Equity Policy Development

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Equity Policy Development

We believe in serving ALL students well. Critical to our success, the district's Equity Policy Steering Committee consisting of students, staff, family, community members and district leaders was formed to provide valuable insight, counsel and feedback on moving a draft policy forward, guiding the initiative toward success. The Committee decided that structured focus groups and feedback sessions with interested parties would be informative, add context to existing data and provide personalized opportunities to hear from those we partner with and serve. This collective community effort will help ensure the Equity policy is grounded in our pursuit of creating a more inclusive school and work culture and addressing long-standing systemic barriers.


An Equity Policy, once created, will serve as a guide for OSD staff when drafting other policies and procedures and making decisions related to high-quality instructional materials, technologies, funding allocations, facilities, staffing and decisions that affect students, families and staff.


Want to participate? Or have questions?


Answer the Equity Policy Focus Group Questions Now

If you could not participate in the district’s focus groups and would like to share your answers to the Focus Group Questions, you can do so here through the Focus Group Questions Google Form.


Policy Development Next Steps

As we officially transition from data collection to co-creating the draft policy, data collection and validation shall continue throughout our journey. Please continue sharing information with the district to help us create an Equity Policy that serves ALL OSD students, families and staff members.


  • Equity Policy Steering Committee - Data Collection Summary (May 2023)
  • Equity Policy Draft Development (June 2023)
  • OSD Board Retreat (July 2023)
  • OSD Equity Policy Community Engagement through Policy Adoption Process (August - September 2023)
  • OSD Equity Policy Adoption Milestone (Fall 2023)


National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

“The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures. (See an illustration of this concept.)”


Source: “Equity-Definition.” Naceweb.org, National Association of Colleges and Employers, https://www.naceweb.org/about-us/equity-definition/


Equity: noun

  1. as in neutrality
    • lack of favoritism toward one side or another
    • The judge considered both sides of the argument with equity
  2. as in justice
    • the practice of giving to others what is their due
    • Basic to the notion of equity is the principle that all people are of equal standing in the eyes of the law

Synonyms & Similar Words

neutrality, objectivity, neutralism, objectiveness, fairness, impartiality, justice, nonpartisanship, evenhandedness, disinterest, tolerance, disinterestedness


Antonyms & Near Antonyms

prejudice, bias, favor, partisanship, favoritism, partiality, chauvinism, subjectivity, nepotism, nonobjectivity, predisposition, inclination


Source: “Equity.” Merriam-Webster Thesaurus



Olympia School District: Let's Talk Equity Videos

The videos below feature Olympia School District students discussing equity in our district and their schools, what that means to them, what works, what does not work, and what will be their focus as members of the equity focus groups currently being formed across our district.





To learn more about the committee’s work, see the information below:



The Olympia School Board held two work sessions – one on December 16, 2021 and another on March 3, 2022 – to discuss the development of an OSD Equity Policy.



Equity Policy Steering Committee

An Equity Policy Steering Committee, including representation from students, staff, families and community members, scheduled its first meeting on March 17, 2022. The committee’s goal is to determine the best ways to authentically engage with the community and gather feedback that will inform the development of an Equity Policy.

OSD Equity Policy Steering Committee

(current as of May, 2023)


Committee Membership 

  • Ali Owen, Student Representative, Olympia School Board
  • Bill S. Kallappa II, Community Member
  • Christine Zhang, Student Representative, Olympia School Board
  • Katie Savinski, Secondary Humanities Instructional Coach
  • Katy Johansson, Olympia Education Foundation and Parent
  • Kindra Galan, CIELO
  • Kris Peters, Local Tribal Leader, Parent and Community Member
  • Maria Flores, Olympia School Board President
  • Patrick Murphy, Superintendent
  • Rahma Gaye, Student Representative, Olympia School Board 
  • Ru'ya Russell, Student Representative, Olympia School Board
  • Sandra Gordon, Native Education & Tribal Relations Program Manager
  • Scott Clifthorne, Olympia School Board Director
  • Tyron Nixon, Parent


Support Roles

  • Kimberlee Armstrong, Facilitator
  • Ryan Howland, OSD Director of Projects & Grants for Student Success


Equity Policy Steering Committee Meeting Summaries


Equity Policy Community Zoom Webinar Held April 13, 2022



Project Timeline


  • December 2021-March 2022: Olympia School Board discusses Equity Policy development during two board work sessions.
  • March 2022: Equity Policy Steering Committee convenes.
  • April-June 2022: Initial work begins on engaging students, staff, families and community members in Equity Policy development through in-person and/or online focus groups, and other forms of engagement/communication.
  • August 2022: Equity Policy Steering Committee resumes meetings, facilitated by Kimberlee Armstrong, CEO In Lead Out, LLC.
  • September - December, 2022: Equity Policy Steering Committee to hold two retreats (September 10 and December 10, 2022), and Olympia School Board to hold two work sessions (October 6 and November 3, 2022), on Equity Policy Development.
  • January 2023: Equity Policy Focus Groups Launch
  • February - April 2023: Student-developed equity surveys open to students, staff and families
  • May 2023: Equity Policy Steering Committee - Data Collection Summary
  •  June 2023: Equity Policy Draft Development
  •  July 2023: OSD Board Retreat
  • August - September 2023: OSD Equity Policy Community Engagement through Policy Adoption Process
  • Fall 2023: OSD Equity Policy Adoption Milestone