D97 to host equity engagement sessions in August

Community members can give input, get feedback on district's racial equity policy implementation

August 13th, 2019 3:05 PM

By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 officials will convene two engagement sessions this month focusing on implementing the racial equity policy that the D97 board passed in March. 

"During the events, guests will have the opportunity to learn about our initial plans for the implementation of the equity policy and provide feedback that will inform our work moving forward," D97 officials explained in a statement released last week. 

The first session will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Brooks Middle School's Commons area, 325 S. Kenilworth Ave. The second session will take place on Monday, Aug. 19, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Oak Park Public Library's Veterans Room, 834 Lake St. 

The D97 board unanimously approved a new racial equity policy on March 12. Although the policy went into effect immediately after the vote, the implementation of the policy will start during the 2019-20 school year. 

According to the executive summary of the racial equity policy, the policy confronts the district's historic struggle toward achieving racial equity and offers a guide for accomplishing a variety of goals, including: eliminating racial inequities and systemic disparities, helping families "navigate the services that are available to them" so they feel "a sense of belonging" and their specific needs are met, and addressing disparities in educational opportunities and outcomes, among others. 

"The district is committed to working with the community on the development of an implementation plan that will include priorities, milestones and opportunities for stakeholder engagement," the district's statement reads.