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January 9, 2023

Educational Equity Definition Adopted

On Monday, January 9, 2023, a definition for educational equity was adopted during the Ames Community School District school board meeting. That definition reads: Every member of the Ames Schools community, across individual characteristics, identities, and circumstances, is provided with intentional access to high-quality experiences and opportunities in our schools that contribute to proportionate outcomes for all students.

What does that mean? 

The student-friendly definition of educational equity is “everyone gets what they need to be successful.” That means that everyone is provided with the resources that fit their circumstance and allow them to achieve the same high expectations. One example is when a student is asked to read a text. One student might need that text to be translated into a language other than English. A different student might need a quiet space to read independently. Another student might need a text-to-speech device to read the passage to them. Other students might benefit from reading the passage in a small group setting, while another student might need the passage in braille. 

Why is the Ames CSD releasing this definition of educational equity? 

Board members, district and building administrators, and teacher leaders began workshopping the first definition at a board meeting work session on April 11, 2022. Further refining and feedback were gathered from the Educational Equity Planning Team (EEPT), which consists of parents, students, community members, teachers, and other staff members. All ACSD staff were asked to give feedback during the October professional development day. We synthesized that feedback and presented revisions to the Equity Committee of the ACSD school board. By releasing this definition, we hope to present a clear definition of educational equity that will unite our community around a common understanding of the term.

What comes next?

This definition will be presented to the strategic planning team as they work to create a long-range plan for Ames CSD. By having an aligned understanding of educational equity, that team can articulate better concrete goals and action plans that will allow us to continue to strive for educational equity in our district, where everyone can get what they need.