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Excellence through Equity Action Plan

December 15, 2016 - Read the Plan.

Presentation of Action Plan

Video Presentation

Slideshow - 11/17/16
Slideshow - 10/20/16
Slideshow - 09/22/16

Presentation starts at the 29:57 mark

SMMUSD Working to Achieve Educational Access and Equity for All

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education approved a framework for Excellence through Equity for all students in the summer of 2016, following an equity review conducted in spring 2016.

The first step in implementing this plan was the Board’s acceptance of District Priorities for 2016-2019, at a summer 2016 school board meeting. The District Priorities references Shared Values and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Priorities.

This initial framework will be developed to include action steps by the responsible department and will be posted here as finalized.

Excellence through Equity Priorities


Extraordinary achievement for all while simultaneously closing the achievement gap.


We make decisions and allocate resources with “students first” in mind.

We meet our students where they are and provide the necessary resources and attention to make all students successful.

We engage students in meaningful, rigorous and relevant educational experiences where they are inspired, supported, challenged and motivated.

We are stronger when we collaborate, dialogue and listen to each other in a civil, productive way, to improve outcomes for our students.

We respect and value our diverse student and staff population as an integral part of our learning community.

We work and dialogue with each other in a respectful manner, setting the example for our students of how civil discourse leads to positive outcomes.


1. Conditions of Learning
We create coherent supports that foster a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement to ensure equity and high-quality learning environments for all students.

2. Student Outcomes
We create a culture of feedback and improvement, where students are given regular and consistent feedback and opportunities for improvement while ensuring that staff are monitoring the data and creating school-wide and district-wide systems of support for different habits of mind and learning needs.

3. Stakeholder Engagement
We connect with all stakeholders through routine internal/external communications and provide meaningful opportunities for input and participation with stakeholder groups around shared goal areas.

4. Resource and Operations Management
We develop systems and improve operations that ensure district resources are used effectively and efficiently in support of district values.


Student Achievement

· Provide inclusive, engaging and culturally-responsive Tier I instruction to our diverse, PreK-12 student population.*

· Align our curriculum to the California standards.*

· Work in highly-effective teams to support teaching and learning.

· Integrate College and Career Readiness, Technology and 21st Century Skills throughout the curriculum.*

· Implement an ethnic studies/American culture curriculum such that all high school students have a common academic experience prior to graduation.

· Implement a set of early warning indicators aligned to multi-tiered, systematic responses.*

Human Resources Development

· Recruit a highly-qualified staff that mirrors our student demographics.*

· Retain staff by providing a positive work climate, recognition and effective evaluations.*

· Collaborate with SMMCTA, SEIU, and other partners to build staff capacity.*

· Support and develop effective school and district leadership through coaching.*

School Connectedness

· Include anti-bullying and social-emotional supports within the curriculum.*

· Strengthen health and wellness services to our students.

· Create positive school climate and school connectedness.*

· Develop systems that support positive student behavior and implement restorative means of correction.*

Resource and Facility Management

· Develop a long-term facility plan.

· Ensure facilities are safe, sustainable and well-maintained.

· Prepare our school communities for emergencies and disasters.

· Attain and maintain a balanced and fiscally-responsible budget.

Parent and Community Partnerships

· Engage families meaningfully to support student learning with an emphasis on historically under-represented parents.*

· Communicate news and information to staff, parents and the community.*

· Collaborate with city, education, business and philanthropic partners.

· Provide quality customer service throughout the district.

* Recommended by Dr. Pedro Noguera

Working with Dr. Pedro Noguera and His Team

SMMUSD began working with Dr. Noguera and his team in fall 2015 to develop an action plan to assist the district in taking the next best steps to address achievement gaps in the district and further current equity and access work. The first phase of this work was an equity review, completed and presented to the district in spring 2016. For the review, the team visited each school in the district and gathered data to examine trends across the district so that they can make school-specific and district-wide recommendations. The team visited classrooms and spoke with staff and student focus groups.

Dr. Noguera made a special presentation on April 7, 2016 to the SMMUSD Board of Education, City officials, staff, and community members addressing his findings and recommendations. Click on the links below to read the reports, view the slide show of his presentation, and to watch videos of Dr. Noguera's presentation and the subsequent Q & A session.

Presentation & Slide Show

Videos of Presentation

Executive Summary (English)
Introduction (Running time 8:45)
Executive Summary (en español) Presentation (Running time 54:48)
Full Report Question & Answer Session (Running time 1:32:0)
Slide Show Presentation
Slide Show Presentation (en español)

Superintendent Sandra Lyon Talks with Dr. Pedro Noguera

Before Dr. Pedro Noguera and his team began their investigation into how to best implement educational equity and access for all Santa Monica Malibu-Unified School District students, Superientendent Sandra Lyon sat down with the esteemed educatior for a discussion about the problems and the process involved.

Click on the video to the left to view their fascinating and informative conversation. (Running time 11:49)

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
1651 16th Street
Santa Monica, California 90404