Volume 4 | February 2019
EOS' Excellence in Equity Newsletter
Your bimonthly newsletter on equity & opportunity at the highest levels
Renewal Time
To continue your partnership with EOS, we invite you to begin the renewal process for the 2019-20 academic year. If you haven't already received your renewal letter, contact us to request your Collaboration Agreement (CA) and/or to set-up a phone conversation. Your signed CA is due April 15, 2019 . Click below to renew and access the individual flyers.

Experience Success: Designed for second-year partners promoting student success.

Extend Equity: Allows third-year partners to engage in EOS' regional Equity Leader Labs.

S ustain Equity: For partners with leadership and capacity to sustain their equity focus.
Designed to support students of color and low-income students towards a successful experience in their first AP/IB course by removing barriers and making the environment more welcoming.
Designed to engage school and district leaders in their equity journey, through a community of practice (Equity Leader Labs) and the use of EOS data analysis, tools, and reports.
Designed for partners who are prepared to take nearly full ownership of the process for closing, and keeping closed, opportunity gaps in AP/IB participation, with remote thought-partnership and support from EOS.
I ntroducing the fourth phase of Action For Equity: Sustain Equity

Sustain Equity is designed for partners who are prepared to take nearly full ownership of the process for closing, and keeping closed, opportunity gaps in AP/IB participation, with remote thought-partnership and support from EOS.

By this phase in a district’s equity journey, partners have developed the internal leadership and capacity to sustain their focus on opening access and creating conditions for success for students of color and low-income students in AP/IB coursework.

Maintaining equity requires ongoing monitoring of participation trends and strategically recruiting students who might otherwise be overlooked for this opportunity to experience a rigorous academic environment.

Students are 10-15% more likely to graduate from a 2- or 4-year college if they have taken an AP/IB course. Likewise, they are 25-35% more likely to graduate college if they’ve taken and passed an AP/IB exam.
Student Experiences
Mason, 12 th Grader
Ventura County District

“...I play football and one of the guys [on the AP student panel] plays football too. I knew he wouldn't lead me in the wrong direction. So, I told myself, 'take a leap of faith' - so I took that leap of faith.”
Cecilia, 10 th Grader
Southern California

 “Teachers and peers see your grades, and say, ‘Oh, you do really good, you should consider AP,’ and you take that advice because you know them on a personal level and you trust them.”
Samuel 10 th Grader
North Carolina High School

"I was glad I took AP because at the end of it, I gained a lot of knowledge. It was really different compared to honors, especially the way the teacher talks."
Click on each student to read their full story.
*Per FERPA, names and images have been changed to protect students’ identities.
Administrator Experiences:
Equity of Opportunity for all…
In my sixteen years as a Superintendent of Schools, I have been afforded numerous opportunities to make decisions about what's right for and how to engage students. These decisions were grounded in student-centered decision-making with a focus on equity of opportunity for all students in the districts that I served.
 
In December of 2005, I was the Superintendent of Schools for Hinsdale Township, a suburb of Chicago. As winter break was approaching, a Chicago Section 8 housing project was shut down. This resulted in the displacement of thousands of families / students who were mostly socio-economically disadvantaged students of color. Upon returning from winter break, many of these displaced students enrolled in Hinsdale Township. As the Superintendent, I had to make real-time decisions on how to assimilate these students into our classrooms and ensure they felt welcomed.

Retired Superintendent Dr. Nick Wahl
*Extracted from ' Addressing Equity in our Schools '
Challenge
I challenge each of you to ask yourself what have I done to create equity of opportunity for all students in my district, school, or classroom? You will not only be giving your students “keys to doors of opportunities” that they did not know existed, you will be changing the trajectory of families in a positive way!
Partner Spotlight: Auburn School District
Auburn, WA
The Auburn School District is one of our longest-standing partners, launching in 2012. For much of that time, Tom McDermott, Assistant Director, Career and College Readiness, has provided district leadership to the partnership. He was the Assistant Principal at Auburn HS during their first year of the partnership. In that year, the high school more than doubled the rate at which students of color and students from low-income households accessed AP.
 
