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AUSD's Anti-Bias Work

Over the last several years, AUSD - like other districts in Alameda County, California, and the nation at large - has experienced an increase in reports of bias-related incidents. Those incidents have included racist and anti-Semitic graffiti, text messages, and symbols directed at students and families in our districts.

 

In response, AUSD has taken a number of steps to train staff in identifying and responding to bias, as well as provide resources to families and the community at large. That work includes:

Professional Development

  • The Anti-Defamation League provided AUSD teachers and administrators with foundational anti-bias training in 2017-18.   

  • Facing History will be providing training to AUSD staff in 2018-19.

Discipline

  • Reviewing the AUSD Anti-Bullying Statement with an eye toward improving it

  • Reviewing existing Disciplinary Matrices

  • Continuing to implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to create healthier school climates in all of our schools

  • Continuing to train staff on restorative justice practices as part of that PBIS work

  • Planning refresher courses for all site administrators on how to respond to and report bullying incidents

  • Developing an online bias reporting tool and database for site administrators

Curricula

  • Implementing a new K-5 English Language Arts that includes a strong social-emotional learning component

  • Reviewing materials from outside organizations (such as Teaching Tolerance, Anti-Defamation League, and Facing History) to use in establishing a stronger anti-bias framework

  • Exploring ways to align our History/Social Sciences curriculum with our anti-bias/anti-bullying work

  • Reviewing the literature used in conjunction with the anti-bullying lessons developed in 2010, updating it, and continuing to train staff in the anti-bullying curriculum

  • Providing teachers and administrators with lesson plans and resources on talking to students about bias

Community Engagement

In addition to the forum held with the Anti-Defamation League in May, 2017, AUSD is:

  • Providing tips on talking to students about general issues related to hate and bias on its website

  • Providing talking points and resources on national hate and bias incidents on its website and in newsletters

  • Holding a series of district-wide workshops to discuss recent incidents, district responses, and next steps with families

  • Developing ways to engage various stakeholders in providing input on next steps for the district and the community at large in anti-bias/anti-bullying work

  • Continuing to support our LGBTQ Round Table,  Latino Achievers Alliance (ALCANCE), and Jewish Education Round Table.

  • Adopting a Resolution Affirming Our AUSD Pledge to Protect All Students and providing it to schools to post in every classroom. 

anti-bias work

bias-related incident tracking

The Tool

In August 2018, AUSD implemented a Bias-Related Incident Tracking (BRIT) tool to gather more accurate data on the number and type of discriminatory and harassing incidents occurring across the district's campuses.

 

Built on a LaserFiche software program, the BRIT allows school site staff to submit brief reports on bias-related incidents so that the data can then be collected and analyzed periodically. The data includes information on the protected characteristic targeted in the action (e.g., age, color, gender, gender identity, race, and religion) as well as the category of individuals who committed the action (e.g., student, staff, or parent). 

 

This program supplements (rather than replaces) existing bias and bullying documentation systems, such as formal and informal complaint files, student information systems, and reporting processes at the individual school sites. The goal again was to create a tool for gathering and analyzing data district wide.

 

Reports

 

This data will be presented to the Board of Education and communication semi-annually. It will also be shared with site administrators and partners (such as Facing History) to identify the next best steps for responding to bias-related incidents in our schools.

 

Staff provided the first report on the implementation of the tool to the Board of Education on January 8, 2019. At that time, seven AUSD sites had reported 21 incidents. Fourteen of those incidents involved ancestry; 12 involved race or ethnicity; and 11 involved sexual orientation.

 

chart with summary of incidents reported

 

Note: We believe school site staff are still learning how to use this tool, so there may be incidents that weren't captured in this first report.

 

The full presentation (as well as video of the presentation) is available here.