Equity Team

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    What does it look like, sound like and feel like for you to experience belonging in a school community? Thank you to the 1,866 participants who shared 1,483 thoughts! See the results here.

Belonging Forum Follow-up

  • Since the district's Belonging Forum in February, there have been further conversations and reflection.

    • Student voice: We have expanded the engagement of students who bring new perspectives—socially, academically, culturally—across the district. This has been one of the most inspiring aspects of the school year. Cougar Cabinet has offered a forum for students to articulate their noticings and their hopes. Any student who wished to engage has been able to do so. We are hearing from students from all segments of the district and community and are acting upon what they tell us.
    • Cultivating positive interactions in our halls, common spaces and in classrooms: Our Cougar Cabinet students (roughly 60 students across the district) have been deputized as Belonging Ambassadors. In so doing, they have promised to serve as positive role models, to be positive leaders in our schools, to support other students who may be in situations in which they are being marginalized, and to seek out adults to help when they see dehumanizing behavior of any sort. We are training them how to identify such behaviors and to take appropriate next steps. Our Equity Team is currently supporting the development of a districtwide process that empowers all students in this work.
    • Ensuring classroom and common spaces are clean and welcoming: Our district administrative team is partnering with our Facilities Department in a collaborative effort to meet more frequently with custodians, to provide feedback and more frequent input on cleaning priorities. We have already built more robust partnerships with our dedicated custodial staff to ensure that our schools are as healthy, clean and safe as they possibly can be.
    • Providing shared experiences in schools that build healthy communities and healthy children: Our students have provided fantastic feedback on our food programs. In collaboration with Chartwells, we are continuing to expand home-style ingredients and options in our program. We have added a burrito bar at LHS and are working toward building the capacity to expand to a sandwich/deli bar at LMS. Some limitations on space have made the middle school expansion a bit challenging. But with additional staffing, we are hoping to expand to that option. Based on student feedback, we have also added staffing to make revisions to our service at the high school, allowing lines to move faster and provide more social time at lunches. Chartwells has also committed to partnering with our Cougar Cabinet students and other focus groups at our school to sample and offer feedback on new menu offerings. We are committed to bringing student voice to our food service decisions.
    • Planning for a future in our schools that accounts for more students who will also be more diverse: We have convened a Citizens’ Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) to consider the capacity and condition of the facilities in our district. The group has so far prioritized growth and future enrollment capacity, the educational mission of the district (as articulated by the Lakewood Compact) and facility conditions and needed improvements. They have closely explored the existing conditions of three of our five schools through these lenses and have demonstrated a passion for ensuring that each and every Lakewood student attends schools that allow them to fulfill their promise. Next Tuesday evening, you are invited to attend the CFAC Community Forum at Lakewood Middle School from 6-7 p.m. This will be a chance to hear the committee’s initial findings and to offer feedback.
    • Expanding access for non-English speaking families:  We are continuing to extend methods of engagement through our new Language Access Policy.  This has included clearer communication and easier access to families who need translation/interpreting services.  We continue to improve our website in ways that make translation easier.  We have also introduced new tablets in schools that allow real-time, effective translation between non-English speakers and school staff.  Thanks to our partnership with LincNW, we are finding ways to engage and support families who may need additional services or resources to ensure their students are able to engage fully in school and in our community.
    • Lakewood Community Forums and Events that focus on shared community interests: We are planning new ways to connect with one another.  We are currently planning our Lakewood High School 40th Anniversary Celebration on April 26th at 6 p.m. In the coming months, Mayor Jon Nehring of Marysville has agreed to engage the Lakewood Community in a forum at Lakewood High School. Our thoughts so far have centered on the need for the voices of the Lakewood community to be heard as development under the state’s Growth Management Act continues. The upcoming forum is the start of what I hope and believe will be a deeper and longer-term relationship between our community and Marysville.
  • Facilitators: 
    Bryan Toutant, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning

    Ryan Brown, Community Partner (LINCNW)
    Maribeth Darst-Curran (Housing Hope)
    Michelle Cottrell, Parent/Community Member
    Nancy Esquivel, Parent/Community Member
    LaToya Morris, Parent/Community Member
    Kari Parks, Parent/Community Member
    Sukhwinder Sidhu, Parent/Community Member
    Sara LeTellier, Staff Member
    Joey Wasson, Staff Member
    Amanda Cote, Principal
    Amie Verellen-Grubbs, District Administrator
    Sandy Gotts, Board Member
    Alec Clark, Student
    Kahlan Buckley, Student
    Helena Burroughs, Student