Equity kids representatives

Safe & Welcoming Schools

Every student should feel safe, welcome, and fully included in their school community.

The Truth About Culturally Responsive Teaching at Salem-Keizer

Across the United States there are groups that share a different vision which includes misconstruing certain terms, concepts and/or articles to misrepresent what Salem-Keizer does when it comes to equity work. Unfortunately, most of these types of criticisms and movements contrast with what is discussed and taught in our schools. Those concepts are not curricula — they are academic concepts and articles that present different lenses with which to analyze historical and contemporary events. SKPS believes in ensuring that all students see themselves honored and reflected in the curriculum they experience every day; and that all students learn to respectfully examine multiple perspectives, cultures, backgrounds, and events. Importantly, we are committed to ensuring all students feel safe and welcome at school regardless of their background.

How does Equity show up in our classrooms?

You may have heard or wondered about the use of the term racial equity or equity lens. Equity should not be confused with equality where all students are assumed to have the same lived experiences, perspectives, or identities—equity and equality are vastly different. Equity means that we do not assume that all people have experienced historical and contemporary events with the same, equal lens. Diverse perspectives, opinions, and experiences are what make our society a rich and engaging place, and we want students to examine these perspectives in order to become critical thinkers and participants in our society.

Salem-Keizer develops its teaching and learning based on the Oregon State Standards in all content areas. When adopting curriculum, we include community voice and require board approval on any curriculum proposed to be used in schools.

Why does SKPS care about equity and not just equality?

SKPS strives to create an environment where all students feel safe and welcomed. The simplest notion would be to just teach one perspective from the dominant culture; however, equality-driven efforts do not strive to create an environment where all students, particularly those historically underserved, feel seen, heard, and honored in class because equality assumes that everyone has had the same experience.

At Salem-Keizer Public Schools, it is crucial that curriculum is applied using an equity lens for every student to succeed and graduate. When equity is achieved it means that:

  • Achievements of historically underserved students match the outcomes of students in the dominant culture
  • Underserved groups increase in capacity and power
  • Barriers to student success have been reduced or eliminated

Learn more about equity by reading Truth in Our Classrooms Bridges Divides.

Resources and Supports

Safe School Resources


If you see or hear about bullying, violence, drugs, or harm to your school or to a student, report a tip:

Nondiscrimination and Equity Commitment

Support Programs

Bullying, Harassment and Teen Dating Violence

Child Abuse and Adult-Student Interactions

Healthy and Safe Schools and Buildings

Additional Safety-Related Policies and Information

Community Resources

Our Collective Commitments

  • Equity in the Salem-Keizer School District will not be confused with equality where all students are treated the same. Equity will be attained when the achievements of our historically underserved students match the outcomes of students in the dominant culture, when underserved groups increase in capacity and power, and when barriers to student success have been mitigated or eliminated.
  • This commitment means that student success will not be predicted nor predetermined by characteristics such as, but not limited to, race, national origin, religion, disability, geographic location, economic circumstance, mobility, native language, sexual orientation, gender identity,
    or level of proficiency upon entering our schools.
  • The Board will consider the impact of proposed changes on underserved, diverse, and marginalized individuals and groups. Changes in resource allocation, design, and implementation of policies and programs will be considered in light of equitable outcomes.
  • Regular data collection and analysis will reveal the effect of resource allocation, policies, and programs on equitable outcomes.

The Board will

  • adopt an equity lens to guide decisions that come before the board;
  • annually review the policies of the Board, specifically the executive limitations and results policies, to ensure the work of the Board is focused on equitable outcomes; and
  • ensure that the communities of our students who are not achieving desirable outcomes are included in deliberations as decisions are being considered.

School Board says all students are welcome/included

Dear Salem-Keizer families:

As leaders of Salem-Keizer Public Schools, it is important to us that all of our students and their families feel safe, welcome and included. We hope you share this same desire.

Recently, the School Board passed a resolution reinforcing the board’s expectations that the district create and maintain safe and welcoming schools. The full text, in multiple languages, is attached below.

In basic terms, it says everyone is welcome in our schools regardless of race, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status, country of origin or other factors. It also says that everyone is entitled to academic success regardless of their background or family circumstances and each student will be provided the necessary supports to ensure that success. We would urge you to read the resolution in its entirety.

We will do our best to maintain a positive, inclusive environment in our schools. Anything you can do to reinforce these attributes would be greatly appreciated.

Salem-Keizer Public Schools are, and will continue to be, a place where students and their families can focus on learning without fear of discrimination or harassment. We have communicated with the leadership, staff and students in our schools, but more remains to be done. Through communication and training, we can ensure that everyone in our schools knows how to be sensitive to their colleagues, students and families.

As parents, you are the most important influence in the lives of your children. Thank you for thinking about how we can all work together to make our district a safe and welcoming place for all students and families.

Safe & Welcoming Schools Resolution


PDF, Chuukese, Safe & