Equity & Excellence

All students shall experience an environment characterized by high expectations, acceptance, respect, and support to become invested in the pursuit of learning and excellence without fear of threat, humiliation, danger or disregard. Excellence shall become the norm for all regardless of background or demographics. Our schools shall embrace uniqueness, strengths, and challenges with support, understanding, expectations, and encouragement to succeed.

Key Strategies

  • Maintain focus on early literacy efforts to ensure every student enters fourth grade reading at or above level.

  • Expand supports for struggling readers in grades 6-12.

  • Utilize data (state assessments, local assessments, universal screeners, and teacher observations) to inform decisions about student needs.

  • Expand learning opportunities beyond the school day to provide targeted academic supports for struggling students.

  • Establish/strengthen and communicate a student assistance protocol to address attendance, behavioral, and mental health needs (e.g. pre-referral and intervention).

  • Identify and scale up interventions and supports at Tier 1, 2, and 3 to address academics, mental health, attendance, discipline, and other barriers to learning.

  • Conduct team school visits and equity walks with positive school climate look-fors.

  • Assess the experience of racial/ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+, students in the Tinsley Program, socio-economically disadvantaged, and other target groups through surveys, focus groups, and other forums.

  • Monitor and address disproportionality in out-of-school suspensions and provide targeted support to sites with disparate rates of suspension.

  • Implement equity-focused prosocial disciplinary responses (e.g. restorative and culturally responsive, schoolwide positive behavior interventions and supports, SEL, and trauma-informed approaches) and related professional learning.

  • Increase utilization and response of Student and Family Engagement Specialists at each site.

  • Establish ongoing partnership with the City of Palo Alto to advance equity initiatives city-wide.

  • Ensure representation and parent/community feedback from diverse groups.

  • Provide instructional materials and learning opportunities for staff that reflect multiple perspectives and help them incorporate diverse viewpoints in their instruction.

  • Ensure diverse representation and parent/community feedback to identify needs and amplify the voices of identified groups.

How will we measure progress? (Key Performance Indicators)

  • Increase percentage of students in identified subgroups (African American, PI, Latinx, SED, SWD, EL and VTP) who meet expectations in the following areas as compared year to year: attendance, state and local assessment, A-G completion, Advanced Placement / advanced class enrollment, college and career ready status.

  • Improve student achievement of historically underserved student groups as measured by SBAC, D/F lists, A-G completion, and College & Career readiness (CCI).

  • Decrease in disproportionate disciplinary school and class removals.

  • Increase in percentage of historically underrepresented staff, students, and families who report a positive school environment characterized by equitable treatment and perceptions of being valued, respected and cared for by school staff (Measure: CHKS Survey, Climate Surveys, disaggregated discipline data, attendance).

  • Increased access and utilization of help seeking behaviors (Survey, Wellness Centers, and CASSY reports).

  • Increase participation in career-themed pathways through internships, dual enrollment, and certifications.

  • Increase availability and access to parent education and support to improve knowledge/skill to support student learning (Measure: Parent Survey, increase in number of parent info nights, increase number of attendees at info nights).

  • All secondary site administrators will complete a foundational course in the elements of Universal Design for Learning.

  • Create common understanding and build capacity of secondary staff about designing lessons with student needs in mind. (PD in Oct, Jan, March - pre/post survey)

  • Development of summer learning opportunity to provide targeted support for students transitioning to middle school who do not demonstrate readiness for the next grade level in mathematics.

Student Centered Supports

Ensure that every student has access to programs, services, activities, and enrichment experiences that support student learning and enable each individual to achieve their fullest intellectual, creative, and social potential.

Key Strategies

  • Adopt universal screening protocols for entering Kindergarten to identify students at risk of academic, behavioral, and/or socio-emotional challenges and to assist with evenly distributed classes

  • Provide second-chance opportunities for mastery and award full credit for second attempts when appropriate (e.g. test remediation and retakes) Communicate and reinforce school and classroom expectations for academic achievement, standards mastery, behavior, and attendance in advance for both students and families

  • Develop and communicate a student assistance program protocol at each site designed to support students who are not meeting academic, behavioral, or socio-emotional expectations

  • Provide equitable access with transportation to after-school services and opportunities

  • Create dual-enrollment pathways for HUR students leading to graduation from PAUSD with sophomore status in college

  • Utilize evidence-based instructional strategies (differentiation, universal design, student assistance programming, positive behavioral supports) to meets students where they are

  • Redesign the Family Engagement Specialist Program with emphasis on direct student level support and case management of historically underrepresented students

Professional Learning & Accountability

Engage in district and site-sponsored professional learning opportunities and assume instructional and ethical responsibility to close opportunity and achievement gaps and ensure fair and unbiased approaches when working with students and families.

Key Strategies

  • Provide district-wide and site-specific professional learning opportunities to build individual and organizational capacity to implement strategies that promote equity and reduce bias

  • Implement a site-based equity self-assessment tool to support school-based goal setting

  • Engage in district-wide classroom walks to provide opportunities to collaborate, monitor and assess the use of agreed upon evidence-based strategies to advance equity

  • Develop and report an annual District Equity Scorecard to report progress on student outcomes and progress on the Equity Initiative

Culture & Climate

Identify and address systemic structures and bias to create a culture where all students and families feel safe, welcome, respected, and valued as part of the school community.

Key Strategies

  • Track teacher issued disciplinary removals to identify teachers who may need support in managing disruptive behavior

  • Monitor and address dis-proportionality in number of suspensions and provide targeted support to sites with disparate rates of suspension

  • Ensure that historically underrepresented groups gain entrance into, involvement of and full participation in schools, programs and activities within those schools

  • Monitor all reports of discrimination/bias and the district office level and provide direct contact to any family reporting claims of bias/discrimination to ensure concerns are being addressed to satisfaction

  • Use surveys to monitor the experience of racial/ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, students in the Tinsley Program, socio-economically disadvantaged and other target groups

  • Display student artwork, cultural displays and messages of empowerment around diversity so students and families see themselves and their cultural strengths highlighted throughout their school

School, Family, & Community Partnerships

The District Office, schools, and classrooms are places where all staff, students and families feel connected, supported and have input into decisions.

Key Strategies

  • Host language accessible informational nights, workshops and other forums targeted to families of historically underrepresented groups

  • Hold quarterly regional community outreach and learning opportunities for families to amplify their voices and build upon a foundation of strength

  • Ensure translation and interpretation services in all supported languages are accessible to parents upon request and explore opportunities for on the spot translation and interpretation services using over the phone and video remote interpretation services

  • Create partnerships with community organizations to advance the equity initiative, provide resources to families, and better support students

  • Establish partnerships with school districts experiencing extraordinary results with HUR students