On September 22, 2020, North Kansas City Schools adopted a policy titled “Educational Equity.” The policy states that diversity “requires that we work systemically to eliminate racial inequalities and inequities.” One way the school district will achieve this goal is to “develop the personal stance, professional and organizational skills of staff to address the presence of all forms of oppression.”
The policy explains that each school in the district will have a “diversity council” and that there will be “training for our district leadership in the formation of policies, practices and protocols that ensure equity in the district.” Equity will also play a role in hiring practices: “These measures will also include practices that increase equity related to staff recruitment, hiring and retention practices.”
Teachers will also receive equity training: “Training staff on culturally responsive teaching methods and monitoring their use of those methods regularly. Providing students with a curriculum where all students can see themselves reflected in positive ways.” The phrase “culturally responsive teaching” is often used to describe a method of teaching that includes the race and ethnicity of students.
The school district also has a “Statement of Equity” published online. This statement mentions “systemic racism” and explicitly states that the goal is to teach students to “value and practice racial equity.” The school district states:
We will continue to do the work of uprooting and addressing the people, policies, and practices that perpetuate systemic racism and other forms of oppression. Our students are living and learning during this time of unrest and we want to continue to do our part in promoting and creating positive transformations. By cultivating empathy and deep understanding, we are uniquely positioned to build bridges, support healing and champion meaningful and lasting change. We will use our powerful platform as educators to build a community of critical thinkers who value and practice racial equity.
Gracemor Elementary School within the district also has a statement titled “Our Commitment to Equity.” The elementary school states that the goal is to teach young students about equity:
We will use our powerful platform as educators to build a community of critical thinkers who value the humanity in everyone and practice equity. Much work lies ahead for our school, our school district and society.
The school district has a strategic plan published online for 2022 through 2027. The district explains in the document that its mission is to “develop self-aware, authentically empowered, future-ready learners through a rich array of purposeful learning opportunities in collaborative communities of belonging” that are “culturally affirming.” An action plan of the district is to also “increase the capacity of classified and certified staff to respond to social-emotional needs and to create equitable spaces where each student feels welcome, safe, comfortable, and able to fully participate in the learning process.”
The school district also performed an equity audit in 2019 that broke down the data of students in gifted programs and who received discipline by race and ethnicity.