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Equity Action Plan


May 2002
Revised February 2008

n the spring of 2001, a group of students,

parents, teachers, classified personnel,
Board members, community members,
and site and district administrators
participated as members of an Educational
Equity Focus Group with the purpose of
furthering the districts work in achieving
equity in our schools for all students,
developing a clear understanding of what
educational equity would look like for
students of all races, and providing input to
a long term plan on how to achieve that
The Educational Equity Focus Group, as a
whole group, met from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00
noon on May 1, 2001 and May 30, 2001.
Alexa Hauser, Director of the Bay Region
IV Professional Development Consortium,
facilitated the Focus Group meetings.
Additionally, three specialists, Glenn
Singleton of the Pacific Educational Group,
Michael Kass of the Joint Venture, Silicon
Valley, and Tony Hill of Access Unlimited,
supported the Focus Groups work.
VOICES (Voices of Our Inclusive
Community for Equity and Support), a
district advisory committee started in 1987,

has always been committed to confronting

all biases--be they based on gender, race,
religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic
status, mental or physical ability -- and
works with the district on educational
strategies to address such. In December
2000, CVUSD administration requested that
VOICES convene several of its meetings to
address issues of bias and equity. Their
work resulted in a draft paper delineating
implementation guidelines as ways to
institutionalize equity policies through
specific changes throughout the district.
To further the districts work in achieving
equity in our schools for all students, a small
task force group of site and district
administrators met regularly. This was
coupled with focused meetings with the
entire district administrative leadership team
in the spring, summer, and fall of 2001.
With support and commitment of the
following administrators, teachers, staff,
parents, community members, students, and
consultants, the Equity Action Plan has
become a reality.

Peter Alvarez, Karina Barrera, Liz Blasquez, Bill Bolar, Maggi Cathey, Howard Chase, Terry
Cotcher, Mary Coyne, Mark Croghan, Jill Davis, MaryAnn DeGrazia, Gwen Easter, Bev Edwards, Pat
Eppard, Pam Evans, Todd Finlay, James Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth Fong, Lillian Fong, Janice Friesen,
Karen Gelender, Dobie Gelles, Bruce Gidlund, Robin Hagan, Alexa Hauser, Michael Heimowitz,
Denise Hohn, Penelope Hughes, Pansy Inn, Michael Kass, Jim Kentris, Flora Kuo, Judy Lacina, Joyce
Lee, Diana Levy, Arline Lillak, Natalie Longree-Guevara, Taylor Lyen, Marion Madrigal, James
Maxwell, Cheryl McElhany, Jack McKay, Nancy McMillan, Gerald McMullin, Barbara Mensch, John
Morrison, Carlos Navarro, James OConnor, Kunio Okui, Sue Parker, Anne Parris, Lorenzo Pennix,
Flo Pierce, Kim Rinker, Leslie Rothwell, Janice Schmidt, Glenn Singleton, Mieka Smart, Sandi Smith,
Loretta Strharsky, Bonita Thompson, Teresa Tirado, Gael Treible, Betty Tseng, Candice White,
Ranjini Wheeler, Bonnie Worthington, Deborah Yager, John Yamata

The Castro Valley Unified School District Mission Statement

The mission of the Castro Valley Unified School District, a pre-school through adult organization, is to
provide all students programs of excellence that instill a passion for life-long learning while preparing
them for the challenges of tomorrow. The Castro Valley Unified School District will enhance
students self-esteem, help them discover and maximize their individual potential, and guide each to
dignify, appreciate, respect, and accept human diversity.
Our vision is that equity in Castro Valley Schools is achieved when EACH student gains the requisite
skills and knowledge needed to access meaningful opportunities beyond K-12 education.
Performance data in CVUSD, as in other districts around the state and nation, show that African
American and Latino student populations are consistently outperformed by other racial and ethnic
groups. Addressing this achievement gap is a first and major step toward achieving equity for all
students. Therefore, in order to realize our vision, our strategic priority must be to close this
achievement gap, and in so doing, benefit each of our students.
Equitable outcomes for each student are the purpose of this Equity Action Plan.
The following equity definitions will be used:
Equity is the approach that consists of using extra and different measures to bring about the
condition of same status - the state of equality.
Equity does not mean treating everyone in the same way. It means doing whatever it takes to get
everyone to the same place.
Equality - the condition of having the same status.
(Enidlee Consultants, 2002)
The Castro Valley Unified School Districts equity goal is to create a district-wide and site-based
climate and culture that demands and supports systemic equity and improved student achievement for
each student while narrowing the current and predictable racial achievement gap by:
Improving district capacity to design and deliver equity-centered professional development for
instructional staff.
Improving equity-centered site instructional leadership and support.
Implementing equity-centered curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices by teachers in an antiracist, anti-bias environment.


