee traveled to Juneau to conduct staff training on equity factors and to model school equity audits. In spring 2008, the Equity Committee presented a draft standards “matrix” to JSD administrators. These standards then went out for public comment during SY2009-2010 and then reviewed by an expanded Equity Committee in June, 2009. With the departure of Superintendent Cowan, Assistant Superintendent Laury Scandling coordinated the work on equity standards, which typically involved monthly meetings for 2-3 hours and two full work days each summer. BP1265 was adopted by the Board of Education in November, 2010; regulations were added in February, 2011.
Meeting dates: 2009: June 23-24 (all day), Nov. 18, Dec. 15; 2010: Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Mar. 9, Mar. 30, April 17, April 24, May 8, May 15, Oct. 27, Nov. 17; 2011: Feb. 26, Mar. 9, April 9, May 7, Aug. 15, Sept. 10, Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Oct. 29; reviewed by Cabinet, Nov. 14; and, in 2012, by Administrative Council, Jan. 25; public comment meeting Feb. 3; reviewed by Board of Education in work session Feb. 7; reviewed by Cultural Para-Educators Mar. 6; continued review and revision by Equity Working Group Mar. 10, June 15 (all day), July 25 (all day), Sept. 8, Sept. 15, Sept. 28, Oct. 8, and Oct. 20. Every feedback comment has been documented and discussed by the Equity Working Group (see related document).
Original Equity Committee (formed 2006): Ronalda Cadiente Brown (former OIS coordinator; now UAS PITAAS director), Sally Donaldson (counselor DHMS – continued through 2012), Rhonda Hickok (former OIS coordinator; now AP, TMHS), Fred Hiltner (former teacher, Harborview), Alberta Jones (former OIS coordinator; now UAS Assoc. Prof), Angie Lunda (former principal, Gastineau; now Hoonah superintendent), Haifa Sadighi (former ESL coordinator; now AP, FDMS, continued through 2012), Cinda Stanek (former teacher, Gastineau), Dale Staley (APJDHS; now DHMS), Charla Wright (former assistant superintendent), Carmen Katasse (former principal, Riverbend), Peggy Cowan (former superintendent).
Additional Contributors, 2009-2012: Ryan Alsup (Principal, JDHS), Barbara Arena (former sped, GV), Patti Bippus (former principal, TMHS), Ann Boochever (AB), Cory Crossett (4-5-6 teacher, Montessori), Brenda Edwards (teacher, TCLL; now GST principal), Pam Garcia (instructional coach, AB), Kristin Garot (teacher, TMHS), Josh Jackson (teacher, HV), Mischa Plunkett Jackson (Johnson-O’Malley, JDHS), Sheila Keller (teacher, JCCS), Dan Larson (principal, TMHS), Sarah Marino (Principal, YDAHS), Andra Martin (cultural para, RV), Barbara Cadiente-Nelson (coordinator K-12 Native Student Success), Anya Nelson (former cultural leadership teacher, DHMS), Laury Scandling (Assistant Superintendent), Hunter Silides (former teacher, TMHS), Brita Steinberger (sped teacher, YDAHS), Lorrie Wright (specialist, MRCS)
Standards structure: The standards are linked directly to and organized, in order, according to the components in BP1265. There are eight domains, each with sub-topics and indicators. It is intended that all indicators be observable, concrete, measurable, and over which the district has control. The standards are progressive across a four-point scale, 1-4. If an indicator is deemed in the unacceptable range of 1, it is expected that immediate action will be effected by those who have the power to do so to improve that practice. There is no “exceptional” or “exemplary” category; JSD will be a world-class district only when equity is the expected norm in all parts of the system.
The pertinent language from which the standards are drawn, follows:
“ . . . the Board . . . and its employees (are) accountable in developing and sustaining an educational system that reduces and eliminates discrimination, in intent and in results. . . . (with) resources and opportunities - both educational and co-curricular . . . (and a)regular cycle of review using data to identify and eliminate educational barriers that impact students (with) specific attention to educational policies, regulations, programs, curricula, instruction, and practices.”
Thus, these standards address:
A. Hire and Evaluation of Superintendent
B. Committee or Task Force Formation and Facilitation
C. Conduct of Board Meetings
D. Budget Process
E. Policies and Regulations
A. Professional Development
1. New Staff Induction
2. Ongoing Professional Development
A. Funding and People
B. Facilities and Technology
C. Materials and Equipment
B. Review, Modification, and Development
C. Optional Programs
A. Review and adoption
B. Materials and content
A. Classroom Instruction
A. Communications and partnerships
1. With families
2. With community