Pillar 4: Perpetuating Systems of Equity and Opportunity

  • Welcome to a five-part special series of 203 in 2:03.  My name is Bob Ross and I am the Chief Human Resources Officer at Naperville 203.  Our fourth pillar focuses on perpetuating systems of equity and opportunity.

    This pillar is easy to imagine in action. Naperville 203's mission is to educate students to be self-directed learners, collaborative workers, complex thinkers, quality producers, and community contributors.  The Perpetuating Systems of Equity and Opportunity pillar aligns District procedures, regulations, practices, and resource allocation to the district’s mission and beliefs.  


    What does this look like?  District administration will review policies, procedures, and practices through an equity-based lens while recognizing and actively countering known bias when implementing policies and procedures.  We will allocate resources based upon an equitable support model considering the needs of the learning community, and ensure, as well as communicate, the existing pathways for reporting breaches of equity.  

    One way we can implement this pillar is to hire and retain a more diverse workforce that better represents the District and school demographics.  Hiring a diverse workforce, while not an easy fix, can be taken through a multi-prong approach that could include creating a “grow your own” teacher model to encourage Asian, Black, and Latinx high school students to become teachers and return to Naperville 203 to teach. Another option is to actively recruit excellent educator candidates from and build effective partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other teacher preparation programs that have a significant percentage of graduates of color.  We want to find the best teachers out there, bring them to District 203 and keep them here.  

    As we make progress on hiring a diverse workforce, we also need to provide opportunities to support and leverage employee resource groups for Asian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and other diverse groups to participate directly in the District’s ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives and assist the District in fully integrating the equity plan into our day-to-day practices.

    Everyone benefits from having a diverse workforce. Authentic, meaningful relationships with people from diverse backgrounds help counter negative bias. Diverse working groups lead to more creativity and innovation, and more effective problem-solving. And importantly, research has shown that having at least one teacher who reflects their race or ethnicity positively impacts Black students’ and other students of color learning outcomes. We aim to create an environment that is reflective of and welcoming to all. 

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