The Framework for building capacity within the school system is built upon a Theory of Action, a
cyclical process beginning with awareness building followed by acknowledgement (goal setting) and
action. The process is based upon the following:
1. Build capacity of district leaders, school administrators, teachers and site staff to:
Deepen understanding about how and why inequities and underachievement occur.
Implement strategies (instructional and other) to turn those patterns around.
Develop the skills, expertise, and capacity to respond to student needs in culturally appropriate
and effective ways.
Increase the visibility and awareness throughout the school community about the needs of
underachieving students.
Develop higher expectations, positive attitudes, will, and ownership throughout the schools for
the education of each student.
Design and implement more responsive programs and structures.
Build internal accountability. (Olsen, California Tomorrow, 2002)
2. Provide equity-focused leadership to district and school planning efforts; i.e., site plans, district
local improvement plan, and district strategic plan.
3. Increase the impact of equity-driven practices in everyday district, school, and classroom activity.
4. As a result, the following achievement and participation patterns will occur:
Achievement will improve across the schools.
Steady and significant progress will be made in closing achievement gaps.
Predictability of who is in the bottom and top quartiles of achievement will be reduced.
Improved access to and mastery of the core curriculum as demonstrated by successful course
completion and by meeting grade level standards. (Olsen, California Tomorrow, 2002)
5. Cycles of Inquiry that deepen an understanding of patterns of underachievement and inequities are
used to support and monitor the progress toward meeting the equity goal.
Is it working?

Is there a problem?



How should we progress?

What should we do?


6. The following chart reflects the Theory of Action as it is implemented throughout the District.
District Office
Prgm Manager


Asst Principals

School Wide
Grade Level
Dept. Chairs
Professional Development:
Anti-Racism/Equity Training
Awareness Building Activities
Vision Development
Improvement Goals
Site Plans
aligned with
SchoolEquity Plan

Infusion into



Assessment and Evaluation

Support for Equity Efforts
7. The multi-year, multi-level plan will be accomplished in three phases:
Phase 1 Build capacity of district and school administrators
Phase 2 Build capacity of teams of site-level leaders
Phase 3 Build capacity of whole-school community


The Castro Valley Unified School District recognizes research findings that identify key elements in
districts and schools that have made progress in closing the achievement gap.
(See attachment I and II.)
The Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC), Equity Reader, May 2000, identified ten
essential elements or conditions necessary to bring about equity:


Educators must have knowledge of and respect for the various cultural traditions and languages
of students in their classrooms. They also need general socio-cultural knowledge about child
and adolescent development and about the ways that race, class, language, and culture shape
school performance. Additionally, they need to become more aware of how their own cultural
biases and privileges may influence their judgments and actions toward student performance
and obstruct their students access to key learning opportunities.



There must be ongoing community and district-wide conversations about goals and standards
for students and about what constitutes quality as students work toward meeting those goals
and standards. At the same time, there must be conversations about how to ensure that all
schools throughout the district are able to provide the necessary opportunities, resources, and
support to enable their students to demonstrate such quality as they work toward meeting high
standards. Support for students must include strategies to accelerate learning for lowperforming students in key areas such as reading comprehension and math computation.



It is essential that data, which is used to monitor and adjust instructional practice and policy, be
both statistical and interpretive. Schools and the district must regularly collect, analyze and use
data on teacher practices in order to develop strategies specifically designed to improve the
performance of traditionally under-served populations of students of color. In order to ensure
that interpretive methods of data analysis are also utilized, schools must routinely implement
strategies to solicit and incorporate the voices of under-served students, their parents, and their
teachers in the determination and evaluation of student progress. Schools and school
communities must move beyond simply identifying which groups of students repeatedly
reside in the lowest quartile. Schools also need to determine what the key skill gaps are for
low-performing students which will then inform the necessary and appropriate differentiated
strategies and changes in curriculum and instruction in order to meet the needs of these groups
of students.



Only through innovations in teacher education and preparation programs will an increased
number of white teachers and teachers of color arrive at school with the requisite will and skills
to educate traditionally under-served students of color. Induction processes for new teachers
and in-service support for experienced teachers must also explicitly address and include issues
of diversity and equity. Ultimately, it is the role of every teacher to serve, and serve well, the
growing populations of students of color. Educators must come to recognize the need to
engage in training that enables them to replace debilitating behaviors, attitudes, perceptions,
assumptions, and beliefs about low-performing students of color with expectations that all
students can achieve at high levels. In addition, teachers need to build their capacity to bring

low-performing students up to grade level. To this end, teachers need to be well educated
about each of the key elements of this theory of action.


In order to educate all children well, both curriculum and instructional practices within schools
and classrooms must be sensitive to, and inclusive of, the individual strengths, backgrounds,
and needs of under-served students of color. These innovations will naturally lead to new
relationships and groups among educators, students, and school communities that will, in turn,
require and inform ongoing improvement in teaching and learning at school sties. Equally
important is the need to engage teachers in ongoing, inquiry-based professional development
that builds their capacity to accelerate learning for under-served students. The primary focus of
teaching and learning should be on helping students develop critical thinking and problemsolving skills.



