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Anti-racism and Equity

OUR COMMITMENT  

Edmonton Public Schools is committed to working intentionally toward anti-racism and equity through continuous action, learning and improvement. This commitment and work is guided by our Anti-racism and Equity policy.

We have been listening and talking to students, staff, families and community members. Their voices have helped us understand what's important and where to start.

We’ve taken the first step in this multi-year journey by creating an action plan for the 2021–22 school year. 

Education serves as the cornerstone of society and Edmonton Public Schools strives to be an organization where every staff member and student feels that they belong, are included and can succeed. Continued injustice toward people of colour and our growing awareness of tragedies in our colonial history have helped us further understand how racism continues to affect our city, province and country. We know that racism still exists in our school division and broader community.

–Superintendent Darrel Robertson

TAKING ACTION 

Our Anti-racism and Equity Action Plan outlines the proactive steps we’re taking to address racism in our schools and community.

READ THE ACTION PLAN

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ACTION PLAN

The plan outlines three key areas of work for the 2021–22 school year. 

SUPPORT FOR SCHOOLS 

Teachers and school staff have an important role in helping students understand and navigate complex racial injustices happening today and throughout our shared colonial history. 

Actions:

  • Provide professional learning opportunities on anti-racism, equity and diversity
  • Review Division-developed resources through the lens of diversity 
  • Establish a response team to help schools with their anti-racism and equity efforts
  • Help schools make positive connections with community members that offer culturally meaningful learning and enrichment opportunities 

HIRING PRACTICES AND STAFF ENGAGEMENT 

It’s critical that staff and families see themselves reflected in our workforce. 

Actions: 

  • Review our hiring practices and the regulations that guide those practices through an anti-racism and equity lens 
  • Review our leadership development program and how we can increase diversity in our leadership staff 
  • Review how to incorporate anti-racism and equity perspectives when training new teachers 

STUDENT DEMOGRAPHIC DATA

Collecting additional student demographic data will help us gain a deeper understanding of students and their needs.

Actions: 

  • Define what student demographic data means
  • Create standards that guide how we collect data and how we manage that data 
  • Develop a plan for how the data will be used to support student success
  • Decide how to maintain, display and report the data 
  • Learn from other organizations that have done this work
It will take the village, both within the school system and the broader community to make this data collection happen in a caring and beneficial way.

–Equity Advisory Committee member

ANTI-RACISM AND EQUITY COMMITTEES 

We have committees that will keep us on track in each of the three key areas of work. These committees are made up of community members, Division leaders and educators.

  • Equity Advisory Committee: Membership will reflect the diversity of our city and the voice of families and members of the community.

  • Anti-racism and Equity Steering Committee: This internal group reflects the leadership experience, diversity and expertise across the Division.
    • Three subcommittees, one for each of the three key areas, will ensure we achieve the goals of each priority area.
  • Anti-racism and Equity Principal Committee: This group of principals will work directly with the steering committee to help implement the action plan.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

As we move forward, we will continue to engage with the community to make sure their experiences and perspectives are reflected in our work. 

We are committed to sharing updates on our progress and to completing work on the three key areas during this school year. We’ll create project plans for each area to help us stay on track. 

At the heart of all the focus group discussions is the aspiration that this work will lead to actual change—change brought about with the intention of helping students to feel safe and comfortable with their teachers and school staff. All next steps taken need to be viewed with this lens.

Equity Advisory Committee member