The Communities that Care Coalition, staffed by our Partnership for Youth, has a 5-year grant to address racial justice in our region’s school districts.
This collaborative project is designed to:
- Improve school climate
- Make disciplinary policies and enforcement more equitable
- Reduce teacher/administrator bias
- Reducing bullying
- Make curricula more attentive to racial justice,
- Improve school connectedness, particularly for students of color
- A review of national best practices in school-based racial justice work.
- A focus group process with students and interviews with teachers, counselors, and school administrators to assess and map out current practices, strengths, weaknesses, readiness, and opportunities in local schools.
- Generation of district-level reports for each school district paired with a regional-level report. The now-available regional report highlights light local and national best practices, local data on racial equity, and local opportunities for improvement.
- Priority action steps identified and taken by the Regional School Health Task Force and the Racial Justice Workgroup based on the report findings.
- Adopt and implement best practices – moving forward, the Regional School Health Task Force, Racial Justice Workgroup, and Youth Leadership Initiative will work with local school administrators and community partners to have schools/districts adopt and implement prioritized best practices.
5-Year Outcome Goals
- At least 10 significant new policies, programs, or practices to advance racial justice adopted by at least 5 local schools as a result of this project.
- At least 10% reductions in disciplinary incidents for youth of color and at least 10% reductions in the “suspension gap” in our school districts, as reported on Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education School and District Profiles.
- Significant improvements for students of color regarding experiences of school climate, including at least 10% more favorable responses to questions related to race and equity on the Student Health Survey.
- At least 10% fewer youth of color presenting as at risk of youth substance use and mental health problems because of “low commitment to school” as measured by the seven-question scale (from the national Prevention Needs Assessment Tool) on the Student Health Survey.
- At least 10% fewer youth of color reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety on the annual Student Health Survey.
- At least 10% fewer youth of color reporting having first used alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana before age 13 on the annual Student Health Survey.
- A decrease by at least 10%in the gap between white students and students of color on the survey measures listed above.