Partnering for Equity and Inclusion in Revere, MA

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The Context

Revere Public Schools serves about 7,000 students in 11 schools in Revere, Massachusetts, a racially/ethnically diverse community located northeast of Boston with a growing population of English learners (31%), students with disabilities (17%), and low-income students (68%).

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African American: 3.3%

Asian: 3.9%

Hispanic: 62.4%

White: 28.6%

Multi-Race, Non-Hispanic: 1.4%

The Partnership Journey

Revere Public Schools’ (RPS) equity journey progressed to the point of needing an external perspective to support strategic next steps by understanding the current lived experiences of staff, students, and families. RPS partnered with Mass Insight in late 2020 to conduct a district equity audit, supported by funding from the Nellie Mae Foundation. We gathered and analyzed data, artifacts, and policies to understand the district’s status and approach toward ensuring equitable access, opportunities, and outcomes. We conducted interviews, focus groups, and surveys with students, families, school staff, central office staff, community partners, and other key stakeholders to understand the district’s current strengths and areas for growth relative to equity. And Mass Insight supported the district with communication efforts and leveraged their multilingual staff support to ensure the inclusion of marginalized populations (such as immigrant families) throughout this process.

The RPS equity audit report provided Mass Insight’s findings by domain of our District Equity Framework, in addition to recommended short- and long-term next steps. A school committee presentation and facilitated session with district and school leaders served as the hand-off of the equity audit report to RPS, setting them up for next steps in their equity journey.

At the completion of the audit process:

  • On average, 81% of district and school leaders reported increased awareness of how systems, structures, policies, and practices impact the district’s students, staff, and families, the ways and methods for creating greater equity in the district, and the experience and outcomes of marginalized populations in the district.
  • On average, 79% of district and school leaders reported greater confidence in planning next steps, making decisions, building a stronger commitment, and communicating about equity topics and issues with stakeholders.

The Impact

The equity audit created an avenue for the district to build a common understanding of district needs and the ways to further equity in the district. The district viewed the recommendations and the implementation guide as the key components of the audit that helped the district move forward to real actions, calling them “a roadmap for the success of implementing those findings.” District leaders reported that the equity audit process and report allowed all key stakeholders to feel proud, concerned, and motivated to work toward providing equitable opportunities for all student populations in the district.

After six months, the equity audit led to a series of changes in practice, including holding professional development sessions on culturally responsive practices to build DEI awareness, developing an equity plan for each school, creating school equity teams and affinity groups, creating a bias incident reporting form, and changing family engagement policy and practices. Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Inclusion, Lourenço Garcia, Ed.D., shares that almost two years after the completion of the equity audit, Revere Public Schools has been intentionally and consistently using the equity audit findings and recommendations to inform its District Improvement Plan and decision making.

Across the district, all eleven K-12 schools prioritize and incorporate key findings of the equity audit into their school improvement and equity plans. Culturally responsive teaching rubrics and “look fors” have been developed and are being used to assess teaching and learning qualities and provide timely feedback to teachers to improve practice. In addition, the Equity Advisory Board consistently uses the equity audit report to drive systems change, especially related to district-wide education policies and practices.

Looking ahead, the district plans to conduct an equity pause in the foreseeable future to reflect on their learning journey together, remind themselves of their shared goals/practices, and name what they can do to continue to support equity and inclusion in their schools.

They really care about the work they’ve done, and they want the district to succeed.

District Administrator

Revere Public Schools

The equity audit report has become a “North Star” document that informs and guides our district vision, policies, and practices as we continue to build a more equitable, inclusive, and just school system for ALL students and families.

Lourenço Garcia, Ed.D.

Revere Public Schools

Meet the Authors

Senior Researcher
Engagement Director
Revere Public Schools

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