In March of 2012, The Okemos Public Schools’ Board of Education adopted a Strategic Plan that established priorities and focus for the district’s efforts. This strategic planning process was characterized by full and active participation of thirty-six (36) planners. The planners identified the critical issues facing the district, as well as developed broad goals and strategies to address the critical issues.
One of the identified critical areas of focus having the “greatest strategic importance” to the long-term well-being of Okemos Public Schools was DIVERSITY.
Based on a variety of data sources, it was evident that a focused and strategic effort was needed to create a culturally competent, responsive and inclusive school environment for ALL our students. Critical components in defining our current reality, identifying areas of focus and informing specific goals included student (grades 7-12), parents/guardian (K-12) and staff (K-12) surveys, discipline data, special education reports, achievement data, as well as formal and informal conversations with students, parents/guardians, staff and community members. The following opportunities elicited invaluable input and feedback, informing the final plan:
❖ Equity Planning Sessions (October 28th and November 17, 2015)
❖ Community Conversation with Board of Education (January 13, 2016)
❖ Equity Plan Steering Committee
Recognizing the importance, as well as the commitment to this work, a strategy to assist in achieving this goal was the establishment of a district Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee to inform and advise the Superintendent, promoting informed, relevant and impactful action.
As a result of these efforts, an equity plan was adopted by the Board of Education, with a plan to operationalize strategies to meet goals within by students, staff, administration, the Board of Education and community. The work to implement strategies and improve student outcomes is ongoing throughout the district and is a major focus of our professional development and growth.