Equity in Wayzata Public Schools
We're all in on equity. We hope you will be too.
The mission of Wayzata Public Schools is to ensure a world-class education that prepares each and every student to thrive today and excel tomorrow in an ever changing global society. That cannot happen without a commitment to equity. We are building on that commitment every day.
- Analysis of overlap between WPS Strategic Roadmap, Reimagine Minnesota and NUA brainstorming leads to amplifying district’s Core Values as the focus of the WPS Equity Commitment
- District elevates the role of Equity Facilitator to Director of Equity and Inclusion
- Formal work begins on a 1-page Equity Commitment document focusing on the Core Values from the Strategic Roadmap
- Cultural competence and equity professional development continues across the district
- Over 150 stakeholders across the district provide feedback that is incorporated into the Equity Commitment
- Formal presentation of the final Equity Commitment draft to the School Board with statements of support from Strategy Leadership Team
- School Board approves District Equity Commitment
- District creates 0.5 FTE Equity Facilitator position
- Districtwide professional development on cultural competence
- Equity Facilitator role becomes 1.0 FTE
- Need for additional clarity emerges
- Leadership team attends National Urban Alliance (NUA) Summer Institute and brainstorms ideas for a district equity framework
- Reimagine Minnesota facilitates strategy sessions
- District leadership works with the Teachers of Color Affinity Group to identify action steps based on the Reimagine Minnesota strategies
- District participates in Reimagine Minnesota
- Teachers of Color Affinity Group forms
Our Equity Foundation
This commitment is:
- Grounded in our Strategic Roadmap and the work of Reimagine Minnesota.
- Guided by input from school and department leaders districtwide.
- The foundation and framework for how we work together as a community to serve our students, families, and each other.
Our Equity Journey
We're providing the resources, you decide what's right for you and your family. These optional resources could guide or support your family conversations about equity. We will continue to update this collection.
Answers to Common Questions
(Last updated Sept. 21, 2021)
Wayzata Public Schools periodically receives questions about our Equity Commitment. Responses to the questions are included in the appropriate topic areas below. Our Equity Commitment is an aspirational document. Like any organization focused on continuous improvement, our next steps will involve turning these aspirations into actions in a multi-year process.
|Language and Definitions
|See Glossary (Next Tab)
|Purpose and Process
Our equity commitment is a continuation of a decade of strategic planning.
Our development of the Equity Commitment followed the same rigorous and collaborative process that we followed to create the Strategic Road Map. The process took about 14 months.
Our Equity Commitment is an aspirational document to ensure that each and every student in Wayzata Public Schools receives a world-class education that prepares them to thrive today and excel tomorrow in an ever-changing global society. Like any organization focused on continuous improvement, our next steps will involve turning these aspirations into actions in a multi-year process including:
Meeting the specific needs of all students has always been a priority in Wayzata Public Schools. This comes through a variety of programs and resources to serve the unique needs of each and every student. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Standardized assessment data in Wayzata shows that our mission is not yet being realized for each and every student. Part of our work surrounding continuous improvement is to regularly review student performance data. When we see academic achievement discrepancies, it is our responsibility to take the initiative to learn and grow to ensure that all students in Wayzata Public Schools receive a world-class education.
For further information, explore the Wayzata Public Schools data available on the Minnesota Department of Education Website. MDE Data
|The Foundation of Our Equity Work
The district’s Strategic Roadmap is the foundation for our work. Additional resources that inform our work:
Our ultimate outcome is to fulfill our mission: To deliver a world-class education that prepares each and every student to thrive today and excel tomorrow in an ever-changing global society. We evaluate how we are doing by tracking our progress in four strategic directions: Achievement, Each and Every, Personalization, Health and Well-Being.
Our equity work is embedded in the day-to-day work of our district’s teachers, staff, and administrators.
|Impact on Teachers and District Staff
The work of our teachers and district staff will continue to be guided by our Strategic Road Map, as well as the Equity Commitment which grew out of that roadmap.
|Impact on Policies
There are no proposed policy changes at this time. We are still in the process of evaluating our policies and metrics. That process will include gathering additional feedback from students, parents and staff.
|Impact on Students
We believe this work will help us better prepare students for college and the workplace in an ever-changing global society.
|Impact on Curriculum
There are no proposed curriculum changes at this time.
We have a district curriculum review process that guides when we review each content area. This cycle is built around the Minnesota Department of Education’s cycle for reviewing content area standards. In accordance with Minnesota State Statute the standards for each content area are reviewed and revised generally on a 10-year schedule approved by the Minnesota legislature or as required . As district curriculum arises in this cycle, we will use the lens of our Equity Commitment to make sure we are meeting the unique needs of each and every student.
(Last updated Sept. 21, 2021)
Shared language to support our conversations.
A person who opposes racism and takes action to eliminate racism at individual, institutional and structural levels.
A person’s cognitive bias is formed by neural pathways that cause them to be inclined to hold certain perspectives. The pattern-seeking mechanisms of our brain are automatic and operate with or without our conscious awareness. Once these patterns form, they continue to influence how we interact with new information. As a result we may hold cognitive biases even if we do not mean to.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
|Critical Race Theory
We do not teach Critical Race Theory to teachers or students. It is not part of our curriculum.
Critical race theory is a concept that is more than 40 years old. The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged from a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s by legal scholars.
In Wayzata Public Schools we are guided by our vision to create exceptional student learning, experiences and relationships. This includes staff and students appreciating themselves and their own culture, appreciating the cultures of others, and building skills to navigate productively across our differences. This is key to preparing students to thrive today and excel tomorrow in an ever-changing global society.
Giving all students the same thing, without considering unique student needs.
A combination of interrelated elements consciously designed to meet the unique needs of all of the people it affects.
Meeting the specific needs of all students.
Examples could include: Intervention and Gifted and Talented programming. Equity focuses on specific needs, thus is in alignment with our strategic roadmap of each and every.
This definition is in alignment with the Minnesota Department of Education, which states: Educational equity is the condition of justice, fairness and inclusion in our systems of education so that all students have access to the opportunities to learn and develop to their fullest potential.
“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.” — Carol Dweck, 2015
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” — Carol Dweck, 2015
The awareness that some discomfort is necessary in order to change. — Productive Discomfort: A Tiny Guide
For example, discomfort is produced when we examine our data and see that it does not meet our goals. We can transform that discomfort into productive discomfort by engaging in hard conversations focused on improving our instruction to meet the unique needs of all students.
Each of us has many overlapping identities, including gender. Correctly using someone’s preferred pronouns is a way that we respect that part of their identity.
Individuals in our community sharing their preferred pronouns is one way we can deliver on our vision to create welcoming, nurturing and safe environments where all are valued for who they are and the contributions they make.
A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. — Merriam Webster
Structures, practices and policies that maintain systems of racial inequity.
For example, when we consistently see different outcomes among racial groups we need to examine which structures, practices and policies might be contributing to those disparate outcomes.