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All Students Belong: School Safety Assessment Underway

School board undertakes All Students Belong initiative prioritizing safety and belonging for all students

Eugene School District 4J’s school board has set a priority to address racial inequities and work toward safety and belonging for all students, an initiative known as All Students Belong. The board plans to put together a workgroup this fall to develop recommendations related to student and school safety.

As a first step, the board has hired the consulting team SeeChange LLC to undertake an initial assessment of data and policies related to safety and belonging in order to provide the workgroup with information, including what is already working well, what is not working and for whom, what opportunities exist, and what promising practices have been developed.

This school and student safety assessment will help clarify the strengths and challenges in the district, as well as what the opportunities are for improvement. The assessment will serve as the foundation upon which the workgroup will develop recommendations to enhance safety and belonging for all students. School resource officers and their relationship to and impact for schools and students are part of the conversation about safety, but just one of the many parts.

The assessment will bring in stakeholder perspectives through focus groups with educators and students most likely to be impacted by current safety and discipline policies, survey input from all students and educators, and a review of previous focus groups and community conversations including the extensive Student Success Act community engagement in 2019–20. 

This first-of-its-kind assessment will help create a shared understanding, informed by lived experiences and quantitative data, of the challenges and opportunities for all students in 4J schools to feel safe and that they belong. Any recommendations the future workgroup develops will be more impactful if they are grounded in the realities of the district. Strengthening this shared understanding of what’s currently happening will create more space for a shared vision of what is possible.

SeeChange will present its findings to the school board in August.

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