Keeping Equity at the Center of Instruction

Students seeing themselves and their experiences reflected in the curriculum

Overview

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.

The Fairfax County government's One Fairfax policy commits the county and schools to intentionally consider equity when making policies or delivering programs and services. The policy calls on FCPS to provide an "education that promotes a responsive, caring, and inclusive culture where all feel valued, supported, and hopeful, and that every child is reached, challenged, and prepared for success in school and life.” One Fairfax specifically identifies “Racial Equity as the development of policies, practices and strategic investments to reverse racial disparity trends, eliminate institutional racism, and ensure that outcomes and opportunities for all people are no longer predictable by race.” One Fairfax uses “Social Equity to consider the intersection and compounding effects of key societal issues such as poverty, English as a second language, disability, etc. with race and ethnicity…”

Cultural Responsiveness in Curriculum and Instruction

Since 2018, curriculum and instruction in FCPS are guided by the Design Principles of Cultural Responsiveness, which prioritizes rigorous and relevant learning experiences that affirm diverse identities, foster critical thinking, and support meaningful relationships.

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. 

Next Steps for Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias Policy Work

More recently, we have prioritized anti-racism and anti-bias policy work in our division-wide equity work aligned to the goals of One Fairfax. In June 2020, Dr. Brabrand wrote to all staff, "We know that our work as educators is one action that can change the future by teaching about systemic injustice and learning about the value of diversity in all forms."

The Fairfax County School Board has commissioned the development of a policy to guide the design and implementation of anti-racist and anti-biased curriculum across subject areas. As described at a School Board work session on September 15, 2020, curriculum that challenges racism and bias includes the following goals:

•             To represent diverse perspectives with nuance and respect;

•             To expose students to the history and effects of racism, prejudice, and discrimination

•             To increase self-awareness

•             To afford opportunities to take meaningful action to improve their communities and the world

FCPS Social Studies, in particular, has engaged in anti-racist curriculum development locally and in partnership with other school divisions across Virginia.

Read: Social Studies Teachers Collaborate with Colleagues Statewide to Create Anti-Racist, Culturally-Responsive Curriculum

 

One Fairfax

One Fairfax offers a framework for the county and schools to look intentionally, comprehensively, and systemically at barriers that may be creating gaps in opportunity.
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Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Curriculum Policy

FCPS is analyzing and addressing the beliefs and policies that inform what is taught in schools.
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VDOE EdEquity

The Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Equity and Community Engagement is charged with leading state efforts to advance education equity, eliminate achievement gaps and increase opportunity, and decrease disproportionality in student outcomes.