Equity Policy Development

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OSD Equity Survey graphic


OSD student developed equity surveys now available

The Olympia School District’s Equity Policy Steering Committee (EPSC) is pleased to announce the launch of the OSD Student Developed Equity Surveys for OSD secondary students, educators and families.


In partnership with OSD Board Members, the Superintendent’s Office, the Teaching and Learning Department and supporting team members from across the district, student board representatives met over the last few months to develop and refine the survey questions. Survey questions are directed at topics and issues directly affecting students daily lives; some questions may be difficult to answer.


The survey data collected is anonymous and all questions are optional. Honest opinions and thorough participation in these surveys and the data collected will be used to help Olympia students and the EPSC inform the development of our district’s Equity Policy this spring to serve ALL interested parties districtwide.


OSD Equity Survey QR Codes

Follow the links below (or scan the appropriate QR code) to participate in the OSD Equity Policy Surveys by March 31, 2023:


Submit questions to the OSD Equity TeamOpening in a new window. For more information on this process, or should you have any additional questions, please email [email protected].



In-Person Equity Policy Focus Groups Update:


March 4, 2023: Open-Registration Focus Group


March 18, 2023: Open-Registration Focus Group

  • Location: Lincoln Elementary School
  • Room: Library
  • Time: 2-3:30 p.m.
  • Registration


Note: There will be a maximum number of 15 participants per session. Child Care will be provided courtesy of the Olympia Education Foundation.



Virtual Equity Policy Focus Groups Update:

Students, Parents/Families, and Community Members can now sign up for virtual equity policy focus groups to share your thoughts with the District to help inform the development of the District’s equity policy.


To be added as a participant to an upcoming virtual focus group, select an available date and time hereOpening in a new window or select the link below. The virtual focus groups are scheduled as follows:


  • Dates: 2/28, 3/2, 3/8
  • Start Time: 6:00 pm
  • End Time: 7:30 pm
  • Format: Zoom
  • Maximum # of Participants per Focus Group: 20


After you signup, the Zoom meeting invitation will be sent to the email address you provided. Please try to join the meeting a few minutes early to ensure the Zoom application is up-to-date and so we can honor each other’s time.



The Olympia School District is excited to announce the launch of the Equity Policy Stakeholder Focus Groups - a series of discussions and data collection to inform the development of our Equity Policy, which will be presented to the school board in Spring 2023.


Starting January 9, 2023, the District will begin taking requests to schedule Stakeholder Focus Groups from January 17, 2023 - March 31, 2023. Students, staff, families, and community members or groups can submit a request to have the District lead a focus group at a mutually agreeable date, time, and location or decide to self-moderate a focus group and share the information with the District. We also developed a Focus Group Toolkit to support moderators and have scheduled one-hour REQUIRED training sessions with the District's lead Equity Facilitator, Dr. Kimberlee Armstrong, In Lead Out, LLC.


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 stakeholders 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.



Equity Policy Development

The Olympia School District is committed to creating an equitable school district that serves ALL students well. As part of that commitment, the district is developing and implementing an Equity Policy that will include procedures and accountability measures. The policy will be collaboratively designed with the community to ensure a more inclusive school and work culture that promotes equity and addresses systemic and institutional barriers that have historically marginalized students, staff and families.


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 August 25, 2022)


Committee Membership

  • Adia Waters, Student
  • 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
  • Michelle Pineda, Student
  • Parfait Bassale, Community Member
  • Patrick Murphy, Superintendent
  • Rahma Gaye, Student Representative, Olympia School Board
  • Rebekah Gabrielle Ponte, Student
  • 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



Tentative 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 to Launch