Next month, St. Charles School District 303 plans to hold focus groups as part of a district equity audit.
In December, board members voted unanimously to hire the Chicago-based nonprofit Consortium for Educational Change at a cost of $44,850. Staff had recommended hiring the company to do the equity audit.
The purpose of the equity audit is to conduct a comprehensive review of the district’s educational practices and outcomes “to ensure that every student has access to and participates in meaningful learning opportunities that result in positive outcomes , regardless of individual characteristics or group affiliation,” district officials said. noted.
Participants in the focus groups will be randomly selected, Tracy Taylor, the district’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, told school board members at the learning and leadership committee meeting. council teaching on March 15.
“We created a spreadsheet to randomize the list of families and students from each school, organizing them by race/ethnicity and generating a target number of each race/ethnicity proportional to the composition of the school’s population. “, said Taylor.
At last month’s Learning and Teaching Committee meeting, several board members expressed a preference for people to be chosen randomly.
“We want to make sure we’re executing this in the way that best suits what the board has recommended,” Taylor said.
The goal is to have about 15 families per school participating in a focus group, she said. The content of the focus group discussions will be derived from themes that emerged directly from an equity survey.
The CEC will be the sole entity responsible for developing focus group content and conducting the focus groups. All focus groups will take place via Zoom and will have morning and evening options available to parents.
Staff and student focus groups will be held during the school day. Focus groups are scheduled to begin the first week of April.
“The CEC’s final report is designed to find the strengths that exist in our district and look for opportunities to better serve all D-303 students,” Taylor said.