OCSU Equity Initiatives & Resources
As the 2023-2024 school year begins, the Orleans Central Supervisory Union is engaged is a series of initiatives to ensure that all students, families, and staff have access to the support and resources they need. These initiatives encompass all components of teaching, learning, and community development. A list of on-going projects is provided below. Please note that this list is not comprehensive, and we are regularly engaged in additional efforts as well.
CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
ensuring that students receive equitable instructional time in all subject areas (literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, physical education)
ensuring that students' individual needs are being met by universal instructional practices in their classroom(s)
ensuring that all curricula present diverse perspectives and people, and that they include culturally responsive materials
ensuring that comprehensive data is collected and used when making decisions about student placement, intervention, special education, and enrichment
ensuring that educational and extracurricular opportunities are available equitably across our supervisory union
OCSU Statement on Equity
August 19, 2021
Every school district across the United States has vulnerable students that are at risk. This includes English language learners; students with disabilities; students who live in poverty; students who identify with ethnic or racial groups that have been marginalized; students who identify as LGBTQ+; students who have experienced significant trauma. This is why equity work is so important in order to meet the basic needs of students, give them equitable access to resources and design proactive systems to support their development. That being said, equity is not:
a specific curriculum.
a specific purchase in the budget.
only one person's job.
described in a checklist.
Equity touches on everything that we work towards: our educational offerings, our operations, and our facilities. Equity is the foundation of our vision and mission. Equity is an outcome that we strive for in public education.
The OCSU mission statement states that all educators work “to provide an environment that celebrates diversity and creativity, promotes inclusion and integrity, and partners with parents and community members to give students access to a 21st century education.”
We would like to reiterate as we have done in the past that, as educators, we have an amazing opportunity to shape the way our students view and perceive the world around them. It is important for us to teach compassion and empathy while recognizing that we have a diverse world that is worth exploring and celebrating. By doing so, we will produce citizens that will contribute to the enhancement of community life. That being said, it is important to model how we treat each other and promote healthy discourse. As educators we need to:
Facilitate learning- our job as educators is to present students with authentic and relevant content and learning experience that allows them to construct their own knowledge and skills.
Stick to facts- By sticking to the facts, thoughtfully considering what we want our students to know and be able to do, and modeling civil discourse, we can feel confident that we are teaching our students how to be responsible citizens.
Discuss the facts - remember you will have students on both sides of issues - it will be important to set norms for discussions so as to encourage healthy dialogue.
Furthermore, we need our students to understand that communication and citizenship is about listening, to understand and learn from those whose views differ from ours. For example, we do have freedom of speech, and the right to protest peacefully - these are the hallmarks of our democracy - but we must exercise these rights without disliking, disrespecting, dismissing or harming others. Our increasing inability to do this is one reason why we are where we are today, but it cannot be where we remain. Hence, our commitment to the OCSU Mission statement.
We are charged with promoting equitable opportunities for all students and are committed to making
the world a better place. This will be accomplished through productive dialogue, and by continuing
to provide staff with professional learning opportunities that focus on constructive conversations and opportunities to implement curriculum, teaching, and learning strategies that are well rounded and representative of the world’s diversity. Here in OCSU we believe education is the engine of equity,
and we commit ourselves to interrupting bias in all its forms.
Penny Chamberlin Michael D. Moriarty
Superintendent of Schools Director of Instruction