Here in Camas, we are deeply engaged in work around equity, race, and identity to better foster and support an environment in which our students, families, and staff grow and thrive. Our data illustrate that among student learning outcomes, race, ability, and socioeconomic status continue to be the most persistent predictors of student performance. Consequently, we have prioritized our efforts and resources toward strategies that eliminate institutional racism and every form of oppression perpetuating inequities in our system.
Our work is focused on four main areas.
Inclusion is the belief and practice that all students have the right to meaningfully access academic and social opportunities in a general education setting (OSPI). Camas School District is participating in three projects designed to move toward more fully inclusive learning environments for students with disabilities. UDL, or Universal Design for Learning, provides the framework for designing instruction that optimizes learning for all students based on brain-based research about how humans learn. The three projects include LEAP at the preschool level, Co-Teaching in some middle and high school classrooms, and an ongoing professional learning & leadership experience for a combined district/school team.
- LEAP is an inclusive and developmentally-integrated preschool for typically developing children and peers with autism and other developmental delays. It includes a comprehensive parent education program as well as staff training opportunities focused on intervention strategies that are planned, systemic, and individualized.
- Co-teaching is the pairing together of general and special education teachers to create a more inclusive classroom. These teaching teams share the responsibilities of planning, instructing, and assessing all students. Camas has supported co-teaching for the past decade but has made a concerted effort to increase these inclusive classrooms over the past four years. Currently, the district has over 10 co-teaching teams across the middle and high school settings.
- Professional Learning/Leadership: A CSD team, including teachers, district and school administration, and a board member, are participating along with more than 50 district teams across the state in Inclusionary Practices: Statewide Support for District Change Project. The project goal is to provide professional learning and support to assist districts as they move to more fully inclusive learning environments for students with disabilities.
Our school board’s Commitment to Equity and Anti-Racism guides our work. We use an equity lens in our decision-making processes to reduce inequities, including disproportionality in student outcomes.
We support the adults who work with and surround our students— employees, parents, community members—as they learn more about equity, including race and identity.
Culturally Responsive Practices
We engage our families and community to identify culturally responsive practices. We work with staff to use these practices in their interactions with each other, students, families, and the community. Our community equity team spent more than two years developing a website of resources designed to further this work.
Equity Community Forums
Our district has tried to create a place to have conversations through community equity forums. Each person in our community has a unique experience, and it’s essential to have space to talk about those experiences in making our community the best it can be. We’ve been conducting these forums over the past several years. All are welcome to attend. The participants in the forums felt it was important to share conversations and resources. They developed a website to house resources and welcome others to the conversation. You can access the site here. The site contains links to websites operated by third parties. The links are provided for information only and do not constitute or imply any endorsement or monitoring by CSD.