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General Equity Practices: School/District Resources

The following resources are considered appropriate in supporting educational entities in global equity practices.

Empowerment Through Common Language in Pennsylvania: A Dictionary of Terms Related to Trauma-Informed Approaches in Schools
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) solicited input from stakeholders on trauma informed practice across Pennsylvania from November-December 2019. An immediate recommendation from these meetings was to develop a common language document to ensure that regardless of background, training, educational level or setting, team members are “speaking the same language.”

Pennsylvania Equity and Inclusion Toolkit
The Pennsylvania Equity and Inclusion Toolkit was designed to assist all school entities in their efforts to prevent and address bias and discrimination. This Toolkit provides relevant, evidence-based resources and information for school leaders and administrators to ensure that all students feel safe, respected, and welcomed in classrooms across the Commonwealth. This Toolkit has three focus areas – prevention, response, and recovery – aimed at helping educators address and eliminate bias, discrimination, and harassment and promote equity and inclusion in schools.

Pennsylvania Career Ready Skills (PA CRS)
PA CRA are social emotional learning progressions that support the development of student competence. The PA CRS are grouped into three domains: 1) self-awareness and self-management, 2) establishing and maintaining relationships, and 3) social problem solving. The PA CRS are useful for embedding into current tiered support systems K-12. A toolkit, continuum and other important resources are provided.

Mental Health Supports - PDE Office for Safe Schools
Mental health disorders in children and adolescents are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day. It is estimated that approximately 30 percent of school aged children will experience a behavioral, mental, or developmental condition in any given year. This page contains resources for parents, educators, and professionals serving children and youth in the school and community settings. Equitable practices are appropriate and necessary to support students with mental health concerns.

PDE School Climate
School climate refers to the quality and character of school life, and is based on patterns of student, parent, and staff experiences and perceptions of school life. It also reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, according to the National School Climate Center. This item provides resources that were compiled to assist schools with improving school climate, and were organized to be in alignment with a team-driven process that addresses climate as a component of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), or overall school improvement.

PDE Bullying Prevention
The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools bullying prevention webpage contains resources for parents, educators, and professionals serving children and youth in school and out-of-school settings. The Bullying Prevention Consultation Line is provided, along with other web-based resources related to bullying.

PA Family Engagement Framework
A tool to guide the implementation of effective practices, use of shared language, and a family engagement continuum for families across their child’s educational lifespan. This comprehensive tool reviews the foundational practices for effective and authentic family engagement as well as learning community standards.

Aspiring to Educate
The Aspiring to Educate initiative is an effort to diversify the educator pipeline in Pennsylvania and is structured to benefit individuals at various stages in their education and life. The three tiers of the program provide multiple pathways for participants and provides local educational agencies (LEAs) with a constant stream of teachers highly prepared to fill gaps in different high-need areas. The eligibility and program requirements for each of the three segments are: Youth Pathway for Aspiring Educators, Adult Pathway for Aspiring Educators, and Post Baccalaureate and Continued Development for Aspiring Educators.

Time to Act: How School Superintendents Keep Equity at the Center of Their Leadership This resource guide is designed to support superintendents and district leaders to increase action for equity, make necessary mindshifts to move away from historical and systemic inequities, and provide equity-centered leadership. We note that other education leaders often contribute to many of these specific functions. This resource guide is also for them.

LGBTQ Inclusivity in Schools: A Self-Assessment Tool (CDC) 
To assist schools and districts in addressing the health and academic needs of LGBTQ students, this self-assessment tool was created to help school and district staff understand current policies, programs, and practices that may contribute to safe, inclusive environments where all youth can be successful.

What is Black Fatigue and How can We Protect Employees From It
Tips for organizations who are embarking on a diversity, equity and inclusion process.

Equitable Practices Through a Trauma Informed Lens
Recorded by Dr. Nikole Hollins-Sims and Dr. Dana Milakovic, this webinar focuses on development of a common language for equity and trauma in schools and how the integration of equitable practices for all students, staff, and families is an integral basis for trauma informed work in a school.

Districts Advancing Racial Equity (DARE) Tool
This tool captures research-informed, high-leverage aspects of schooling that leaders must address in order to create systems that build on the strengths of and respond to the needs of students of color.

Time to Act: How School Superintendents Keep Equity at the Center of Their Leadership
This resource guide is designed to support superintendents and district leaders to increase action for equity, make necessary mindshifts to move away from historical and systemic inequities, and provide equity-centered leadership. We note that other education leaders often contribute to many of these specific functions. This resource guide is also for them.

Creating Equitable School Systems: A Roadmap for Education Leaders
As local education agencies (LEAs) plan for the 2020-21 school year and beyond, it is critical that educators use the planning process to honestly reflect on successes and challenges of local continuity of education plans in the 2019-20 school year and learn how to make instruction more engaging and effective for all students. A Roadmap for Education Leaders identifies six key processes essential for ensuring systems and policies are flexible and responsive to the needs of students and school communities, particularly in the rapidly changing environment of the pandemic.

Pennsylvania Evidence Resource Center
A resource provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to support educators in selecting and reviewing evidence-based practices in the areas of: PA Future Ready Indicators, PA Essential Practices, and Student Wellness. This resource is useful to districts in selecting appropriate practices in their development and sustainability of tiered supports for academics, behavior or social-emotional learning, as well as family engagement and other pertinent systemic topics.