In order to sustain equitable schooling opportunities for under-served students of color, new
internal and external structures, policies, and processes will need to be put in place at the school
site levels. However, if these innovations are to take hold and make a lasting difference for
students, they must be shaped within the context of changing relationships which acknowledge
and give voice to communities that are silent or have gone unheard in the past. It is essential
that diverse points of view be part of all decision-making processes at the schools. A network
of community and educational support-provider organizations should be identified and enlisted
to help school communities develop and sustain this work.



Educators, along with their broader school communities, must hold themselves and each other
accountable to achieving equitable learning opportunities for under-served students of color. It
is essential that parents understand both current conditions in their childrens schools and
strategies they might undertake to bring about revisions to, or replacement of, harmful or
insufficient methods and practices of teaching and learning.


District and site leaders must develop both skills and a capacity to address issues of equity at
the institutional and classroom level. Because this critical element of work exists beyond each
educators personal sphere of influence, it is essential that there be structures and relationships
in place to support those educational leaders who engage in this demanding and, inevitable,
personally difficult work.



Students need to relate to adults in their schools through common experiences, background, and
culture. The composition of Bay Area teachers and administrators and other adult role models
in schools does not lend itself to this positive relationship between under-served students of
color and adults. Schools should provide a rich array of adult role models for children and
always include adults of color along with white adults on the staff. Just as the teaching and
administrative ranks in the Bay Area must become more racially and ethnically diverse, schools

must also find ways to increase racial and ethnic diversity on campus by providing
opportunities for parents, grandparents, and other adults in the community to participate
regularly in the school lives of their students. A rich array of adult role models in the school
provides an equally rich set of personal and professional resources from which educators and
community alike may draw.


In order to educate all children well, schools alone cannot provide all of the services to meet all
of their childrens needs. Therefore strong formal and informal links must be established
between each school and the public and private systems within that schools community which
serve and support students and their families. Of particular importance are collaborative
partnerships with families to assure both a responsive school environment and a supportive
home environment which nurture the development of each child. A coherent and
comprehensive support system closely tied to the school itself will enable children to come to
school and have an array of needs met, thereby enhancing their opportunities for success.

Equity Action Plan

The Castro Valley Unified School District proposes the following Equity Action Plan as a result of our
findings and collaborative work. After a review by our Equity Task Force in the spring of 2007, the
Equity Action Plan, based on the ten BASRC Elements of Equity, has been modified and will be used
as a basis for our action.
Action #1 Awareness-Building and Examination of Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs
In order to build capacity to understand educational planning for equity the following will occur:
Staff, parents, students, administration, and Governing Board members will receive
training on equity related topics such as race, gender, age, sexual orientation, culture,
religion, family structure, socioeconomics, and/or disability.
Staff will participate in professional development opportunities to enhance knowledge,
understanding, and respect for diversity and to develop culturally relevant pedagogy.
Selected readings and discussion opportunities/professional conversations to build awareness
and examine attitudes, values, beliefs, and practices.
An equity lens will be used in developing and monitoring all areas of teaching and
learning, program development, and institutional practices.
Teaching and learning practices, and institutional practices and policies will be
reviewed, monitored, and implemented that result in inclusive school and district
cultures where failure is not an option.
Action #2 High Standards and Support for Students to Meet High Standards
A level of high expectations will be held for each student.
Principals, teachers, and students will set yearly goals for student achievement and
regularly monitor progress toward attainment of the goals.
The School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) will reflect student performance
targets and related changes in instructional practices that support failure is not an option.
Professional development will provide current research-based instructional practices to support
student achievement with opportunities for reflective practice and discussion.
A Response to Intervention (RTI) model will be identified and implemented at all sites.
It will include a pyramid of research-based interventions to provide holistic support for each
Research-based practice will monitor the success of students and programs.
Action #3 Collection, Analysis, and Use of Data
Student data will be collected, analyzed, and used as a part of on-going practice.
Principals, assistant principals, teachers, and school site council members will look at
disaggregated data to identify student achievement.
Formative assessment will be used to inform instruction and student data will be used to
identify skill gaps and set performance targets.
Formal and informal assessment will be used to monitor student success.
A district data information management system will continue to be refined to support work of
the schools and the classroom teachers.

