IUSD Board Calls for Resolution Supporting Black Lives Matter and Racial Justice

During the June 9, 2020 Irvine Unified School District Board of Education Meeting, the Board called for a resolution proclaiming support for Black Lives Matter and reaffirming IUSD’s commitment to creating an unbiased and inclusive society through education.  The Board individually and collectively reiterated that racism and racial injustice have no place in IUSD and are antithetical to creating safe and welcoming campuses for all students.  They further expressed that it is incumbent upon IUSD, to educate our students and community about racism and racial injustice and to continue to examine coursework and professional trainings for staff.  

IUSD staff will provide a draft resolution for Board consideration during the June 23 meeting at 6:30 p.m. Click here for information about how to watch the Board Meeting.

Next Steps and Actions Taken by IUSD

While IUSD acknowledges that there is more work to be done, the following will provide additional information about IUSD’s next steps and actions to support equity for all students:

  • This August, IUSD social science teachers will develop trainings for the District’s all-staff Professional Leaning Day that are explicitly focus on teaching about institutional racism and racial injustice.
  • We will be collaborating with our teachers to ensure that honoring Black lives and acknowledging under-represented voices becomes a more explicit focus in IUSD’s curriculum.
  • For many years, IUSD’s focus has been on equity and access. Examples include:
    • The District’s Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) work
    • Student shadowing with an explicit focus on understanding the needs of our under-represented students
    • Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS)
    • Implementation of Restorative Justice practices in all schools
    • Standards based grading (enabling students to learn at their own pace)
    • Increased graduation requirements, with added supports, to better serve under-represented students, who were not performing at the same rate as other students
    • Partnered with GradeSlam (now known as Paper) to ensure students have access to free tutoring
    • Development of a new Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy – grounded in research that tells us that students need opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them without decimating their grades
  • IUSD remains committed to our Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) as key vehicle for continuous improvement that is predicated on our belief that we must equitably serve all of our students and when one struggles, we need a team of teachers to identify how to support that child.
  • Implementation of Credit/No Credit grading during Emergency Distance Learning

These and other initiatives are grounded in the belief that IUSD must meet our students where they are, and provide the supports they need to excel both academically and social emotionally.  For these goals to be met, IUSD is committed to creating an educational environment that is free from racism, discrimination and intolerance.  While equity and access have been part of our longstanding commitment to students, IUSD can and will do more.  We will continue to work closely with our teachers and students and to learn from them and their experiences to better honor the Black and African-American communities and our diverse community as a whole.