This year, Tom passed the District Lead baton to Adam Ladage, Assistant Director, Student Learning Grades 8 - 12 . We sat down with Tom to reflect on the past six years, to see what most resonated from our partnership, and to ask him to share some wisdom with district leaders who may be just starting their partnership with EOS this year.
EOS Improves Access and Success in AP/IB Classes in Large Districts
Access: Students Found
EOS has worked with several large school districts to increase access to AP and IB courses for students of color and low-income students. Throughout their partnership with us, these large districts showed large gains in participation.
 Success: Student AP Course and Exam Performance
Many prospective partners wonder if expanding access will come at the expense of maintaining program rigor. Our data from other large districts show stability in program performance. Overall course pass rates are maintained within 2% and AP grades fluctuate less than a tenth of a point. 
With Change Comes Opportunity
With change comes opportunity. And if there is one thing that EOS is known for- it is opportunity. Our organization is going through changes. It has actually become pretty routine for us. We continue to grow, add new schools, reimagine ways to serve our clients and develop new and dynamic methods to advocate for students.
 
Recently, our founder and CEO, Reid Saaris , decided it was time to pass the baton to a new leader. This is never an easy step- especially for a founder. But Reid has always been a few steps ahead ( read accomplishments and reflections ). We are excited about this transition. We have a fabulous team and amazing partners. We expect this change to propel us forward and that under new leadership we will continue to thrive- maybe even be better than ever.
 
Our Board will soon begin the search for a permanent CEO. In the meantime, we have an awesome Interim-CEO, Deb Merle .
 
This is the time of year when we renew your Collaboration Agreements (CA) and sign up new schools. We could use your help. If you know of a school district or school leader that might be a good fit for EOS, please send them our way . If a CA is sitting on your desk waiting to be signed, please sign it and send it in.
 
Our work is driven by our commitment to students of color and low-income students. We often say that “opportunity precedes achievement”. Too often, and in ways that are stubbornly persistent, students of color and low-income students are STILL not provided equitable access and opportunity. Their genius goes unrecognized and their talents languish. Together, we can change this. We look forward to our continued work with you to ensure absolute opport unity for our students of color and low-income students. Onward!

Dr. Sasha Rabkin, Chief Program Officer
Reid Saaris, Founder & Board Member
Deb Merle, I-CEO
The Board of Directors for Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) announced that the nonprofit agency’s CEO and Founder, Reid Saaris, has decided to step down as CEO effective February 1, 2019, beginning an orderly leadership transition that will take place over the next six to nine months.

" EOS is an amazing organization full of people dedicated to improving the lives of students of color and low-income students by ensuring access to rigorous high school programs that will prepare them well for college. I’m honored to have been chosen to lead the team during this transition and can’t wait to get started.”
Equity Case Studies
The equity case studies highlight districts' reasons for engaging in the equity work, as well as what they have learned.


Let EOS promote your equity efforts through a new or updated equity case study. Download the questionnaire and submit for inclusion.
Upcoming Events
March 30 - April 1, 2019 – Dr. Chris Belcher and Dr. Wanda Brown, of Equal Opportunity Schools and Dr. Jack Smith, Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, have been selected to co-present at the 2019 NSBA Annual Conference , Philadelphia, PA.

July 18-20, 2019 – Dr. Nick Wahl , of Equal Opportunity Schools, has submitted to present at the NASSP National Conference , Boston MA

Contact marketing@EOSchools.org if interested in co-presenting at future conferences.
Black Lives Matter at School Curriculum Resource Guide is now available! These are free downloadable resources.
EOS in the News
For updated articles on EOS and district partners, visit the EOS News Page .


If you have an interesting student, staff or administrator story you would like to share with the EOS community, tweet us at @EqualOppSchools or @EquityLeaderLab.