During the 2019 session, the Oregon legislature passed a law called the Student Success Act. This act represents a historic investment in K-12 education. In addition to targeted investments, these funds also provide school districts additional resources through the Student Investment Account.

As part of the ongoing work through the support of this funding, SKPS has established a Student Investment Account committee. This committee oversees the commitment of the SIA to serve students in the district through improved access to academic resources, restorative behavioral practices and the importance of mental health

SIA Committee – November meeting update

By Dara Elkanah

At the Student Investment Account committee meeting on Nov. 15, 2021, guest speakers from New York University shared the results of the ‘Equity Audit’ they did with SKPS students last May.

Their reachout groups for this audit were eight high school groups, two middle school groups, and two elementary groups. In addition, NYU held listening sessions with six staff groups, and also met with a parent advocacy group for students experiencing disabilities.

There was a distinctive pattern of the answers displayed amongst every inquired group. The main themes include establishing space for student driven change, holding one another accountable for racial aggressions, and providing support for educators to engage in the discussion of race and equity.

After the Equity Audit, SIA members celebrated Indiginous Peoples Month, to highlight the important cultural contributions and traditions of our nation’s first people- the Indigenous and Native Americans.

What’s next?

In December’s SIA meeting, members will discuss how the district is working on implementing ‘Wellness Rooms’ in middle schools, providing spaces to students to unwind and destress in their school environment. There will be more restorative practice training available to administration. December’s SIA meeting will discuss the inputs and suggestions members wrote on the Data Discussion Padlet.

Dara Elkanah

Dara Elkanah

Dara Elkanah is a senior at South Salem High School. She specializes in community outreach as a student intern with the Salem-Keizer Public Schools Community Relations and Communications department.