Equity and Inclusion

In 2020 and 2021, District 70 administration and staff created multiple Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committees (DEI) that have engaged in many productive conversations.  Summer professional development aligned with the recent Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Culturally Responsive Teaching Standards (CRTS) and the committees' work.   

The Libertyville District 70 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee meets with the purpose of 

  1. evaluating and enhancing equity and diversity topics that are integrated into the curriculum that include multiple perspectives to build historical empathy, and
  2. generate a list of topics and activities that could be explored in current and future years.

ISBE Illinois Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning  (CRTL) Standards

In District 70, we define diversity as race, gender, sexuality, ability, socioeconomic status, and cultural identity in all forms overt and hidden. We believe that these differences are what make us each unique, special, and important as human beings and prepare each individual to be a good citizen in a multicultural world.  District 70 believes that all students and staff should be equal members of a school environment that honors and respects the individuality of one another.

Five different colored palm prints.


Our goal is to break down the inequities that are inherent in our system by closing the gap on opportunities for all of our students requires that we respond to the diversities within our learning community in multifaceted ways.  This quest starts with mindsets; informed by our beliefs, biases, and own cultural identities in an effort to ultimately change our practices.  The environment we create to foster our growing competency supports this growth. The coherence between these three bodies of work serves as the base to guide our decision-making and actions.  Our work is ongoing as we continue to find the best ways to build the intellectual capacity of all students so that they may become the independent learners we strive for them to be.
 
 
Mindsets, noun, plural noun: mindsets. The established set of attitudes held by someone.
Mindsets are formed from one's beliefs and experiences.  Mindsets can be shifted through education and practice by building the cultural competence of our staff in an attempt to dismantle educational practices that perpetuate inequity. Cultural competence is built through professional learning, reflection and a conscious effort on one's part to change.
 
Practices
To be culturally responsive, learning opportunities must go beyond simply providing students with multicultural representations in the content, but also include specific strategies for learning how to learn based upon one’s individual need.  In District 70, we help learners to become independent through our instructional practices as well as by providing culturally relevant curriculum and resources. We focus on area to ensure that all of our students are included and reaching their true potential include.

Environment
A supportive learning environment includes the physical classroom and resources as well as the values and relationships fostered there. In a culturally responsive learning environment, every student feels valued, included, and empowered.  We create safe environments by attending to a student's social/emotional self, by ensuring that the staff who work with our students are culturally competent and represent our student population and by the spaces we maintain for maximizing one's learning potential.