Seattle Public Schools

0030 Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity

The Seattle School Board is committed to the success of every student in each of our schools and to achieving our mission of ensuring that all students graduate ready for college, career and life.  We believe that the responsibility for student success is broadly shared by District Staff, administrators, instructors, communities and families.  We are focused on closing the opportunity gap and creating learning communities that provide support and academic enrichment programs for all students.  Additionally, we believe that it is the right of every student to have an equitable educational experience within the Seattle Public School District.

The concept of educational equity goes beyond formal equality—where all students are treated the same—to fostering a barrier-free environment where all students, regardless of their race, class or other personal characteristics such as  creed, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, economic status, gender, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, pregnancy status, marital status, physical appearance, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, have the opportunity to benefit equally. 

This means differentiating resource allocation, within budgetary limitations, to meet the needs of students who need more supports and opportunities to succeed academically.  A student whose history and heritage are appreciated and celebrated will learn better and be more successful than if that student is forced to overcome a cultural barrier.

With these commitments in mind, Seattle Public Schools will:

  • Raise the achievement of all students while narrowing the gaps between the lowest and highest performing students;
  • Eliminate the racial predictability and disproportionality in all aspects of education and its administration (e.g., the disproportionate over-application of discipline to students of color, their over-representation in Special Education, and their under-representation in various Advanced Learning programs); 
  • Ensure all students regardless of race or class graduate from Seattle Public Schools ready to succeed in a racially and culturally diverse local, national, and global community.

In order to achieve educational equity for our students, the district shall:

  1. Equitable Access—The district shall provide every student with equitable access to a high quality curriculum, support, facilities and other educational resources, even when this means differentiating resource allocation;
  2. Racial Equity Analysis—The district shall review existing policies, programs, professional development and procedures to ensure the promotion of racial equity, and all applicable new policies, programs and procedures will be developed using a racial equity analysis tool;
  3. Workforce Equity—The district shall actively work to have the teacher and administrator workforce be balanced and reflect the diversity of the student body. The district shall recruit, employ, support and retain a workforce that includes racial, gender, and linguistic diversity, as well as culturally competent administrative, instructional and support personnel;
  4. Professional Development—The district shall provide professional development to strengthen employees’ knowledge and skills for eliminating opportunity gaps and other disparities in achievement;
  5. Welcoming School Environments—The district shall ensure that each school creates a welcoming culture and inclusive environment that reflects and supports the diversity of the School District’s student population, their families, and communities;
  6. Partnerships—The district will include other partners who have demonstrated culturally specific expertise – including families, government agencies, institutes of higher learning, early childhood education organizations, community-based organizations, businesses, and the community in general – in meeting our high goals for educational outcomes;
  7. Multiple Pathways to Success—The district shall provide multiple pathways to success in order to meet the needs of the diverse student body, and shall actively encourage, support and expect high academic achievement for all students;
  8. Recognizing Diversity—Consistent with state regulations and District policy and within budgetary considerations, the district shall provide materials and assessments that reflect the diversity of students and staff, and which are geared towards the understanding and appreciation of culture, class, language, ethnicity and other differences that contribute to the uniqueness of each student and staff member.

The Superintendent is required to develop procedures to implement this policy, including an action plan with clear accountability and metrics.  At least annually the Superintendent shall report to the School Board on the progress towards achieving the goals outlined in this policy.  The report shall be based on the annual goals of the district’s Equity and Race Advisory Committee which are set in partnership with the Superintendent and the School Board.