Friday, September 18, 2020

Carroll ISD School Board Requests Workshop To Learn More About CCAP

The Carroll ISD Board of Trustees asked the Administration to call a workshop soon so the District Diversity Council can answer questions and engage the public in more dialogue about the proposed Cultural Competence Action Plan, which was presented at the Board Meeting on Monday, August 3.

School and DDC leaders presented the comprehensive plan that the 63-person council has been working on for the past 20 months. During the presentation, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Dr. Janet McDade, Executive Director of Special Programs Tyisha Nelson, and DDC Citizen Co-chairs Pam Francis and Eric Ransom presented the goals of the Cultural Competence Action Plan (CCAP).

“Carroll ISD is committed to implementing a cultural competence action plan that provides ongoing training and skills for staff and continuous open dialogue opportunities for students,” Nelson said during the presentation to the Board.

Board Vice President Todd Carlton acknowledged the importance of the plan and the work that this council has done over the past 20 months. Trustees thanked members of the DDC for their commitment to the equity and inclusion plan.

“The work that has been done by the District Diversity Council is really amazing,” Carlton said. “This is absolutely one of the most important things we are going to do this year.”

Several Trustees were concerned about the timing of the plan’s release and expressed the desire to give the Administration time to focus on opening schools safely this fall during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also discussed wanting an opportunity to ask more questions before making decisions about funding the components of the plan.

Trustees ultimately voted 5-2 to receive the plan from the DDC and authorized the Administration to hold a public workshop to further discuss and bring more clarity to the plan.

Click here to view the DRAFT Cultural Competence Action Plan.

The CCAP makes numerous recommendations. Regarding Carroll teachers and staff, the plan proposes:

  • Requiring regular professional development by teachers and staff related to diversity and inclusion including in-district after school training, small-group opportunities, departmental field trips and individual training.
  • Adopting an appraisal indicator that measures employees’ commitment to equity and inclusion.
  • Selecting designated mentors (called “Campus Culture Coaches” in the plan) to model culturally responsive teaching practices and monitor the implementation of those practices at each campus.
  • Recruiting, rewarding, and retaining quality underrepresented professional, paraprofessional, and auxiliary employees through specific efforts to ensure that our teachers and staff mirror the composition of our community.

Regarding Carroll curriculum and instruction, the plan recommends:

  • Conducting an independent, third-party equity audit of CISD curriculum, policies, programs and practices.
  • Reviewing the scope and sequence of classes to focus on diverse cultures and increasing the expectations for content delivery of diverse cultures.
  • Expanding and increasing opportunities for students to express their cultures through art, literature, and celebrations within the CISD curriculum.

In addition, to ensure that all our Dragons are treated properly, the plan proposes:

  • Establishing a grievance process to specifically report instances of discrimination,
  • Creating a process for campus administrators to record these offenses (whether micro-aggressions, discriminatory behaviors, or other disciplinary matters) which would be tracked to Student Services and reported monthly to the School Board.
  • Hire a Director of Equity and Inclusion to oversee implementation and compliance of the district’s Equity Policy and Cultural Competence Action Plan.

About the District Diversity Council (DDC)

In January of 2019, Carroll Independent School District appointed 63 parents, students and staff members to serve on a District Diversity Council (DDC) with another 120 individuals invited to participate on individual Campus Diversity Councils (CDC). The DDC is a culturally-informed advisory committee that is representative of the students, staff, and parents in Carroll ISD when it comes to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.

The DDC formed six subcommittees that began working on various aspects of the CCAP. In December 2018, Trustees approved the Council framework, ensuring that more than half of the DDC would be appointed by campus principals and represent families in each of the district’s 11 attendance zones. In addition, each School Board member appointed someone to serve on the Council, with additional at-large appointments by the Superintendent’s Cabinet.

The DDC’s charge was to:

  • Promote the goal of cultural competence within CISD.
  • Facilitate communication and understanding among different constituencies, and serve as a community resource.
  • Advocate for and support culturally competent and responsive programs and policies.
  • Engage students, staff, and faculty to collect feedback on cultural competence in CISD.
  • Propose strategies for reaching cultural competence.

Last December, the District Diversity Council and CISD Administration conducted a Culture Survey to learn about the experiences of CISD families and staff and used those findings to inform a proposed and comprehensive five-year Cultural Competence Action Plan that could cost $1.4 million.

This plan draws on the work of six subcommittees made up of parents, students and staff:

  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Professional Development
  • Teacher/Staff Recruitment
  • Student-Led Education & Policy
  • Celebration of Culture, Bias Reduction & Awareness
  • Communications & Outreach

Meeting summaries and information about DDC activities can be found on the DDC’s website at https://www.southlakecarroll.edu/Page/2883