March Is Equity in Education Month
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)—in conjunction with the Virginia School Boards Association—observes March as Equity in Education Month, a division-wide opportunity to deepen our commitment to creating a climate and curriculum where all students receive the resources they need to reach their fullest potential.
Equity in education is a significant challenge nationwide. With the added inequities that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenges of racial injustices, it is more important now than ever before that we as advocates and servants of public education are addressing these inequities head on. When inequity in education persists, there is a cost to all.
As part of the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement, the Equity and Cultural Responsiveness (ECR) team designs professional learning and provides customized support to schools and leaders. ECR specialists are part of the leadership team for each FCPS Region, where they work with school staff, students, and families to create and nurture inclusive school cultures in order for all students to have a strong sense of belonging in the FCPS community.
FCPS has committed to elevating student voices by providing them a platform to help shape schools. The Student Equity Ambassador Leader (SEALs) program, established in November 2020, is made up of representatives from all FCPS high schools. These students are leading work at their schools and across the division to help dismantle the status quo. During Equity in Education Month, SEALs will engage with content experts to raise their consciousness and inform their efforts.
To acknowledge Equity in Education Month, the ECR team has planned activities to engage a variety of stakeholders. School staff will have an opportunity learn from SchoolTalk author Mica Pollock, in conversation with an FCPS school team that has done extensive work examining the ways in which our language impacts the student experience. In addition, all staff members in FCPS schools will engage in our seventh cultural proficiency professional development module. This learning will focus on amplifying and affirming the voices of those who are marginalized by our own systems, society, and the status quo.
The FCPS website includes an Equity Profile, a data source provided to make transparent the current state of access, opportunity, and achievement for all students.
Contributed by the ECR team