During a regular meeting on June 24, Oak Park River Forest High School District 200 officials provided an update on the implementation of the district’s racial equity policy. 

The updates provided by the board were statuses of implementation for all 12 sections mentioned in the original 7:12 policy. According to the procedure implementation update, six out the 12 sections of the racial equity policy have been fully implemented. 

One of the sections that have only been partially implemented is “equity analysis.” In coordination with policy 7:12, equity analysis is used to “help decision makers consider racial equity when assessing policies, procedures, professional development and other practices.” 

It is also supposed to help school employees choose options that will lessen the risk of racial inequity, implicit bias, and other related consequences. 

The update states that next steps will include the expansion of the institutional use of the equity analysis tool for decision making. This means that Dr. Patrick Hardy, the incoming equity director, will provide professional learning on how to use the tool for the Board of Education, executive cabinet, the transformative education leadership team and the district equity leadership team. 

Another section that has only been partially implemented is “resource allocation.” This section is meant to produce a fair allocation of resources that cultivate high levels of student support and academic performance. 

So far an evidence based funding model was presented. The next steps are to close the opportunity gaps. This can be done by measuring the impact of grants and contracts applied for by the district to improve student outcomes and assessing which student groups benefit from grant funded programs. 

During the meeting, Mary Ann Mohanaj, an OPRFHS board member, made a comment concerning the section “welcoming school environment.” In her comment, she expressed her desires to see LGBTQ issues more explicitly stated in the racial equity policy. 

“We developed a specific policy that’s also aligned to policy 7:12 which is the equal education opportunities policy that is specifically focused on our LGBTQ students and they are factored into this procedure as well,” said outgoing D200 Supt. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams. “Maybe we should be a little more specific on how those are aligned.”

Other board members expressed concerns about how district resources will be allocated to ensure that the racial equity policy is being adequately incorporated into the board’s decision-making. 

Dr. LeVar Ammons, the outgoing equity director, said that the district has established a “clear process to identify” areas where funds need to be allocated. 

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