NEPN/NSBA Code: ACA
The purpose of this policy is to achieve educational equity by establishing expectations related to the identification and elimination of disparities in education outcomes.
It is the intent of the Yarmouth School Committee that no student or staff member is discriminated against because of their actual or perceived race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry or national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or socio-economic status.
Through our work focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Yarmouth Schools strive to ensure that all students are provided equitable opportunities to access the school’s curricular and extra-curricular offerings in a setting that is physically and emotionally safe and recognizes the individual needs of each student.
We desire to celebrate each person’s individuality and honor who they are without bias, and we recognize that achieving equity does not in any way involve discriminating against or shaming individuals based on their own personal characteristics. We believe that true equity is best achieved by lifting up and supporting those who have been discriminated against, rather than demeaning others.
We are committed to providing a safe, inclusive learning environment for all students and staff, employing a variety of approaches that celebrate diversity and promote equity with positivity and optimism.
We mandate addressing disparities in educational equity as a priority in each school, including but not limited to, access to advanced coursework and extracurricular activities, identification for specialized services, fair discipline, suspension, and expulsion practices, consistently high achievement and graduation rates, and the recruitment, hiring, and supervision of diverse staff.
A. Academic Achievement and Growth
Access to a culturally responsive and relevant curriculum that provides meaningful and dynamic school experiences is essential to postsecondary success. In order to actualize this priority, the Yarmouth School Department will:
Promote student voice and provide resources to support youth in becoming active and engaged participants in their academic experience.
Provide culturally responsive and relevant curriculum inclusive of but not limited to perspectives from historically marginalized and oppressed peoples who are excluded or underrepresented in the current curriculum. The curriculum will use differentiated approaches and resources to meet the needs of every student.
Implement a curriculum that presents global perspectives and teaches students to appreciate and value diverse cultures. As such, the instructional materials used in Yarmouth Schools reflect aspirations, history, issues, and achievements of persons from diverse social identifiers.
Provide access and support to dynamic coursework and comparable academic and enrichment programs for all students in order to maximize student learning. A student’s English proficiency, disability status, perceived academic ability and/or social identifiers will not limit access and opportunity.
Apply an equity lens during allocation of resources and academic supports for students, families, schools, and communities to ensure individual student success and growth.
Identify and remove institutional barriers that could prevent students from equitably accessing educational opportunities in all schools.
Prohibit exclusion from academic programs, extracurricular activities, and services on the basis of a student’s social identifiers.
B. School Climate and Culture Affecting Student Success
In order for all students to be successful academically, schools must create a safe, welcoming, supportive, and affirming environment. As such, the Yarmouth School Department will:
Incorporate student voice in school- and district-level decision making.
Build environments that intentionally focus on fostering empathy, developing relationships and upholding dignity for everyone in our schools, offices, and community.
Create and maintain a culture in which students, employees, and families are encouraged to self-reflect on assumptions, biases, and beliefs, in order to promote understanding, respect, dignity, acceptance, positive interactions and anti-bias actions amongst all individuals and groups.
Nurture healthy relationships with staff, students, and community, through a restorative culture and student-centered practices.
Maintain a safe and supportive school climate through a multifaceted approach that uplifts positive relationships and culture of belonging and supports mental health needs.
Identify and eliminate disproportionality in discipline practices by uplifting and nurturing healthy relationships, creating a just and equitable learning environment, repairing harm, and responding effectively to conflict.
Leverage the strengths of parents and community partnerships to increase equitable opportunities for students and positively influence the school culture and climate.
Provide translation of documents in languages that represent the Yarmouth community and sign-language interpretation services to ensure access to information for all families.
Maintain a clean, safe, affirming, and healthy environment at all schools that is conducive to student learning.
Eliminate discriminatory practices at all organizational levels.
C. Staff Capacity for Educational Equity
A diverse workforce of effective educators is essential to a student’s educational experience. All Yarmouth School Department employees commit to co-creating a safe and nurturing learning environment and as such, the Yarmouth School Department will:
Intentionally recruit, promote, support, and retain a diverse workforce of highly qualified educators, school-based administrators, school leaders, and Central Office employees that reflect the diversity of the student population.
Identify and remove institutional barriers to recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting a diverse workforce.
Provide ongoing professional learning focusing on factors influencing educational equity, such as anti-bias, anti-racism, cultural proficiency instruction, cultural responsiveness, disability acceptance, implicit bias, explicit bias, racial equity, and systemic racism for all staff.
Utilize restorative justice practices where appropriate, and support educators in building positive cultures, where students and staff feel valued, welcomed, and supported to fulfil their academic and professional potential.
Work collaboratively with parents, community groups, the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) and county agencies, business organizations, bargaining units, and other stakeholders to increase equity and inclusion for students and staff.
Prohibit discriminatory employment practices as mandated by Policy AC.
Delegation of Authority
The Superintendent is directed to develop appropriate procedures to implement this policy.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Public Law 101-336, July 26, 1990
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 20 U.S.C. §6301
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400-1487
Policy AC: Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
SC Approval: October 13, 2022