The Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution condemning racism and establishing policy directives on equity. Resolution 869, approved at the Oct. 13 school board meeting, outlines major features of the board’s commitment to the districtwide equity initiative.

The resolution calls for the creation of an equity work group, completion of an equity audit and future adoption of a district equity policy and procedure. Additionally, to support the board’s goals of diversity, equity and inclusion, policies will be revised or developed in the areas of curriculum; instruction; recruitment, hiring and placement of staff; operations and school climate and culture.

“This resolution is an important step in our commitment to address racial inequities in our school system,” said Board President Wendy Smith. “We know this is the right work. It’s critical that every student in VPS feels valued, respected and safe.”

The work is underway. VPS has formed an equity advisory committee composed of representatives from the community. Next steps include school meetings with students, families and staff members; culture and climate surveys; and an audit to review practices and policies through an equity lens.