RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE SCHOOL BOARD

Advocating For A More Equitable School System

 

Action4Equity seeks to advocate for equity for students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in academic achievement, access to high quality instruction, and safe and healthy school environments. We believe that these goals will help build a more effective and stronger community in Forsyth County, NC.

 

We ask the WS/FC School Board immediately act upon the following recommendations to advance equity in our schools:

 

EQUITY

We seek to hold the WS/FC School System to its core value as stated below:

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Core Value for Every Student to Succeed: “Equity: Did we honor diversity by addressing barriers to success for every student?”

 

We ask the following of the school board:

  • All school board members to complete a comprehensive racial equity training (e.g. Racial Equity Institute) within the first year of election or re-election.

  • Guide and support the Superintendent to expand personnel and funding for the Office of Equity which will serve students, teachers, and staff district-wide.

  • Complete an organizational equity analysis among Superintendent and Executive Cabinet Members.  

  • Form a Racial Equity Task Force that includes community members, school staff, parents, students, and other stakeholders as equal partners. Some of the initial responsibilities of this Task Force should be to:

    • Clarify and define the “barriers” referenced in the School District’s Core Value of Equity.

    • Create a more specific, clear, and measurable definition of equity.

    • Create an annual report of successes and failures towards removing said barriers.

 

ACHIEVEMENT GAP

We seek to hold the WS/FC School System to its following goals below:

“Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Goals:

  •  By 2020, 90 percent of third-graders will read on or above grade level.

  •  By 2018, our graduation rate will be 90 percent.

  • By 2018, we will close the achievement gap between subgroups by 10 percentage points while increasing the performance of all subgroups.”

 

 

We ask the following of the school board:

  • Communicate publicly the progress and status on the three goals.  

  • The Superintendents’ State of the District should focus on the progress of these three goals and strategies executed to ensure success.

  • The School Board must create a multi-year plan that is a result of collaboration with community organizations, parents and stakeholders that specifically focuses on closing  the achievement gap achieving established district goals by 2020.

    • Community involvement will require listening sessions with the planning of local leaders in community-designated spaces.

    • Equity can only be achieved by collaboration with community leaders and stakeholders who act as a voice for parents who are engaged in the day to day realities of survival and may not be prepared to actively engage the system of public education

    • Abandon the strategy of constantly requiring the voices/input of parents only

 

HEALTHY AND SAFE SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE

We ask the following of the school board:

  • Measurable resolution of the complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding Ashley Academy that includes a plan to build a new school and addresses all interim infrastructure issues causing student/staff health problems. 

  • Develop a matrix and infrastructure plan that focuses equity. This matrix will identify the resources and infrastructure needs of each school. A draft will be publicly available no later than May 2019.

  • The implementation of an assessment system of school climate in all Title I schools, the use of that assessment data in school improvement plans, and the discussion of that assessment data with community stakeholders.

  • An analysis of suspensions and expulsions for WS/FCS by school, school level, gender, and ethnicity for the past five years shared with community stakeholders.

  • An analysis of school-based referrals to the criminal justice system by school school level, gender, and ethnicity for the past five years shared with community stakeholders.

Tracking Our Progress

Action4Equity is committed to accountability and transparency. The community can use the tool below to track progress on the recommendations Action4Equity made to the WSFCS Board of Education in December 2018. Our full statement and recommendations can be found at this link.