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Equity Statement

Equity in Ritenour means:

  • A commitment to building positive, purposeful relationships with every student and every family so that barriers to learning at high levels are removed. Diversity among Ritenour families and staff is valued, sought, and embraced. Student backgrounds (racial, ethnic, religious, gender, class, traumatic experiences) do not limit teacher expectations on student outcomes. Resources are allocated so that every student gets what they need.

We will:

  • Treat EVERYONE (parents, students, staff, families, students with special needs, guests, etc.) with dignity and respect by valuing individual perspectives and cultural diversity.

    • We will prioritize our interactions with every parent, student, guest and colleague.

      • Provide a welcoming environment and immediate greeting whenever stakeholders (students, staff, parents, etc.) enter our spaces (offices, classrooms, etc.)

    • Students will see themselves/their culture represented throughout the building/district.

      • Curriculum, discussion, visuals, etc. provide opportunities for students to see their culture valued, integrated, and represented (mirror) and the cultures of others valued, integrated and represented (window).

    • Teachers will embed cultural competency, cultural responsiveness, and trauma informed practices into their teaching and interactions with students.

      • Cultural competency requires thorough understanding of other cultures, understanding how cultures intersect and interact, valuing all cultures, and the flexibility to include and integrate those cultures into our classrooms and larger school community.

      • Cultural responsiveness requires teachers to know and understand the many facets of culture our students bring to the classroom and to leverage those elements of culture to meet the academic and social needs of our students.

      • Trauma informed practices require our staff to provide safe and supportive spaces for both students and staff to learn and work by implementing practices that do not cause further harm and help all stakeholders thrive.

  • Work toward building an anti-biased, anti-racist system that promotes academic and civic excellence.

    • Provide specific anti-biased anti racist (ABAR) learning opportunities for staff, students, families, and our community

We will create an anti-biased, anti-racist system by doing the following to interrupt the cycle of oppression:

  • Encourage the Ritenour community to speak up, ask questions, learn more, build bridges.

    • Educate all stakeholders

  • Provide a restorative approach to discipline that educates students to make appropriate choices.

    • Provide more student voice/influence on discipline policy recommendations

    • Reduce exclusionary discipline practices

    • Remove cultural factors from discipline referrals

  • Invest and engage students in their learning by supporting student and teacher efficacy.

  • Define success by what our families value rather than solely by the success criteria of our state governing body--“Play our own game.”

  • Continue to have courageous conversations as we progress toward an equitable and just system.

  • Advocate for policy changes at the local, state and federal level in order to stop the systemic oppression of children and families based on race, gender, religion, ability, age, income, and zip code.

AS A GOVERNING BODY (Board Member Commitments):

We will:

  • Communicate and interact with one another to promote and build trust.

  • Engage in self and group learning about race, equity, and ABAR strategies.

  • Clearly state the value of equitable schools.

    • We will annually review, reflect on, and commit to an equity statement, inclusive practices, and policies that reflect our commitment to equity in our schools and the families we represent and serve.