Equity Action Plan
Equity Vision Statement
Recognizing the diversity of our community, The School District of Springfield Township is committed to and accountable for advancing equity and excellence for all of our students. We, in the School District of Springfield Township, endeavor to provide equitable opportunities for high level, meaningful, and engaging learning experiences for each and every student, regardless of racial/ethnic background, economic condition or other dimension of identity or difference.
We recognize that in order to achieve Educational Equity we must apply principles of fairness and justice in the allocation of resources and work toward the elimination of institutional barriers to access and opportunity. We aim to ensure that funding, policies, practices, and initiatives will enable every student to receive what they need to maximize their success. In order to foster growth toward equity, we must engage in continuous reflection and ongoing measurement of our efforts.
Adopted by the Springfield Township Board of School Directors in September, 2019.
About the Equity Action Plan
On January 18, 2022, the Springfield Township Board of School Directors approved the Equity Action Plan for the 2022 through 2024 school years. The EAP is the culmination of the work of the district wide Equity Team, comprised of staff at all levels, departments, and schools. In drafting the EAP, the District hired the University of Pennsylvania Delaware Valley Consortium (DVCEE) for Equity and Excellence to conduct a quality review, which included observations, interviews, and meetings with students, families, staff, administration and board members in the Fall of 2021. The research team consulted with the Equity Team members on the development of core questions for the review process, and following their time in the district, the research team met with the Equity Team to provide feedback on the EAP.
The Equity Action Plan is designed to promote equitable practices throughout the school community and in all schools. Fundamentally, it is critical for the district to help ensure that all students have access to a world-class education that will prepare them for success in the classroom, and in life. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the School District of Springfield Township to create a culture of inclusivity, where all students feel safe, welcome, and truly have a sense of belonging. The Board of School Directors fully supports this effort through the adoption of the Equity Statement, a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence and Equity, and a commitment to all meaning ALL students.
Six Goals of Educational Equity
As data is disaggregated and analyzed, patterns indicate high comparable performance for all identifiable groups of learners with virtually no performance gaps
Funding, staffing, and other resources are manifested in the existence of equitably assigned qualified staff, appropriate facilities, other environmental learning spaces, instructional hardware and software, and instructional materials and equipment, and all instructional supports are distributed in an equitable and fair manner such that the notion that all diverse learners must achieve high academic standards and other school outcomes
Patterns of interaction between individuals and within our school communities are characterized by acceptance, value, respect, support, safety and security, such that all students feel challenged to become invested in pursuing learning and excellence without fear of threat, humiliation, danger or disregard
The creation of learning opportunities so that every child, regardless of background, characteristics, or identified needs, is presented with the challenge to reach high standards and is given the requisite pedagogical, social, emotional and psychological supports to achieve the high standards of excellence that are established
Unobstructed entrance into, involvement of and full participation of all learners in all programs and activities within our schools
The assurance that all education stakeholders accept responsibility and hold themselves and each other responsible for every learner having full access to quality education, qualified teachers, challenging curriculum, full opportunity to learn, and appropriate sufficient support for learning so that they can achieve at excellent levels in academic and other student outcomes.
Building a Sense of Belonging
Morning Circle Media produced the following video to highlight the Springfield Township Equity Action Plan and how the school community is committed to building and maintaining a sense of belonging for all students.
Participation in the DVCEE
(Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence and Equity)
Our district is a proud member of the DVCEE, an organization sponsored by the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. The DVCEE includes 38 school districts in the Greater Philadelphia region that come together each month for professional development in the following areas:
- Evidence-based professional learning from nationally-recognized scholars and practitioners.
- Innovative strategies for addressing district-school organizational and instructional issues, and student underachievement.
- Leadership learning opportunities for middle and high school students of color.
- Enhanced recruitment of administrators and teachers of color.
- Support in the development and implementation of equity-informed district strategic plans.
- Sharing of leadership and learning experiences.
- Regular, active collaboration with other consortium districts to examine policies and share promising practices.
Equity in Curriculum and Instruction
Curricular resources, including the selection and adoption of new instructional materials and textbooks, are reviewed to ensure that they not only meet academic standards, but that they are representative of a diverse group of students and diverse perspectives. Our Language Arts curriculum reading selections, from kindergarten through grade 12, are chosen to ensure that illustrations, themes, titles, and subjects are representative of a diverse group of characters and authors. Work is currently ongoing in the revision of the K-12 social studies curriculum that includes an examination of the Social Justice Standards created through Teaching Tolerance, an organization whose mission is to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy, and which emphasizes social justice and anti-bias. The Social Justice Standards show how anti-bias education works through the four domains of identity, diversity, justice and action. As curriculum continues to be revised and developed, the Social Justice Standards are a critical thread running through the identification of state standards and content to be mastered. Similarly, the recently revised Health curriculum was extensively reviewed to ensure inclusion of current topics of interest, including gender identity.
In addition to work in curriculum, instructional work is centered on the use of data to help inform instructional practices. Disaggreated data will be reviewed to support the equity work. Recent work has focused on areas such as the examination of data to decrease course failure rates at the high school, to increase student academic performance through unrestricted access to Honors and Advanced Placement coursework, to reduce disciplinary and behavioral incidents, including suspensions, at the middle school, and to improve performance in math and language arts at the elementary schools.
Equitable Practice Goals
A Three Year Timeline
The presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective.
Promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.
An outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcomed. Inclusion outcomes include ensuring that programs are truly inviting to all and allow diverse individuals to fully participate in decision-making within an organization.