Action #4 Teacher/Staff Preparation and Professional Development

Teachers (new and veteran) will become knowledgeable and skilled in multiple pedagogies and
a variety of instructional practices.
Teachers, new and veteran, will be trained in effective use and application of student
achievement data.
Teacher/staff preparation and professional development will address instructional
strategies which provide equitable outcomes for all learners.
Teacher/staff preparation and professional development will address how to create a
culturally inclusive classroom environment.
Teacher preparation and professional development will provide inquiry-based opportunity for
building capacity to work with under-served students.
Teacher/staff preparation and professional development will address the impact of
holding high expectations for all students.
New teacher training, mentoring, and beginning teacher support (TV- TIP) will
integrate new staff into the ongoing equity, diversity, and anti-bias teacher practices.
Grade level teachers and/or departments will meet with each other to facilitate development of
curriculum and instruction using an equity lens.
Action #5 Innovative and Inclusive Practices of Teaching and Learning
In order to create schools that reflect a shared sense of community and belonging, the following will
Teachers will have opportunities to share, model, coach, and discuss effective and inclusive
classroom instructional practices.
Action research and cycles of inquiry using ongoing student data analysis will be practiced
and shared.
New courses, instructional strategies, and innovative programs that support inclusive
curriculum and instruction will be investigated and used.
Awareness assemblies, speakers, and cultural events will become part of school-wide
Libraries will emphasize a perspective of inclusion by including library materials that address
the issues of multicultural/anti-bias education.
An equity lens will be used in identifying, developing, and implementing new programs or
Learning opportunities for children that allow them to confront biased behaviors and behaviors
that discriminate will be identified and implemented.
Instructional assistants and support staff will be trained in their roles on reflecting
sensitivity to a diverse student population.
School culture and classroom environments will reflect sensitivity to a diverse student
Teaching and learning practices will demonstrate an understanding of the values and cultural
diversity in the classroom.
Language and cultural barriers will be reduced through the use of inclusive teaching, learning,
and communication strategies.
Counselors and other support staff will demonstrate effective practices in addressing the needs
of each student.
The importance of relationship building between students and staff will be emphasized.

Action #6 Innovative and Inclusive Structures, Policies, and Processes of Schooling

Equity for each student will be addressed through the development, adoption, and implementation of
an Equity Policy and a multi-year Equity Action Plan.
Community and educational support provider organizations will be identified and listed for
The Equity Action Plan will be infused into other systemic plans; i.e., the Local Improvement
Plan and the District Strategic Plan, and other district policies and practices.
Policies in support of the Districts equity goal will be developed.
Professional development from the HOPE Foundation will be incorporated into the
district-wide work and practice.
School clubs, organizations, and extra-curricular activities will include a variety of experiences
that encourage student involvement from diverse student populations.
School extra-curricular activities will provide opportunities/bridges for students to become
meaningfully connected to school through the students interests, talents, and gifts.
Student leadership will be broad-based and inclusive of a diverse student body.
Action #7 Accountability to the Community, Including Racial and Ethnic Communities
Sites will create communication links between school and homes so that everyone knows how
to access information to help students.
Sites will provide outreach to parents/guardians from the perspective of diversity.
Sites will provide a personal outreach to parents/guardians from staff.
Sites will create ongoing discussion opportunities for communication skills, cultural sharing,
and defining student success.
Sites will increase parent/guardian collaboration opportunities.
Sites will solicit parental help in understanding values and cultural diversity in the classroom.
Schools will work toward developing a sense of community where everyone feels welcome.
Action #8 Leadership Development
All members of the governance team, district administration, and school site leaders will
participate in ongoing equity/diversity training.
Outside organizations and support providers will be used to help affect and support change
within the district.
Professional/personal development for administrators to develop skills and capacity to address
issues of equity at the school and classroom level will be expected.
Structures and relationships to support educational leadership toward equity will be
institutionalized at the district office and site level.
Student leadership will reflect and be sensitive to the needs and concerns of the diverse student
body while bringing forth the equity issues affecting their school lives.
Action #9 Diversity of Adult Role Models in the Schools
A concerted effort will be made to recruit, hire, and retain a diverse, qualified certificated and
classified staff.
School leadership, teachers, and staff will take an active role in encouraging parent/guardian
involvement with an equity perspective.

Schools will provide outreach to parents/guardians of diverse races and cultures to be involved
as role models for students.
Parents/guardians reflective of the demographics of the school sites will be encouraged to
participate in parent leadership roles in the school/district.
Parents, guardians, and other community members will be incorporated as valuable resources to
the inclusive school community.
Action #10 Connections between Schools and Community-Based Systems for Students
Partnerships between home and school will be cultivated.
School sites will create communication links between school and homes so that everyone
knows how to access information to help students.
Schools will take an active role in recruiting parent/guardian leadership representing the
demographics of the school.
Schools will provide outreach to parents/guardians from the perspective of diversity.
Schools will create ongoing discussion opportunities on site for communication skills,
cultural sharing, and defining school practice and student success.
Parent/guardian involvement opportunities will be expanded to include strategies to
support their own learning and the learning of their student.
Parent/guardian help in understanding values and cultural diversity in the classroom will be
Outside organizations/consultants will be used to help effect change within the district and to
understand obstacles that lie in the way to success.



