Core values are the enduring beliefs that guide an organization’s actions over time. Tethering the core values to the vision makes the organization’s ethics explicit and ensures alignment with its purpose.
The following seven statements were developed through the vision work. While core values are foundational, when creating any kind of system change, organizations need to articulate the mindsets, dispositions, and ways of working that align with the desired future. This set of SCUSD values creates the foundation for the vision by building upon and expanding the existing values.
We believe that preparing students to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing, globally connected world should inform every decision. We believe that incorporating student voice is essential to our success in understanding and meeting each student’s needs.
Excellence Through Continuous Improvement
We believe that achieving high performance and full potential for both the organization and the individual comes from a relentless commitment to excellence and the courage to adapt, change, and improve based on results. We believe in fostering a growth mindset by defining failures as opportunities for learning and continuous improvement.
Integrity and Ethical Stewardship
We believe in upholding our fiscal responsibility through integrity and high ethical standards. We gain high levels of trust and foster collective responsibility across our organization, through effective stewardship of our resources and consistent ethical, transparent, accountable behavior and actions.
Connected Families and Collaborative Community
We believe that community action is essential to achieving our vision and having a positive impact on student outcomes, including their health and wellness. We serve as a catalyst for a call-to-action with our parents, families, and community. Through support, engagement, involvement, and collaboration, we leverage our multiple perspectives and collective genius, develop better solutions, and deepen our shared commitment to success.
Equity and Social Justice
We believe in bringing out the full potential of every student and staff member, through our commitment to equity, access, and inclusion*. We are passionate and unwavering in our belief that we can make a positive difference for every student if we embrace diversity, acknowledge our interdependence, and exemplify the courage to reflect continually on our personal and systemic biases, and make decisions that disrupt systems of oppression and injustice.
Empathy and Respect
We believe that empathy—the ability to understand and share the feelings of another—is crucial for valuing diverse perspectives, effective collaboration, problem-solving, and leading change. We believe that everyone has value and deserves to be treated respectfully.
World-Leading and Future-Ready
We believe that preparing our students and educators to thrive requires a culture of creativity and innovation. We are forward-looking and future-ready. We evolve by scanning the horizon for exemplary practices, inspiring fresh ideas, and adapting to our ever-changing world to meet our students’ and educators’ learning needs, now and in the future.
We honor differences and recognize intersectionality*— the overlapping identities that combine and intersect in the experiences of marginalized groups—in order to understand the complexity of the prejudices they face and respond with inclusive practices. Empathy and respect also lead to a kind and caring environment, enabling our staff and students to build strong relationships and foster mutual wellbeing.
What is Equity?
“Educational equity means that each child receives what they need to develop to their full academic and social potential. Working towards equity in schools involves: Ensuring equally high outcomes for all participants in our educational system; removing the predictability of success or failures that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor; Interrupting inequitable practices, examining biases, and creating inclusive multicultural school environments for adults and children; and Discovering and cultivating the unique gifts, talents and interests that every human possesses.” (The National Equity Project)
“In education, the term ‘equity’ refers to the principle of fairness. While it is often used interchangeably with the related principle of equality, equity encompasses a wide variety of educational models, programs, and strategies that may be considered fair, but not necessarily equal. It has been said that ‘equity is the process; equality is the outcome,’ given that equity—what is fair and just—may not, in the process of educating students, reflect strict equality—what is applied, allocated, or distributed equally. Inequities occur when biased or unfair policies, programs, practices, or situations contribute to a lack of equality in educational performance, results, and outcomes. For example, certain students or groups of students may attend school, graduate, or enroll in postsecondary education at lower rates, or they may perform comparatively poorly on standardized tests due to a wide variety of factors, including inherent biases or flaws in test designs.” (The Glossary of Education Reform)
This diagram shows the Graduate Portrait at the center, supported by the Adult Portrait, which is supported by the System Portrait. This diagram shows how the other elements of the vision wrap around the Graduate Portrait and how every element in it is supported by the Adult Portrait and the System Portrait.