Equity Overview

The LSR7 mission is To Prepare Each Student for Success in Life. In order to best fulfill the district mission, LSR7 has prioritized leading, teaching and learning through an equity lens.

Equity in LSR7 is foundationally grounded in the belief in dignity and belonging for each young person and adult in our school community. The equity lens allows for each stakeholder in LSR7 to have high levels of access to success paired with a deep and meaningful sense of belonging in LSR7.

Update icon Progress Update

Recent Action Steps:

  • The district’s Parent/Community Equity Team provided feedback to staff on staff professional learning targets in the area of Equity.

  • A Quality Focus Team (QFT) has been chartered by Instructional Operations Team (IOT) and will begin meeting this spring to evaluate the process the district uses to identify and support struggling readers.

  •  A Board of Education policy review team formed to begin work on a comprehensive review of district policies starting with the “J”  policies.

  • A parent feedback group met (virtually) during the spring to provide feedback to the Reading Support Team.

    Equity training participants
    Nutrition Services staff engaged in discussion on the book, “What if I Say the Wrong Thing: 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People."
  • Equity Educational Consultants offered 90 minute Wednesday virtual sessions weekly for 2 months for interested secondary teachers.

  • EEC provided offerings to elementary teachers on the March 12 professional development day.

  • The district conducted a procedural review of LSR7 discipline codes, including a data analysis of student subgroups most impacted by those codes. This data provides baseline information to inform future policy reviews.

  • The district has invested in translation services to provide translated information quickly to our families. Eighteen languages are spoken in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District.

     

Upcoming:

  • A team of teachers and administrators are developing professional learning targets for staff in the area of equity with feedback and input from the Parent/Community Equity Team.

  • Just Schools sessions (EEC training for teacher cohorts) have been rescheduled to occur between April 1 & June 30 due to COVID-19.    

    Classroom setting
    Ms. Michelle Johnson, English Language Development teacher at Highland Park Elementary, reads a book with Sam G. and Melina D.

    Interested in learning more about action steps related to LSR7's action plan? Visit our timeline page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Equity Overview

What is equity?
Educational equity means that each child receives what s/he needs to develop his/her full academic and social potential while maintaining dignity and a true sense of belonging.
Working toward equity involves:

  1. Ensuring equally high outcomes for all participants in the educational system; removing the predictability of success or failure that correlates with any social or cultural factor

  2. Interrupting inequitable practices, examining biases, and creating inclusive multicultural school environments for adults and children

  3. Discovering and cultivating the unique gifts, talents and interests that every human possesses

(Source: National Equity Project)

Why is equity important?
The LSR7 mission is “We Prepare Each Student for Success in Life.” To fully fulfill this mission, each student must be provided excellent personalized opportunities for success paired with a deep sense of belonging and dignity; one need should not be compromised to support the other. Students should know that LSR7 is a place they belong and a place preparing them for success in life.

Is equity just about race or guided by critical race theory?
Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts should be inclusive of any/all typically marginalized groups. However, race is a significant topic in equity work, as systemic racism has been one of the longest, most significant & historically prevalent inequity issues in our nation.

Equity Structure in LSR7

Does LSR7 have an equity plan?
Yes. We adopted our equity plan Feb. 21, 2019.  Click here to download our equity plan (PDF)

What does LSR7's equity training include?
LSR7 uses approved, vetted external professional development consultants as well as internally-developed and led professional development on the topic of equity.  The focus of both external and internal professional development includes topics such as bias, access and belonging, privilege, changing patterns of predictability, and teaching through a culturally responsive lens.

Is student input being gathered in the equity work?
In order to make our equity work more inclusive, the district uses Panorama surveys for student input in order to understand students' perspectives, social-emotional learning and sense of belonging in the school climate. 
Click here for Social-Emotional Learning: Grades 3-5 (PDF)
 
Equity-related Curriculum in LSR7

What is LSR7 doing to incorporate equity in curriculum and instruction?
Curriculum revision teams will begin the process of identifying an equity/bias/culturally-relevant framework to enhance and refine the curriculum revision processes and resource selection processes already utilized in the district. 

A strong example of this type of work is in the district adoption of the ELA resource Collaborative Classroom, an ELA resource with 41% of the characters in the stories being characters of color.  Additionally, teachers will continue to receive professional development regarding instructional practices and culturally relevant ways to teach state and district standards.

Virtual/online instruction is designed to mirror in-person instruction.

Does LSR7 have staff training and support for culturally-relevant teaching?
LSR7 is in the process of identifying adult professional learning standards for staff on various topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion. The learning targets will include culturally relevant teaching components. Once formalized, the learning targets will guide future equity-based professional development in LSR7.

Equity Policies in LSR7

What has LSR7 done recently to promote equitable policies?
LSR7 reviews Board of Education policies regularly as changes are recommended and proposed by the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA). The recent revision to Policy AC is an example of the review process. Each review of Board of Education policies includes a review from an equity-based perspective. As individual policies are identified internally for review by staff or stakeholders, the review follows the same timeline and process as the review of changes recommended by MSBA, including the review through an equity lens.

Is recruiting diverse staff part of LSR7’s equity plan?
Goal six of the LSR7 equity plan is dedicated to recruitment and retention.

Reporting in LSR7

How can students, staff and community members report a concern related to equitable practice?
The best way to report a concern is to reach out directly to administration at the building the student attends. Reporting to building administration can happen in person, via phone, via email or via the report a tip link on each school’s website. Additionally, the district provides at the bottom of the district's homepage a link to the Anti-Discrimination policies including links to reporting forms. 

Looking Forward

What is the upcoming equity work outlined in the equity plan?
LSR7 is committed to the continuation of externally led professional development sessions for staff. By the end of the 2020-21 academic year, it is estimated that over 450 staff members will have participated in some level of training led by the district-selected equity consultants.

In addition to continuing externally-led professional learning, the district will identify equity-based adult learning targets and develop internal professional learning for all staff members based on the identified equity-based learning targets. Curriculum revision teams will enhance and refine the curriculum revision processes and resource selection processes already utilized in the district. 

Recruitment and retention efforts will continue to support goal 6 of the equity plan. Each goal of the equity plan has identified timelines for strategies; the work will be guided by the plan and the timelines within it.

In the News

Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Student Services Dr. Christy Barger, Educational Equity Consultant's Phil Hunsberger and Lee's Summit West High School student Dera Okafor discussed equity on a podcast through Link 2 Lee's Summit.


For more information, just follow us.

District eNews Update