About the Blueprint

The Equity Blueprint for Action focuses on improving educational outcomes for three student groups: African American, American Indian, and Latinx. This document highlights community- and research-informed practices common among the three communities, as well as actions and recommendations specific to each community.

As per the community’s request, this document aligns the following considerations, strategies, and aspirations to the state’s LCFF priorities. This alignment supports the public commitment of school systems to improve educational outcomes for our students. Making a public commitment also aligns funds toward the implementation of the suggestions in this document. As public education systems, we must regain the trust that we have lost due to the prevalent and historically low achievement rates across vulnerable communities.

EquityBlueprint-EquityWheel This resource provides asset-based recommendations for local educational agencies to address key issues of equity and amplify the LCFF priorities and redesign their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). Likewise, these recommendations provide practical, action-oriented entry points to support school communities to clearly articulate how they will interrupt inequities in our systems and implement culturally responsive practices and policies that support all children in each school every day.

School systems need a structural organization to frame equity work within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). MTSS is a comprehensive, data-driven framework with equity at its center. This asset-based framework ensures that students receive the support they need when they need it and how they need it. By integrating academics and behavior, it connects both pillars with social and emotional learning. This framework also aims to engage a variety of stakeholders — from students and staff to school community — and is designed to empower the system through stakeholder voice and agency. SDCOE offers professional learning and coaching to schools seeking to ensure a healthy MTSS structure.

To support this parallel, multilayered work in schools and classrooms, including school sites’ School Plans for Student Achievement (SPSA), and classroom unit/lesson plans, resources can be found on the Equity Blueprint for Action companion website. The resources are organized to provide entry points for district, school, and classroom leaders.

This document wouldn’t be possible without the commitment and dedication of our community network, advisory committee members, and student panelists. Our community members have knowledge and wisdom that is critical to serving and teaching children and honoring their cultures. It is incumbent on us to pull in diverse voices to inform our work. Our communities inherently know the best ways to serve and teach our children. How are we actively accessing their wisdom and knowledge as true educational partners in service of our children?


The mission of SDCOE is inspiring and leading innovation in education. This document aims to help achieve this mission by providing community-informed and research-based guidance to improve outcomes for historically marginalized students. Our goal is to identify the systemic barriers that have resulted in longstanding, pervasive opportunity gaps experienced by many African American, American Indian, and Latinx students across San Diego County. We also seek to better understand and address the root causes of these barriers. For example, due in part to low numbers of American Indian students in our K-12 schools, their needs too often remain invisible or unaddressed. We seek to spotlight these and other equity issues and partner with the community to address them in a culturally responsive way. To inform this document, stakeholders from across San Diego County dedicated their time, expertise, and passion during a yearlong dialogue about improving educational outcomes for African American, American Indian, and Latinx students. Stakeholders voiced their dreams, aspirations, and community-specific concerns to improve our K-12 educational systems.

This document aims to honor their collective wisdom.


Intentional Stakeholder Engagement

SDCOE’s process in designing the Equity Blueprint for Action was our attempt to truly listen to our historically marginalized communities, honor their experience and wealth of knowledge, and amplify their voices. The advisory committees will continue to provide ongoing input and feedback for each community. For this reason, there is also a dynamic Equity Blueprint for Action companion website that will continue to highlight resources and address current needs for each community.

Guiding Coalition Meetings

During the 2019-20 school year, the SDCOE Equity department held eight Blueprint for Action Guiding Coalition meetings with representatives from the African American and Latinx advisory committees, as well as representatives from the American Indian community. The following cross-cutting focus areas, needs, or themes emerged from these meetings:

In order to create the type of assets-based educational systems and experiences described across the four themes, we also identified the need for socially conscious leadership.

For each theme, each community (affinity) group responded to the following prompts:

  • What might [this theme] mean? Why is this important for the [African American/ American Indian/Latinx] student group?
  • What might be possible if we dare to dream? What is our deepest aspiration of what this looks like?
  • What may be some of the dilemmas or tensions we may face?

Their answers are included in-depth in the following section.

Student Experience Panels

SDCOE's Equity department engages in deep listening with students by hosting monthly student experience panels that focus on historically marginalized populations. Our students’ concerns and requests aligned to the feedback we received from our community as well. We continue to strive to listen deeply and not only provide a platform for student voice but also empower student agency to be active participants in the education system. Our student experience panel events, which can be viewed on our webpage, provide a powerful testimony to educational practice. We invite you to view the panels. Student panelists' feedback is also incorporated throughout this document.

I want to see my culture and history represented in the curriculum because it's important not only for me to learn about my history, but others as well.
– San Diego County student

The beauty and truth of the testimony that emerged from the student panels showed how some themes were shared across all three communities, while also casting light onto the needs of specific populations. We asked students about the assumptions that have been made about their identities, their experiences with racism in schools, what has been most helpful to becoming empowered young people, and what they need or want from adults in schools — and their answers were thoughtful, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Their requests are clear: they want to see more diverse perspectives and examples of positive cultural contributions — from their cultures and others — in their classrooms and curriculum. Students want to be seen and understood as they seek to see and understand others.

I would like to see more representation in staff.
- San Diego County student

When reaching out to different communities for input on the Equity Blueprint for Action, multiple perspectives and representatives from each group ranged from community advocates and university professors to current students and family members. We sought to listen to diverse voices within the groups and honor their knowledge and beliefs about educational concerns and best practices for our students.

Included in this document is a synopsis of the main responses from each community across the themes, along with our working definition and problem statement associated with each of the four themes.


Community Connections

While this document addresses the interconnected and specific needs of three communities, it also aims to provide a guide to serve other historically marginalized groups, including Asian American, Middle East and North African, LGBTQIA+, and students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), among others. Equity resources to support these communities will be added to this website.


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