Q&A with CUSD director of equity, Dr. Adama Sallu

Dr. Adama Sallu is the director off equity and inclusion at the district. The Precedent staff got to have the following question and answer session with her on the topic of Deep Equity.

ANNA MYERS: Who wrote/created the program?
DR. ADAMA SALLU: Corwin through the work of Dr. Gary Howard developed the Deep Equity learning materials utilized.

AM: Why have the schools chosen to adopt it?
AS: CUSD adopted these resources because it met the guidelines the district leadership was seeking in fulfilling the direction of the CUSD Governing Board.

AM: What is the program’s mission statement, if any?
AS: To meet the Chandler School District Vision [which is]: Chandler Unified School District is a safe and productive environment where students and adults are engaged in meaningful learning. Our diverse population is a strength, and a spirit of equity, collaboration, and respect permeates our community.

AM: How does the district feel the program will benefit our campuses?
AS: The program is intended to create equitable learning spaces for all students within CUSD and cultivate the voices of students to serve as leaders in their learning community.

AM: What are some of the issues that the program has been designed to address and how does it propose faculty members solve said issues?
AS: The Governing Board established five equity metrics that serves as a guiding principle in the work of educational equity.
Access, achievement, discipline, graduation rate and perception.
For example, the perception metric went out to all students in grades 4th-12 grade last November. The data served as a baseline in moving forward with the work of creating equitable learning spaces for all students. A second survey questions will go out next month. The Perception survey examine five key areas: climate, disposition, knowledge, opportunities and skills.
Student responses are unpacked in a manner that help promote equitable practices at our school sites.

AM: Perry staff members received a question and answer session with a student panel at their Deep Equity training on, Oct. 14. Are you aware of any other high schools within the district providing their faculty with the same experience?
AS: Yes! All high schools are authentically engaged in the work and promoting the generational dialogue between students and staff. Secondly, during our first inaugural equity symposium last June, CUSD Y.E.S. students from all six high schools served as a panelist, moderators, and served in several critical roles during the symposium.
Cultivating student voices for equity is a core belief in creating and sustaining equity work. The symposium was attended by 500 CUSD administrators and staff. All evaluation rated Y.E.S. student participation as exceptional.

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