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Equity Resources for Districts and BOCES

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

As school and district leaders work to address the learning impacts that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, broader and newfound equity gaps will undoubtedly emerge.  With this in mind, a CDE-wide, cross unit team collaborated to curate internal and external* resources to assist educators in addressing these challenges.  This page provides tools and resources to help educators bring an equity lens to their systems, policies, and everyday work.

Hands raised high with a chalkboard in the background.


Apply principles of improvement science when seeking to address an inequity:

  1. Make the work problem-specific and user-centered.
  2. Variation in performance is the core problem to address.
  3. See the system that produces the current outcomes.
  4. Embed measures of key outcomes and processes to track if change is an improvement.
  5. Engage rapid cycles of Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) to learn fast, fail fast, and improve quickly.
  6. Embrace the wisdom of crowds.  We can accomplish more together than even the best of us can accomplish alone.
  7. Repeat.

Apply the following equity lens questions prior to making a policy or practice change:

  • Are the people most impacted meaningfully included in discussions and decisions?
  • What policies or practices contribute to the exclusion?
  • What are you already doing to promote inclusion?
  • Who is accountable for making changes that ensure inclusion?
  • How does our organization hold accountability to change practices?


Federal Resources

  • Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) - The CRDC collects data from a sample of school districts on key education and civil rights issues in our nation's public schools, including student enrollment and educational programs and services, disaggregated by race/ethnicity, sex, limited English proficiency and disability.
  • Race and National Origin Discrimination: Frequently Asked Questions - U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) – This resource page includes information about frequently asked questions regarding discrimination and harassment on the basis of race and national origin. This resources also provides Information about how schools are expected to respond under Title VI, which prohibits discrimination in educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

State Resources

  • Colorado Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - This page provides tools and resources to help all people throughout all levels of state government bring an equity mindset to their systems, policies, and everyday work as public servants.
  • Colorado Equity Toolkit for Administrators - This toolkit is designed to support administrators in creating a plan and action steps for intervention and maintenance of a more accepting culture.
  • Colorado Department of Higher Education Equity Toolkit - This toolkit focuses on introductory, beginner level strategies and techniques to help individual educators start to develop and refine their knowledge and skills to become more inclusive practitioners. The site is especially designed for individuals who have limited or no access to professional development related to inclusive teaching. Please note that the most effective professional development requires a skilled facilitator working with a group of educators.
  • Culture Shift: Four Traps that Undermine Action Steps Toward an Equitable Learning Environment for All Students - It is not enough to acknowledge the existing barriers and inequities faced by our students. The actual impact on the lives of marginalized populations has life-long impacts on our youth regardless of our good intentions. Therefore, the importance of acting as soon as possible to alleviate the barriers facing historically impacted groups of students cannot be overemphasized. A comprehensive root cause analysis promotes the capacity of leaders to create action-plans designed to timely address equity gaps. Becoming agents of change requires a commitment to join with others to take positive steps to remove barriers and promote equitable practices within each educational institution. This resource is designed to guide leaders in identifying persistent and destructive traps that will undermine action steps to address the identified equity gaps.
  • Diverse and Learner-Ready Teachers (DLRT) Initiative - The network is working to revise, enact or remove state policies that will address specific challenges for both diversifying the educator workforce and ensuring all educators are culturally responsive in practice.
  • Online Instructional Resources for English Learners -  To assist the education community or the general public with resources for English learners, the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE) has identified instructional resources for English learners on this site which provides links to external websites.
  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Colorado Public Schools - This committee is tasked with creating a resource bank and making recommendations to the State Board of Education about the knowledge and skills that students should acquire related to Holocaust and Genocide studies, including but not limited to the Armenian genocide.
  • History, Culture, Social Contributions, and Civil Government in Education Commission - During the 2019 legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 19-1192 concerning the Inclusion of Matters Relating to American Minorities in the Teaching of Social Contributions in History and Civil Government in Public Schools.  This legislation creates a Commission appointed by the Governor, the Commissioner of Education, and the President of the State Historical Society.
  • Western Education Equity Assistance Center (WEEAC) at Metropolitan State University of Denver - An Equity Assistance Center funded by the United States Department of Education under Title IV of Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This center provides training and technical assistance on educational issues related to race, sex, national origin, and religion.  In addition, WEEAC has an emphasis on the prevention of bullying and harassment in schools.

Resources for Educators

*This list does not comprehensively cover all external organizations related to this topic. The details provided regarding external organizations are provided for information only. The Colorado Department of Education does not endorse, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content, services, or other materials provided by these educational service providers. Any reliance upon any information, content, materials, products, services, or vendors included on or found through this listing shall be at the user's sole risk.

  • Learning for Justice - Learning for Justice provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use their materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.
  • ¡Colorín Colorado! - The premier national website serving educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades PreK-12. Colorín Colorado has been providing free research-based information, activities, and advice to parents, schools, and communities around the country for more than a decade.
  • Seizing the Moment: A District Guide to Advance Equity Through ESSA - The Aspen Institute - This tool was developed to offer district/system teams with guidance around ensuring equity is advanced through ESSA. Eight major issues are addressed: (1) leveraging school improvement to advance equity (2) ensuring equitable funding (3) increasing access to advanced coursework (4) addressing disproportionate discipline practices (5) increasing access to effective teachers and leaders (6) integrating social, emotional and academic development (7) supporting English learners & (8) improving access to high-quality instructional materials. 
  • The Nonprofit Association of Oregon Equity and Inclusion Guide - This comprehensive handbook helps staff and management of municipalities view their planning and program development and delivery activities to ensure they are inclusive of the full diversity of residents. 
  • K-12 Equity Directors: Configuring the Role for Impact - This brief draws from qualitative interviews we conducted with 13 practicing equity directors from districts across the United States. Since 2016, we have been studying equity directors - who they are, what they do and how- the districts that employ them, and the constraints and affordances of their roles. This series of research briefs informs community and district-based stakeholders about this emerging district leadership role.