School leaders will meet quarterly to share their progress and work collaboratively in assessing the
efforts and the impact of their efforts. The ongoing use of the Cycle of Inquiry and review of student
achievement data will impact reflective practice, shared problem solving, and decision-making.
To accommodate individual school sites and the multiple ways of addressing the specific actions
enumerated in the Equity Action Plan, a template will be available for schools that will allow schools
to specify how they addressed the actions listed in the Equity Action Plan.
Examples follow:
Action #1: Awareness-Building and Examination of Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs
Staff, parents, students, administration, and Governing Board members will receive training
in anti-racism as part of the Districts efforts to build capacity to undertake educational
planning for equity.
o Seventeen of twenty teachers attended the Beyond Diversity Training between
September 2001 and January 2002.
o Five parents from School Site Council and three instructional assistants will be
trained in February 2002.
Action #7: Accountability to the Community, Including Racial and Ethnic Communities
School sites will create communication links between school and home so that everyone
knows how to access information to help students.
o In September 2001, the bilingual parent committee established a parent support
network so that parents had names and phone numbers of parents speaking their
own language to call on for additional support in understanding student assignments
and other school information.
In addition to monitoring progress toward the specifics of the Equity Action Plan, the questionnaire
(Attachment IV) prepared by Pamala Noli for the Beyond Diversity training addresses many of the
conditions described in the ten Elements of Equity. It could be used as a self-study assessment and
planning tool to further their work toward equity.
The Castro Valley Unified School District recognizes that building capacity is a powerful building
block. It has been noted in research findings as well as in the ten Elements of Equity that providing
equitable outcomes for all learners requires a shared vision, high and common expectations for student
achievement, and knowledge of proficient teaching and learning that engages all learners. According
to Robins et. al. (2002), in their work on culturally proficient instruction, A culturally proficient
organization provides and supports conditions that create continuous learning opportunities for its
Building capacity is a process that must begin within each member of the organization, and the
organizational support of the process to build capacity ensures opportunity for the capacity to grow
and thrive.

The Charles A. Dana Center, in Equity-Driven Achievement-Focused School Districts, A Report
on Systemic School Success in Four Texas School Districts Serving Diverse Student Populations
(September 2000), identified four districts that demonstrated impressive gains in passing rates
for all student groups on all Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) tests over six years as
well as other widespread improvement in academic performance. (The complete study is found
in the appendix of this document.) The research findings indicated the following five themes
found in common with all four districts:
1. State Context of Accountability for Achievement and Equity
Results-driven accountability
Same percentage of students from each racial and income group to pass the assessment in order
to maintain state accreditation
The combination of the above radically altered expectations for schools and districts
Changes in expectations became the basis for changes in practice
2. Local Equity Catalysts
Local catalysts used evidence of inequitable student achievement to pressure the districts into
3. Ethical Response of District Leadership
In response to the state accountability system and local catalysts, a moral and ethical leadership
response emerged in support of schools that pursued high and equitable achievement for all
groups of students.
4. District Transformation
The focus was on changing teaching and learning practices in the classroom.
The districts developed and promulgated a set of shared equity beliefs regarding the districts
in-common commitment to the achievement success of all children.
Focused equity practices were instituted to achieve success for all students.
The districts had multiple ways to achieve specific learning goals.
The districts understood that to get their professional staff to radically change their beliefs and
practices about teaching and learning, the staff had to be treated in a positive, supportive way.
The new directions for the district meant new role definitions for the superintendent, the school
board, district staff, principals, teachers, and other staff.
5. Everyday Equity
Changes in equity beliefs and practices occurred through time and profoundly changed the
educators working in these districts.
The pursuit of educational equity and excellence became the new focus of everyday schooling.


Joe Johnson, United States Department of Education (August 2001), identified the following
factors present in schools successful in reducing the achievement gap:
1. Focus of High Academic Standards for All
The Successful Schools:
Established clear, measurable, and challenging academic goals.
Emphasized the expectation that all groups of students would attain goals.
Determined ways of regularly gauging progress towards attainment of the goals, and rigorously
monitored progress.
Aligned decision-making with goals.
2. Careful Experimentation with Instruction
The Successful Schools:
Knew that school improvement meant improved instruction.
Knew the academic strengths and need of their students related to state/district standards.
Encouraged the careful examination of alternative strategies, approaches, and programs.
Selected only the approaches that best matched their needs.
Predetermined how successes would be gauged.
Were willing to adapt, modify, or supplement.
3. Involvement of All Parties
The Successful Schools:
Included everyone who touches the child in the school improvement process.
Found ways to use everyones talents to attain the schools goals.
Always asked, What can you do to help us teach this skill or concept?
4. Sense of Family
The Successful Schools:
Made everyone feel valued and appreciated.
Found ways to acknowledge the contributions of all members of the school family and helped
people to know that they belonged.
Treat all students with a sincere respect so that students knew they were wanted at school.
5. Collaboration Focused on Instruction
The Successful Schools:
Increased the amount of time teachers spent collaborating with each other.
Built an atmosphere of trust so that collaboration would be more effective.
Focused collaboration time on instructional issues directly related to key academic standards.
Used collaboration to create a culture of professional development.
6. Passions for Improvement
The Successful Schools:
Acknowledged and celebrated successes, then established even more challenging goals.
Assumed that they could always improve, even when they had achieved more than comparable
Nurtured a collective yet very personal sense of responsibility for student success.
Were relentless in pursuing higher and higher academic goals.


