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Clovis Grove Elementary School

Grade Level
Elementary School

An Emphasis on Equity

Schools are responsible for reimagining educational systems to ensure that learning opportunities are equitable for all students. It can be difficult to know how to begin, but actively reflecting on who the systems are not working for can help make the necessary changes.

The work of the Upstanders Committee

After sustaining implementation for some years, Clovis Grove Elementary School (Menasha Joint School District), has shifted their focus to equity and has committed resources to transformation.

First, the school examined student data deeply, set goals to reduce the risk ratios for students who are marginalized and established an equity team. The equity team developed professional learning around implicit bias and microaggressions, which led to the creation of an Upstanders Committee to continue building staff knowledge and skills. In Menasha, Upstanders are leaders or facilitators who commit to being an anti-racist conversation facilitator in their buildings. They look to bring people together in conversation to promote outcomes where students of color can thrive academically and socially in their system. The Upstanders Committee provides coaching support for individuals or for all staff.

One district support which has helped Clovis Grove’s efforts is the school’s equity mentor. According to Principal Tammy Richter, all schools in Menasha Joint School District have equity mentors who coach adults and students alike. Clovis Grove’s mentor is available to provide individual coaching to staff upon request. Equity mentors proactively build relationships with students and their families.“It’s really making a lot of changes, especially for our students who are black and African American,” Richter said.

Adaptation during the pandemic

Menasha’s district emphasis on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and on universal practices were valuable resources for their schools during the pandemic. Before school began, the district produced a comprehensive plan for using PBIS in a virtual learning environment. At the school-level, PBIS committees adapted the district plan to their individual buildings.
Universal practice coach Heidi Dike knew that students depend on the structure of the classroom environment, whether instruction is in person or virtual. During this time, she worked with staff to come up with ideas on how their goals could still be met. “What it came down to is remembering what our best practices were, and because we had been doing it for so long, and we knew it was important. It didn’t change what we did–it just changed how we did it,” she said.

Bar chart showing that Clovis Grove reduced the high-risk of absenteeism for Black student

Clovis Grove’s focus and structure has led to continued reductions in office discipline referrals (ODRs) and better attendance for Black students. They are also seeing improvements in their academic data for Black students.

Richter believes that Clovis Grove would have had a difficult time meeting students’ needs during the pandemic without both district support and their school PBIS committee. “We’re part of a system,” she said. “I could reach out to the district and know that’s where I could get my support.”

Clovis Grove Elementary School was featured in one of our previous annual reports. Knowing how implementation changes over time, we revisited them to see what was new and learn how their system helped them serve their community during the pandemic. To read more about the earlier part of their journey,  check out our 2017-18 report (p. 13).