MAEC - Equity Audit Tools
The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium developed three equity audit tools, with the focus beginning with creating an equitable school, to creating an equitable classroom, and finally focusing on teacher behaviors to enhance student persistence. These tools are not required to be used together, however each offer a distinctive evaluation of equitable educational practices.

District/School Transgender and Gender Diverse Readiness Assessment
A readiness assessment for school districts and individual schools to evaluate systemic strengths and needs in supporting and including transgender and gender diverse students in educational spaces. Educational leaders and teams may engage in using this assessment bi-annually to assess the current system’s level of responsiveness to this population of students.

Centering Equity in SEL
This Equity Tool, developed by the Great Lakes Equity Center, is a rubric, enabling users to determine the extent to which developed standards reflect an equity-focused approach to Social Emotional Learning. Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Framework for Systemic Social Emotional Learning, this Tool reframes each competency toward more equitable educational experiences for students who are members of historically marginalized groups by guiding users to consider the degree to which each competency implicates the role of the school in determining social norms, the politics and power imbalances embedded in emotional interactions, and the degree to which the standard promotes student agency.

Center for Public Education - Rural Schools Report
The Center for Public Education in partnership with the National School Boards Association produced a report on the state of rural schools in America. The report outlines rural school systems, funding, hiring practices, academic hurdles and recommendations for rural school leaders.

Pennsylvania School Boards Association - Equity Services
School directors are an important component of the educational process, in shaping policy and informing practice. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association has dedicated tools and trainings available to support equity in schools. Tools include: the equity system continuum, equity lens approach, equity policy guide and equity action plan.

Delaware Valley Consortium for Equity and Excellence
The Coalition for Educational Equity provides innovative resources, research-based training, and technical assistance and consultation to school district leaders throughout the Mid-Atlantic region in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. It is housed within Catalyst @ Penn GSE at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

Teaching Tolerance
Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors, and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use the materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued, and welcome participants.

Culturally Responsive Teaching -- March 2019: A 50 state survey of teaching standards
New America analyzed professional teaching standards in all 50 states to better understand whether states' expectations for teachers incorporate culturally responsive teaching. To support this analysis, they identified eight competencies that clarify what teachers should know and be able to do in light of research on culturally responsive teaching.

EVERFI - Resources to Support Whole Child Education
EVERFI delivers comprehensive and evidence-informed digital resources, free of charge so educators can equip students, no matter their zip code, with real-world skills for success beyond the classroom. Designed through an equitable lens, students in grades K-12 have access to 100+ interactive,self-paced, and standards-aligned lessons that ensure students are informed and empowered to learn about critical issues including financial literacy, social-emotional learning, college and readiness, and equity and inclusion.

Miseducation: ProPublica -- Is There Racial Inequality at Your School?
Based on civil rights data released by the U.S. Department of Education, ProPublica has built an interactive database to examine racial disparities in educational opportunities and school discipline. Look up more than 96,000 individual public and charter schools and 17,000 districts to see how they compare with their counterparts.

Applying an Equity Lens to Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
This issue brief, created by The Pennsylvania State University with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is one of a series of briefs that addresses the need for research, practice and policy on social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL is defined as the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Count Us In: Advancing Equity in Rural Schools and Communities | MAEC, Inc.
The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC) compiled a series of essays, articles, and research to tackle the question: how do we, as a society, value and support rural students and families? Users will benefit from accessing current information around equity in rural spaces.

The Leadership Academy's Equity Self-Assessment
This tool was designed to provide school systems with: (1) a means for assessing where they are on their equity journey, and where they want to go (2) common language that can stimulate internal dialogue regarding what it means to address issues of inequity; and (3) ongoing measures to assess system progress.

Seizing the Moment: A District Guide to Advance Equity Through ESSA - The Aspen Institute
This tool was developed to offer district/system teams with guidance around ensuring equity is advanced through ESSA. Eight major issues are addressed: (1) leveraging school improvement to advance equity (2) ensuring equitable funding (3) increasing access to advanced coursework (4) addressing disproportionate discipline practices (5) increasing access to effective teachers and leaders (6) integrating social, emotional and academic development (7) supporting English learners & (8) improving access to high-quality instructional materials.

Pursuing Social and Emotional Development Through a Racial Equity Lens: A Call to Action - The Aspen Institute
Both equity and social, emotional, and academic development are currently receiving much-needed attention, but neither can fully succeed without recognizing strengths and addressing gaps in these complementary priorities. Rather than being pursued as two separate bodies of work, the field needs to identify ways in which equity and social, emotional, and academic development can be mutually reinforcing. To accomplish this requires examining issues of race directly; this can be difficult and uncomfortable, but we cannot avoid race and let the challenges go unacknowledged and, therefore, inadequately addressed.

Equity: Taking Action S3- Episode 40 - YouTube
PaTTANpod Episode: Policies drive practices. Dr. Heather Bennett from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PBSA) and Dr. Stacy Winslow from the Derry Township School District discuss the what, why, and how of Educational Equity Policies.

Equitable Practices for All Students - Dr. Tyrone Howard - Episode 4 - YouTube
PaTTANpod Episode: Dr. Tyrone Howard shares what it looks like, feels like, and sounds like in an equitable school setting.