BP 1010

The Governing Board of the Castro Valley Unified School District values all members of our diverse
community and is committed to providing an equitable education within the total learning environment
for each student in the district.
We believe that equity of opportunity and equity of access to programs, services, and resources are
critical for the success of each of our students and staff. The Board further recognizes that equitable
treatment leads to the attainment of educational, social, and career options that are reflective of the
abilities, experiences, and contributions of students, employees, parents/guardians, and community
The Board commits itself to ensure the principles of fairness, equity, and inclusion and understands
that it is essential to integrate these into all policies, programs, operations, and practices.
Therefore, the Board expects that:
Curricula taught in our schools incorporate the reality of our diverse and pluralistic society.
Multiple teaching and learning practices develop conflict resolution techniques and positive
interpersonal skills in our students.
Each student is provided with equitable opportunities to be successful in our system and each
learner is provided with support to develop abilities and achieve aspirations.
Recruitment, hiring, and promotional practices result in a qualified diverse staff that is committed
to the vision and goals of equity set forth by CVUSD.
Staff, family, and community members collaborate to meet the multiple educational needs of our
Parents, guardians, and community members make contributions to the students total learning
experiences as learners, teachers, role models, and advocates.
Students, employees, parents, and community members are provided with effective procedures for
resolving concerns and complaints as they arise.
Procedures are in place at all levels of the school system to implement, review, and develop
policies, programs, and practices that promote equity in the district; to assess their effectiveness;
and to make changes where necessary.
Legal Reference
cf. 1312
Uniform Complaint Procedure
cf. 5137
Positive School Climate
cf. 5145.3
cf. 5145.7
Sexual Harassment
cf. 6141
Curriculum Development and Evaluation
cf. 6141.6
Multicultural Education
cf. 6142.4
Learning Through Community Service
cf. 6161.1
Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials
Policy Adopted: April 18, 2002

Castro Valley Unified School District

Castro Valley, CA


By Pamala Noli
August 1998
Educating all children effectively is the mission of schools today, yet great numbers of children, primarily
African-American and Latino children, still have scant opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities
that will help them thrive in and contribute to todays society. The Mission of our Beyond Diversity work
is to improve performance and raise achievement for ALL students; narrow the achievement gap between
the highest and lowest performing students; and eliminate the predictability of which student populations
will define the lowest and highest performing categories.
Achieving this mission requires culturally competent teacher and administrative leaders; leaders capable of
recognizing the devastating affects of racism on individuals, schools and society; leaders with the will and
skill to act boldly to eliminate both personal and institutional racism; leaders committed to improving the
achievement of the bottom 1/3 of our student population; and leaders ready to design and deliver racist-free
school systems in service of powerful student learning and social justice.
Whether students are successful in school and in their quest to achieve standards depends directly on the
nature of the encounters they have with the system. School leaders are responsible for the nature of these
encounters; encounters that either empower or disable students of color to the degree that they are a part of
the school program, their parents and communities and authentically encouraged to participate, and
educators are supportive in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment decisions.
Racism in school adversely affects students of colors daily academic performance by interfering with the
cognitive processes involved in learning (Gougis, 1986; Caine and Caine, 1993) and by reducing their
willingness to persist at academic tasks. Success in school for students of color requires that they perceive
that adults with wise eye (Steele, 1994) expect that they can and will achieve at the highest levels; that
they have positive relationships with their own race/culture and the race/culture of the majority (Cummins,
1990); and they do not view themselves as inferior (Wyman, 10993); that they are comfortable with their
own cultural values (Cummins, 1990); and that they are protected from the pain and discouragement that
racism engenders. School leaders must examine themselves and their schools to become aware of attitudes,
behaviors, structures, situations, and systems that reinforce racist or prejudicial beliefs and actions that hurt
students. To do that, they must abandon the idea that there is something wrong with children because of
their racial grouping. In place of those prejudices, educators must examine in depth the barriers placed in
childrens paths to learning, including racist beliefs and actions that result in mental downshifting (Caine
and Caine, 1995). We must recognize that since entitled people constructed those barriers, entitled people
have responsibility to begin the process of tearing them down.
Culturally competent leaders, both teachers and administrators, regularly consider issues of equity when
making decisions. Classroom, school and district theories of action in the areas of curriculum, instructional
practices, assessment, school policies, staffing, parent and student involvement and incentives are
considered through questions of equity and the probable impact on students of color before final
determinations are made.
The questions that follow are intended as prompts to uncover and reverse areas of neglect or oversight that
result in institutionalized practices of racism. The questions could act as equity filters, change
considerations, or as the basis for strategic planning. No answers may serve as key focus areas for
schools looking for variables standing in the way of students of color achieving standards. In total, these
questions are intended to help leaders adapt the school program so that it addresses the needs of all
students, not just the entitled ones.




Does our school have a committee that selects racially/culturally diverse materials?


Does our school have a policy against racist jokes, slurs, and language?


