IUSD Board Approves Continuous Improvement Efforts for 2022-2023 School Year

[Editor’s note: This article was edited by the Editorial Board, but the final edits were not approved by the author prior to publication. We apologize for the oversight]

The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) Board Of Education voted 5-0 to approve The Continuous Improvement Efforts for the 2022-2023 school year following a presentation on these efforts and a public comment objecting to the focus on Social Justice by a member of the Continuous Improvement Council.

The presentation was given by Assistant Superintendent of Education Services Cassie Parham. Ms. Parham’s presentation can be viewed here where it commences at the 18-minute, 22-second mark of the meeting.

The Continuous Improvement Efforts document can be found on IUSD’s website. Page two of the document, under Guiding Principles and Practices, lists IUSD’s desire to maintain an “explicit focus on Social Justice and anti-bias” to “help students cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary to reduce prejudice and take collective action to improve conditions for marginalized groups.”

The document states each school is expected to develop an Equity, Excellence, Diversity, and Inclusion (EEDI) plan that will be “reviewed and refined annually” as well as included in the “School Plan For Student Achievement (SPSA),” which is required to be submitted, by the district, to the California Department of Education on an annual basis.

Each IUSD teacher is expected to “create an environment within the classroom that challenges inequity, raises consciousness, and improves conditions for marginalized groups.” Teacher goals should be clearly defined actions and describe how progress will be measured.

The document also refers to integrating Social Justice Standards into the district culture. The standards referred to can be found under 19(b) in the online agenda for July 12, 2022.

During Ms. Parham’s presentation on Continuous Improvement Efforts for 2022-2023, she notes that IUSD’s desire for Continuous Improvement was conceived by IUSD Founding Superintendent Stanley Corey, whose vision has been passed on to the Superintendents that followed and remained the desire of the current Superintendent Terry Walker.

To help fulfill the desire, a Continuous Improvement Council (also called Stakeholder Committee) was formed years ago and comprised over 100 stakeholders. The stakeholders are teachers, students, parents, and administrators. The council meets three times during the school year. The focus of the Council has recently shifted towards developing the vision for multi-year Excellence, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EEDI) School Plans.

The Continuous Improvement Efforts document approved by the Board will serve as the guiding document for implementing the EEDI plan.