Equity

Equity


Contact Us
Address
25720 Maple Valley-Black Diamond RD SE
Maple Valley, WA 98038

Phone Number
425.413.3478
Director of Equity
Emilie Hard



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We believe that Tahoma Schools must be welcoming, supportive and safe for every student and every adult. Students, staff, and leaders honor diversity and are committed to creating a culture of respect that is inclusive and committed to equitable practices. Understanding and empathy are valued and expected.
Our student population is becoming more diverse and our achievement and discipline data show disparities between racial groups. We have heard from many of our students of color about racism they have experienced in our schools. These circumstances have propelled The Tahoma School District to prioritize equity as a focus for our school system. As our community diversifies, we are charged with reshaping our practices to best meet the needs of all students and families. Our School Board and Superintendent have committed to providing effort and resources in order to identify and work toward equity goals.


What is meant by the term equity?
Equity is about treating all children as the individuals that they are, not treating all children the same. In order to thrive, students need to be treated with kindness and respect by adults and other students. We are deeply committed to ensuring that all students receive what they personally need to develop to their full potential and succeed. To that end, we commit to examining the disparities in our system and to implementing equitable practices to eliminate those disparities. Equity ensures all students have what they need to learn and thrive.

How is the equity work beginning?
Equity goals are being formulated in the areas of professional development, curriculum and instruction, family engagement, student voices, school climate, and staffing.
Here are our equity goals in key areas:

Employ an Equity Lens
An equity lens is used to evaluate and improve climate and culture, programs, curriculum, policies, and family engagement. Our work will prioritize the elimination of inequities. Using an equity lens will help us keep the individual needs of students in the forefront as we make decisions.

Climate and Culture
We believe student success comes from a deep sense of belonging in our schools and classrooms. Healthy, positive relationships form firm foundations for each interaction. Our responsibility is to create safe and inclusive environments where all are valued, respected, and welcomed as authentic partners in our work. We collaborate to bring out the personal best in students and staff in both academics and character.

Family Engagement
We will strengthen family engagement in elementary grades through high school through communication, family events and collaboration.
Seven committees have been formed that will include diverse parents and studentsHaving diversity on instrumental planning committees will support this goal and help us to amplify those voices. Staff will seek to understand the unique needs of families and partner to support student success.

Professional Development
We will ensure the cultural competency of staff through training on awareness, knowledge and skills. We will grow and evolve in our understanding of diversity and what it means to be culturally competent by engaging in ongoing training, looking inward at our own racial identities and uncovering biases and stereotypes. Dr. Caprice Hollins, of Cultures Connecting will support this professional development.

Curriculum and Instruction
Our goal is to provide curriculum that includes diverse perspectives and counter narratives, and uses culturally responsive instruction to support each student. Since this goal is extensive in a K-12 system, we will begin with identifying counter narratives for K-5 classrooms and considering social studies units that explore U.S history from multiple perspectives. Counter narratives offer positive alternatives to widely accepted stereotypes for people who have been marginalized. Counter narratives give people a voice who might otherwise not have one and they can be used to share a different point of view.

Student Voice
Students will be empowered to engage in discussions with each other and staff, surfacing inequities and identifying solutions. Staff will amplify student voices and provide opportunities to authentically lead in their schools and communities.

Staffing that Reflects the Diversity in Our Community

Our goals include hiring and retaining a highly qualified staff that is increasingly diverse and representative of our global population to serve as role models for all students. All staff will support and act in ways that demonstrate cultural proficiency.

Land Acknowledgement
The Tahoma School District would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the first people who lived in Maple Valley, the Duwamish and Coast Salish tribes.  We honor the unique heritage of this area’s First People, and affirm a commitment to respecting each tribe’s cultural identity.  Native American contributions and values have shaped the social, political, environmental and economic fabric of the state and November has been proclaimed Native American Heritage Month by Governor Jay Inslee.

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