Do we teach people appropriate ways to ask others about race/culture?


Do we consistently and regularly present materials that teach about different races/cultures?


Do we provide chances for students to learn about their own race/culture in this school?


Does our school have rules against discrimination?


Does our school have activities to encourage students to meet people from other races/cultures?


Does our school provide opportunities for people to tell others about their own race/culture?


Do we teach that conflict is an everyday part of life?


Do we provide opportunities for students and adults to learn about other peoples race/culture?


Does our school encourage teachers to use cooperative learning strategies as a technique to get
diverse students to work and play together?


Does our school make sure that racial/cultural groups within the community are represented in
advisory groups; do advisory groups look like the student body at our school?


Does our school have rules which require learning about other racial/cultural groups?


Do our policies reflect a value for the differences among people?


Do we teach people how their race/culture affects the people around them?


Does our school explicitly hold educators accountable for demonstrating high expectations for
students of color?


Do we educate people about rules that promote respect for racial/cultural differences?


Do we have a racially/culturally mixed workforce at all levels?


Do we provide classes for all students about different races/cultures?


Does our school promote activities that value the common qualities among people?


Are educators who reflect the racial/cultural makeup of the student body hired and promoted at
our school?



Does our school provide activities that recognize there are differences within racial/cultural


Do we teach how to work together while problem solving?


Do we teach how to maintain positive interactions among people of different racial/cultural



Do we encourage students to talk about differences without making judgments?


Does our school provide activities that recognize that each racial/cultural group has its own
strengths and needs?


Does our school strongly enforce rules against racist jokes, slurs, and language?


Does our school make sure that racial/cultural groups within the community are represented in
decision-making groups?


Does our school give trainings to promote racial/cultural understanding between all employees?


Do we consistently correct even the most subtle racist behaviors?


Does our school have effective strategies for intervening in conflict situations?


Do we teach that racial/cultural groups often communicate in different ways?


Do we encourage school employees to talk about racial/cultural differences?


Do we teach everyone in our school how to respect racial/cultural differences?


Materials Selection

Does our school have a committee that selects racially/culturally diverse materials?


Are curriculum decisions made with the needs of children of color as a consideration?


Are books that teachers read to students or that are assigned reading for students analyzed for


Is our schools curriculum viewed as pluralistic and ever changing to meet the needs of an ever
changing student body?

Multicultural Focus

Does our school present materials that teach about different races/cultures?


Does our school provide opportunities for students and staff to learn about other peoples


Does our school include multicultural education as a part of our curriculum goals?


Does multicultural education go beyond food, fun, and festivals at our school?


Are children at our school involved in vicarious experiences with various racial/cultural groups
through films, videos, childrens books, recordings, photographs, etc.?

Making Connections

Is the curriculum grounded in the lives of the students at our school, including students of


Do students of color at our school see themselves, their lives, and their community in the


Does our staff accept whatever students of color have learned and experienced as legitimate
knowledge they can use to connect to new curriculum content?


Do our teachers spend time in our schools community and apply in the classroom what they
learned in students homes?


Learning Styles

Are all staff members at our school aware of the general learning styles of the racial/cultural
groups represented in their classrooms?


Do teachers at our school model an acceptance and appreciation for different ideas, opinions,
learning and linguistic styles of our students of color?

Cultural Knowledge

Do the teachers in our school have a general understanding of the races/cultures they see
represented in their classrooms?


Do the teachers in our school make an effort to understand the racial and cultural characteristics
of their students, one student at a time?


Do the teachers relate teaching and learning activities to students experience, previous
knowledge and racial/cultural backgrounds?


Are there staff development programs at our school that help us better understand the needs and
styles of the students of color we serve?


Do we employ any instructional practices that could conflict with the values, beliefs, or cultural
practices of any of the students in our school?


Do all teachers at our school know a few words or phrases in students native languages to
make the classroom a welcoming and psychologically safe environment for speakers of other


Do all staff members make every effort to pronounce students names correctly?

Expectations and Equity


Do students of color feel valued by their teachers?


Are all students treated essentially like middle-class students at our school, with convictions
about their value and promise?


Do students of color feel challenged to high performance by their teachers here?


Are expectations lower for students who speak a language or dialect other than Standard
English or for students of color (or inversely, higher for Asian students)?


Is there a conscious effort to engage, give equivalent attention and encourage all students



Are staff members in touch with their own biases in terms of what they expect (and dont
expect) from students of color?


Do teachers at our school assure equal status for all participants in cooperative learning groups?


Are all staff members helped to identify racial/cultural biases in themselves, students and
instructional practices?


Is there a commitment by teachers and other staff members to see that students, of color


Is tracking de-emphasized or eliminated in our school?

Integration, Discrimination and Racism


Are students invited to point out instructional behaviors or practices that discriminate?


Do teachers at our school understand the concept of downshifting for students of color, the
conditions that cause it, and how to empower students when they experience it?


