AE(LOCAL) - EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY
The mission of the Alief Independent School District, in collaboration with family and community, is to provide an exemplary education that values diversity of race, culture, gender, learning ability, and socioeconomic background in an environment that is equitable for all students and free of stereotypical expectations to ensure both a physically and mentally safe environment.
Empowering students through unlimited opportunities to change the world
Preparing Students for Tomorrow – Caring for Them Today
The District's SMART core values include:
Systemwide research-based practices resulting in student growth, academic achievement, and social and emotional wellness.
Meaningful work on self, leading to meaningful relationships with others.
Accessibility to differentiated and appropriate resources promoting understanding and inclusivity.
Respect for diversity and pride in one's own identity without infringing on the rights of others.
Thoughtful decision making, utilizing the lens of equity as its true north.
Racial and Social Equity
The Board acknowledges that societal institutional racism and longstanding societal institutional biases have historically resulted in significant, measurable inequities in this country, state, and community. The Board recognizes that the historical practice of denying access to quality education to communities of color and other marginalized groups has resulted in socioeconomic and educational disparities those groups still struggle to overcome today.
Students deserve to be educated in environments that value and respect them as individuals, including recognition and appreciation of their racial, ethnic, and social diversity. Understanding how education intersects with race, culture, language, social-economic status, learning ability, and gender helps to remove the blinders to the root causes of educational disparities which may still persist. The responsibility for addressing these disparities rests with the adults, not with the students.
In January 2018, the Board, as a representation of our diverse community, voluntarily and proactively chose to begin the work of ensuring that every student educated in the District has access to a learning environment that values the essence of who they are.
The Board is committed to holding itself accountable by examining disaggregated achievement and discipline data through the lens of and based on the principles of equity. The purpose of this process is to quickly identify disproportionality or other disparities that may unintentionally create barriers for District students to access full and complete educational opportunities, which provides the foundation to social advancement and general prosperity.
The District's mindset of educational equity is for District policies and practices to ensure all students, regardless of one's race, culture, color, socioeconomic status, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, learning ability, or disability, are provided opportunities to maximize individual potential by giving access to differentiated and culturally appropriate resources, as necessary
In addition to considerations for educational equity, the District also recognizes diversity by valuing and including all stakeholders from different social backgrounds, economic levels, countries of origin, genders, sexual orientation, and immigration status and ensuring their representation when creating District policies, decisions, and actions.
Further, the District defines inclusion as the attitudes and practices that benefit all learners who might otherwise be excluded, such as those with exceptional needs and members of historically marginalized groups.
To advance racial and social equity in the educational setting and improve academic achievement for all District students, the Board establishes the following goals:
- The District shall identify and eradicate all barriers that have persisted and caused achievement gaps between various ethnic groups, students with and without disabilities, or any other marginalized groups; and commit to closing the achievement gaps to ensure all students reach their fullest academic and social potential.
- The District shall improve student preparation for college and career by removing any barriers that would prevent the District from providing every student with equitable access to a high quality and value-focused culturally relevant curriculum, instruction, resources, support, and facilities.
- The District shall maintain a safe and orderly environment by providing professional development and other learning opportunities that focus on developing an
understanding of the following;
- Implicit Bias – The attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understandings, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner
- Micro Aggressions – Indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group
- Cultural Competence – The awareness of one's own cultural identity and world views while developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences.
- The District shall recruit, develop, and retain racially and linguistically diverse and culturally competent administrative, instructional, and support staff, and shall provide professional development and other learning opportunities that will support the deep understanding and skill attainment for eliminating racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in achievement and discipline representation among various groups.
- The District shall build positive relationships with stakeholders as valuable contributors in the education of every student by welcoming and empowering students and their families regardless of their first language; national origin; gender; gender identity; family structure; or cultural, racial, or ethnic diversity.
Educational equity in the District means striving for the absence of disparities so all students can excel and succeed in a rigorous learning environment. Equity is achieved through transparent evaluation of stated goals and continuous progress. Assessing equity requires comparing data, research, and social determinants among the more and less advantaged groups to assist the District in creating programs, policies, and fair allocation of finances and resources to give all students equitable opportunities to succeed. The Board shall hold all Board Members, the Superintendent and all school personnel accountable for implementation of this policy through the District's Board and Administration Core Beliefs, Commitments, Priorities, and Equity score card, as well as performance objectives included in the Superintendent's contract.