Equity Imperative Declaration

Equity in Novato Unified School District means ensuring every student has access to educational opportunities that challenge, inspire and prepare him or her for a strong future. The educational failure of any one student impacts the entire Novato community. It is in the best interest of the community that every one of our students succeeds and our intention is for the community to hold high expectations for each and every Novato student. We are committed to examining and changing structures, policies, and practices that contribute to inequitable outcomes and experiences for any student.

The purpose of the Equity Imperative Declaration is to publicly explain why equity is so important, to outline NUSD’s universal and targeted goals, and to state NUSD’s commitment to the actions necessary to achieve our goals.

Background

Novato Unified School District has a long history of promoting equity in our schools and confronting racism. This dates back to at least the 1990’s when a racial incident involving San Marin High School students and Tamalpais High School students impelled the district to begin dialogue and conversations around race, and to adopt strategies and policies to promote equity. Since at least that time, leaders in the district have continued these discussions on a regular basis. More recently, NUSD has worked with the National Equity Project (NEP) to help us examine our beliefs, roles, policies, procedures, programs and structures to ensure we are doing all we can to ensure all of our students have the best opportunity to succeed. In the 2014-15 school year, a small group of administrators attended the Leading for Equity three-day institute offered by NEP, which served as a catalyst for not only self-reflection but as a springboard for action. In the 2015-16 school year, all district administrators attended the Leading for Equity institute, along with most Board of Trustees and some teachers.

Equity was adopted as a district priority, and we continued our work with NEP to provide coaching to our secondary principals and began to set equity goals. In addition, an Equity Design Team began work to determine how to push our equity work into action, and looked at policies, programs and structures.

The Equity Design Team began work on an “Equity Imperative” that would outline our beliefs and commitments, along with specific goals. This year, we once again set district equity goals, expanded NEP coaching to all principals (and the superintendent), offered more Leading for Equity Institutes, transferred the Design Team work to the District Advisory Committee to expand input from more stakeholders, and to ensure our equity work is tied into the Graduate Profile, PBL and our performance assessments.

NUSD’s Universal Goal

A universal goal is what we want to be true for each and every student in the Novato Unified School District (NUSD). Our universal goal in Novato is that:

All students will demonstrate proficiency in the academic and social skills identified in the Graduate Profile, which includes meeting the UC/CSU entrance requirements upon graduation so that they are prepared for and successful in college and career.