Is there an overt effort to help students develop the skills necessary for effective interpersonal,
inter-racial, and inter-cultural group interactions?


Do teachers use methodology that fosters integration such as cooperative learning groups,
writing groups, peer teaching, multidimensional sharing, focus groups, and reframing?


Do teachers at our school address relevant, real-world issues in an action-oriented manner using
procedures such as critical questioning, guided reciprocal peer questioning, posing problems,
decision making, investigation of definitions, historical investigations, experimental inquiry,
invention art, simulations, and case study methods?


Multiple Measures/Perspectives

Do teachers at our school use a variety of tasks, measures, and materials in assessing the
competencies of students?


Are portfolios used to show work that links students personal experiences with classroom
learning; products in any language or in any form; self-evaluation opportunities; parent
participation opportunities, etc.?


Does the assessment process at our school include multiple ways to represent knowledge and
skills and allow for attainment of outcomes/standards at different points in time?


Is self-assessment encouraged?

Racial/Cultural Responsiveness/Bias

Do teachers at our school understand that low performance on a test cannot be assumed to
mean that the student has not learned or is incapable of learning that which is being assessed?


Do teachers at our school understand that if the student is still developing proficiency in
English or belongs to cultures that do not match that of the school, test performance may not
match what the student actually knows?


Are our classroom assessments culturally responsive? Do they allow for variation in language,
in cognitive and communicative style, and in beliefs and values?


Do teachers with different racial/cultural backgrounds collectively evaluate students

performances so as to ensure that the same standards are being applied?


Are tests and testing formats critiqued for racism and bias?


Are there opportunity to learn standards to support performance standards at our school?


Do teachers with different racial/cultural backgrounds collectively evaluate student

performances to ensure that the same standards are being applied?


Will our standards raise the performance level of all students, narrow the gap between the
highest and lowest performing students, and end the historical predictability of which students
achieve in the top quintile and which achieves at the bottom?


Do we create culturally responsive teacher/student/parent conferences?



Does our school have a philosophy, norms and/or mission statements that refer to cultural
pluralism as an educational goal?


Does our school have official policies stating that racism will not be tolerated?


Are consequences for those guilty of racism clearly delineated?


Does our school train students in the skills of conflict resolution or mediation when disputes
over race arise among classmates?


Are students from a variety of racial/cultural groups in our school recognized with awards and


Does the racial/cultural composition of the school board reflect that of our schools student


Are our board policies racially sensitive?


Does our school use standardized testing to judge or sort students?


Does our school have a tracking policy?


Is there a disproportionate number of students of color in special education/learning disabilities

classes at our school?


Do we have a process for discussing the effects of tracking on students of color at our school?


Do children of color and white children socialize outside the classroom? Do they choose to eat
and play together?


To what extent do students of color participate in extracurricular activities? In leadership

activities? Is the distribution in these activities equal to the population distribution?


Are students of color more frequently referred for disciplinary problems than white students?


Do our schools rules and policies accommodate the cultures of the students?


Do school calendars accommodate ethnic differences?


Are black colleges and universities promoted equally with other universities and colleges in our
high schools counseling office?



Is there racial diversity among the administrative and professional staff at our school that
represents the racial diversity of the student population?


Does the school leadership teams and/or school site councils racial composition reflect the
racial composition of the student population?


Are people of color over-represented among custodians, secretaries, and other classified staff?


Does our school recruit staff members from all racial and cultural backgrounds?


Does our school encourage students of color to enter the teaching profession?




Does our school have specific events for parents of color to introduce them to the school and
help them feel welcome?


Is specific care taken with parents of color to assure that they are not intimidated or feel
awkward approaching school personnel?


Are school signs written in the major languages spoken by the parents and students at our


Are parents of color provided with factual, empowering information and strategies for
supporting their childs learning?


Do teachers at our school believe that parents of color have the will and skill to help their
children at home?


Do all staff members have staff development and parent involvement training in multiracial/multi-cultural parent-teacher communications and relationship building?


Are newsletters and other print materials for parents written in English and Spanish when a
significant proportion of the community is Spanish speaking?


Are parents who speak a language other than English provided with translators for parent
conferences and other important information meetings whenever possible?


Are PTA/Parent Council members representative of the racial/cultural diversity of our school?




Does our school have mentor programs that provide support for students of color?


Are successful graduates of color from our local high school used as role models?


Are successful people of color from the local community invited to provide inspiration through
career day and other presentations to our students?


Are advisors and counselors sensitized to the emotional and academic needs of non-white


Are there special counseling programs for students of color?


Do our high schools inform students of color and their parents about options for college,
including colleges with special racial/cultural programs and networks to obtain information on
current financial aid opportunities?


Do our high schools have programs such as AVID? Are they widely and easily available to all
interested students?


Does our schools PTA/Parent Council work with multi-racial, multi-cultural educational goals
in mind?


Do our high schools work with local higher education institutions to encourage and facilitate
entry for students of color?









Equitable Incentives Parents of Color:

Equitable Incentives Students of Color: