In Pennsylvania, equity has been defined as "every student having access to the educational resources and rigor they need at the right moment in their education across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, family background and/or family income (www.ccsso.org)” Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has noted that "to do their best, students must feel safe at school. A healthy and safe environment can help students thrive, and every student, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression should be provided the opportunity to learn - free from discrimination, fear, or harassment."
PDE’s Equitable Practices Hub is designed to establish a coherent collection of resources that an educational community may use in promoting intentional equity in their communities. The resources have been hand-picked and reviewed, and represent best practices, models, and guidance from all their component parts. They are here divided into the following pillars seen below, which can then be applied to three different spheres, also below.
PDE's Equity Pillars
This definition moves beyond the traditional notion of inclusion as a term synonymous with special education and physically allowing students to be included in regular education classes and opportunities. Inclusion embodies a broader context that accounts for the social nature of school culture and climate and extends to all students and staff within the school community. Through authentically engaging all students as co-creators for inclusive communities, the benefits are both physically perceived through equitable access and socially felt, by feeling a valued member of the community. Focusing on the worth of diversity and ways to celebrate the talents each person contributes, capitalizes on the norm that everyone has a place in the community to learn, grow, and share.
Rachel's Challenge Goals:
Look for the Best in Others
Choose Positive Influences
Speak and Act with Kindness
Start Your Own Chain Reaction