District 58's Commitment to Educational Equity
In District 58 we believe each student is capable of learning and deserves to be educated, supported, and challenged to reach their highest potential in a safe and inclusive learning environment.
We recognize our collective responsibility to achieve educational equity by ensuring that all policies, programs, resource allocations and practices affirm the strengths that each child brings from their diverse background and life experiences. We commit to delivering the timely and comprehensive supports, programs, and educational opportunities that all students need to succeed. District 58 is dedicated to creating a culture where all stakeholders feel safe, welcome, respected, and a part of our community.
View District 58's Equity Audit Report
The commitment to educational equity has been a part of District 58’s mission and vision for decades. Our Mission includes the statement “We envision a school district that inspires children, sparks creative and innovative thinking, celebrates diversity, and builds visionaries.” Further, the guiding principles include “The school environment should be safe, friendly and nurturing, where everyone comes to learn, grow, and develop.” Additionally, our 2018 Strategic Plan emphasizes a focus on equity in the following places:
- Objective 1.3: Ensure equitable access to appropriate resources and programming.
- Objective 2.2: Improve engagement and outreach connecting the community, staff, administration and Board of Education to achieve their shared mission.
- Objective 2.3: Develop systems to promote equity and consistency of the student learning process.
Key Performance Indicators 5 & 6 require us to monitor and report on the annual academic growth of students in identified subgroups. Subgroup populations are identified as groups of students who are historically marginalized or statistically at-risk.
As such, conversations around access to resources, allocation of support and the desire for a deeper analysis of student learning data specifically as it relates to our subgroup populations have been ongoing. The Curriculum Council, the Resources Review Council, the administrative team and even the Board of Education have discussed these issues in various formats over the past several years.
District 58 regularly engages in continuous improvement efforts. While our strategic plan is perhaps the largest scale example of this, there are many other examples - the analysis of student data at the district, building and classroom level; our commitment to receiving feedback after committee meetings and professional learning opportunities; our regular surveying of all stakeholders and analysis of those survey responses. These are examples of work that we have the capacity to accomplish internally; there are other cases where we engage a consulting firm to harness their expertise and resources.
The purpose of an equity audit is to identify areas of strength and needed improvement with particular attention to historically marginalized groups. It is a fact-finding process that aids in the development of tangible recommendations to mitigate inequities. District 58 contracted Systemic Educational Equity, the consulting firm founded by Dr. Ivette Dubiel, with whom District 58 has had a long standing working relationship, to conduct an equity audit during the 2021-22 school year.
The word “audit” can elicit a defensive response, as if the process exists as a search for malfeasance; this is not the case. Rather, this is an opportunity very similar to strategic planning in which we gather information from stakeholders in a variety of ways, analyze current data, and reflect upon what we learn as part of the continuous improvement process. We believe that it is incredibly important to hear and understand the experiences of all stakeholders in District 58 as it relates to their participation in the educational system.
Ultimately, we believe that the information gathered through the equity audit will benefit all stakeholders in District 58 as we work to strengthen all of our systems - instruction, learning, assessment, communication and beyond.
ISBE Equity Journey Continuum
The Equity Journey Continuum is an informational tool to help districts view their data through the lens of equity. It identifies gaps in student achievement, opportunities, and supports by analyzing data that districts already collect and report to ISBE. The tool makes the data more useful for districts to improve outcomes for students. ISBE developed the tool using national research and examples from other states.
In Illinois, our public school system shows persistent and significant gaps in achievement between student groups. The Equity Journey Continuum will serve as a beacon to illuminate areas where a district may need to alter systems, increase access, add resources, or seek supports to ensure students from all backgrounds can achieve the same high standards.
District 58’s Equity Journey Continuum
The Equity Journey Continuum for District 58 can be found on our Illinois School Report Card.