PSBA Bulletin Special Conference Issue - Page 29

SUPPORTING EQUITY-FOCUSED POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT
To coordinate this effort across the district , schools and classrooms , one specific strategy is to empower equityfocused positions . Equity-focused positions are typically tasked with enhancing and sustaining a districtwide culture that accelerates achievement by addressing opportunity gaps within various parts of the district structure , such as school climate , discipline , curriculum , human resources and transportation , as well as family , student and community engagement . They often employ best practices through collecting and analyzing data , implementing equity-focused professional development , supporting culturally responsive policies , practices , curriculum and procedures , as well as listening , reaching out to , and centering the voices of families and students . This role can be extremely overwhelming and , at times , isolating unless the district provides key supports at all levels of the system from the school board , district leadership , departments , school leadership , teachers , staff and from the community .
To empower equity-focused positions and to move equity forward , it is essential that the district has made educational equity a priority from an organizational standpoint and seeks to make equity the foundation upon which all aspects of the educational system are built and maintained . It is the role of every board director , administrator and staff member to move equity forward , and should not be the sole responsibility of individuals .
Equity Resources on myPSBA :
• Reviewing Policies With an Equity Lens
• Guidance for Equity-Focused Positions Within Pennsylvania Public Schools
• Equity Toolkit
• User Guide for Educational Equity Policy – Leading for Equity
• Communications Support : Educational Equity Policy – Leading for Equity
PSBA developed a guide , available on myPSBA , for district leaders to support the work of equity-focused positions . The guide centers on three themes : organizational structure , resources and supports , and building capacity . First , under organizational structure , it is important that equity-focused positions are structured as positions of authority and autonomy , where they have access to cabinet-level positions and the school board to support the development of equityfocused policies , practices and procedures . They also serve as integrative partners with departments , principals , staff , students , families and communities .
Equity-focused positions are often required to be experts on a lot of different issues that affect students ; therefore , they require resources such as professional development , collaborative networks , staff support , line-item budgets and funds , and of course , secondary trauma and mental health supports to handle the overwhelming and often painful concerns of marginalization and trauma that their students and families face .
Furthermore , it is important that the district builds capacity for equity-focused positions through professional development for the entire staff on what equity is and how equity would be structured throughout the district .
Developing a plan to support equity-focused positions will help sustain and move equity work forward in the district .
Special Conference Issue 2021 PSBA Bulletin 27