Educational Equity Policy
The policy guides FCPS' work to ensure alignment with our equity-driven values and vision
The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Educational Equity Policy demonstrates our commitment to the diverse FCPS community, the promise of welcoming and culturally responsive school and work environments, and the guarantee of access and opportunity for the entire FCPS community.
The policy was adopted by the Fairfax County School Board in June 2023.
Video - FCPS Educational Equity Policy
Priorities in Practice
The Educational Equity Policy centers students’ strengths and needs and elevates urgency for those students who have been underserved. These data will continue to drive our decision making and goals. This policy applies to all FCPS policies, programs, and practices and prioritizes actions in the following areas:
- Facilities – Ensure facilities across the division are equitably equipped and funded to provide safe and accessible school settings.
- Family & Community Partnerships – Create authentic partnerships with families and community members; affirming strengths and perspectives; and ensuring the voices and engagement of those most often underrepresented are present in all spaces.
- Student Agency – Foster coequal learning environments that support student interests, uplift all student learning styles, and allow students direct influence of their learning.
- School Environment – Foster a culture where the dignity of each individual is honored, everyone feels that they belong, and interactions are free from prejudice or bias.
- School Funding – Provide differentiated distribution of resources and access to facilities based on students’ needs and driven by the elimination of predictability of outcomes.
- Teaching and Learning – Engage in instructional practices which are inclusive in order to eliminate predictability of outcomes by identity group. Provide all students with relevant and meaningful learning experiences in which they are challenged and supported in a learner-centered and culturally responsive environment.
- Workforce – Recruit, hire, develop, and retain a diverse team of highly-qualified teachers, administrators, and support professionals.
Educational Equity Policy in Action
Examples of the Educational Equity Policy in action include:
- Explicit opportunities for engagement of marginalized students in school and division decision-making.
- Access to scaffolds and supports in Tier 1 instruction.
- Universal accessibility for students with disabilities.
- Access to information and personnel for multilingual families.
- Continuous opportunities for professional growth for all staff.
- Differentiated distribution of resources and access to facilities.
Policy Adoption Process
FCPS has been working on equity and cultural responsiveness for many years. The process of adopting a formal Educational Equity Policy spanned two years.
July 2022: School Board approves Educational Equity Policy work.
August - October 2022: The Educational Equity Policy Work Group launches the project.
November 2022 - March 2023: Focus groups were conducted to gather initial impressions and feedback about the proposed Educational Equity Policy. Participants included FCPS associations, student groups, and community organizations.
January - February 2023: The Educational Equity Policy Steering Committee held small group sessions and one full committee meeting to collect big ideas and suggestions for added language. Stakeholders included employees, students, parents, community members, and organizational representatives.
June 20, 2023: School Board work session
June 26, 2023: School Board vote
School Year 2023-24: Policy implemented
Support for Policy
The following initiatives and legislation support the adoption of this policy:
Strategic Plan 2019
The 2019 FCPS Strategic Plan Goal 1: Student Success calls for the elimination of gaps in opportunity, access, and achievement for all students. This will be achieved through the use of the Closing the Achievement Gap Framework.
Strategic Plan 2023
FCPS's new 2023-30 Strategic Plan and the Educational Equity Policy are necessarily linked. The plan focuses on ensuring that each and every student has equitable access and opportunity in our schools. Each of the five goals in the strategic plan includes an equity commitment.
One Fairfax Policy
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board adopted the One Fairfax Policy, a joint social and racial equity policy, in November 2017. The joint policy commits both boards to consider equity in decision-making and in the development and delivery of future policies, programs, and services. The One Fairfax Policy compels the county and schools to look intentionally, comprehensively, and systemically at barriers that may be creating gaps in opportunity.
Virginia House Bill 127
An FCPS Educational Equity Policy aligns with 2022 legislation, which prohibits: “discriminating against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”