Equity and Cultural Responsiveness

Fairfax County Public Schools will eliminate gaps in opportunity, access, and achievement for students.

photo of two young students working on a project
Two young students working on a project together

Overview

FCPS is committed to serve every student by name and by need. As partners in the One Fairfax policy, the office of the chief equity officer promotes equitable opportunities for all students by examining policies and practices, advocating for those who are marginalized, and providing learning opportunities for staff to build their capacity to interact with students, families, and colleagues in ways that are empowering and responsive to all. 

The chief equity officer supports and leads efforts by FCPS to align actions around the shared value of equity by expanding perspectives, creating the space for courageous conversations, leveraging and building upon strengths, helping all staff to understand the difference between symptoms and root causes, challenging the status quo, clarifying and focusing attention on core purpose, and ensuring that FCPS does all that it can to unlock the potential of each student.

Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Curriculum Policy Development

FCPS believes that to achieve educational equity, we need to analyze and address the beliefs and policies that inform teaching practices along with what is taught in schools.
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Keeping Equity at the Center of Instruction

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) places equity at the center of our mission and commits to creating inclusive school communities. FCPS' work is guided by government and division policy.
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Professional Learning

photo of a group of adults looking at the camera
FCPS Staff working together

Working within the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement, the Equity & Cultural Responsiveness (ECR) team supports system-wide initiatives to provide learning opportunities for staff members to increase and demonstrate cultural competency and sensitivity when supporting families, students, and employees. Their work includes:

  • Creating and facilitating professional development sessions that build the capacity of staff to interact effectively with the diverse groups within the FCPS community to build welcoming and identity affirming spaces
  • Coaching and guiding Equity Leads in each school and office to transform personal beliefs, behaviors, and practices to support the development of culturally responsive staff
  • Collaborating with system leaders to examine and policies and practices  

Student Engagement

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has established a new leadership program—Student Equity Ambassador Leaders (SEALS)—to amplify student voices and provide an increased understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion through leadership development, projects, and relevant experiences of high school students.  

“As part of our efforts to support students as they look at their school through an equity lens, this new program will offer students the opportunity to take on a leadership role while recognizing and encouraging different points of view, experiences, and histories,” said Leona Smith Vance, director of equity and family engagement. 

SEALS was designed to enable students to take an active role in fostering a school culture that affirms and sustains racial, linguistic, and cultural identities. As the stories of marginalized students appear, SEALS participants will be able to contribute to a more equitable and culturally responsive learning environment.  Find out more

Curriculum 

FCPS is working to deepen our commitment to creating a climate and curriculum where all students see themelves, recognize their identity is affirmed, and receive the resources they need to reach their fullest potential.  Following are some programs that work towards this goal. 

  • PreK serves income-eligible three and four year old children, including those with disabilities, by providing a high-quality learning experience. Details
  • Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) created the Young Scholars Model to increase representation of diverse students in K-12 Advanced Academic Programs. Details
  • A group of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teachers have been collaborating with colleagues from five other Virginia school districts to create a social studies curriculum that presents diverse perspectives and challenges students to critically examine materials, events, and institutions for bias, identity, and multiple perspectives.  The new curriculum will be available to students in grades 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11 as soon as this fall. Details
  • Special education services range from support in general education settings to specialized instruction in self-contained special education classes. Details.
  • Early Identification Program (EIP) is a multiyear college preparatory program for first generation, college bound middle and high school students who will be the first in their family to attend college. Details
  • The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)  program works with secondary students to close the achievement gap by preparing them for college and success in a global society. Find out more about AVID

 

Staff Recruitment Initiatives

Recruitment Services is dedicated to supporting the success of our schools and offices by recruiting the best candidates to fill instructional and support positions. We value diversity and are an equal-opportunity employer.

Equity Profiles

The Equity Profile is a part of the work outlined in the One Fairfax Policy which states, "Fairfax County Public Schools will incorporate data and publish performance measures that can be analyzed, quantified, and disaggregated to evaluate the extent to which our systems are achieving goals."

Data is published on an annual basis and can be disaggregated and analyzed to view trends in division and school performance. The Student Demographics Data provides information about all students, various demographic groups, and specific student populations.