Equity and Inclusion at District 99
District 99 cares about, accepts and respects all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex or disability and seeks to understand their unique ideas and perspectives so that they can be successful.
Since 2013, District 99 has been engaged in and committed to equity work and fostering a more positive and encouraging environment for our school community. One of our core values is “We Belong.” We believe everyone has a place and a voice in District 99. By valuing and actively seeking to understand the perspectives and unique backgrounds of those around us, we are able to shape and improve our practice based on what we have learned. Ultimately, we want to build strong relationships with students, rooted in understanding of their unique backgrounds, so that they feel and know that they are respected and accepted, which helps to create optimal learning environments
Equity is embedded in the four strategic directions outlined in our strategic plan, Future Focused, Future Ready. These directions include: providing an equitable and supportive environment, growing student ownership and agency, increasing student engagement in post-secondary planning and recruiting, retaining and supporting high quality teachers and staff. Our commitment to equity and inclusion is evident in our goals and strategies, all aimed to achieve our district’s mission: To provide a foundation for students to confidently pursue a future of their choosing.
The District 99 Equity & Inclusion Council includes teachers and administrators who lead, plan and facilitate professional learning opportunities and apply equity work into student learning. Over the years, the district has provided in-depth, district-wide professional learning opportunities. In addition, over 100 employees have volunteered to participate in SEED, a peer-led professional learning program that promotes change through self-reflection.
Focusing on the Future
Student participation is essential in order for the equity and inclusion work at District 99 to be successful. There are several student groups at each of the schools already focused on promoting equity and supporting marginalized students, and the district will continue to support these efforts. A few examples of these student groups are:
- Black Student Union
- Imani Steppers
- Latino Student Group
- DGS Steppers
- Caribbean Soul
Starting in 2019, District 99 partnered with My Name, My Story to engage and empower student leaders to lead and guide District 99 towards engaging all students in this important work.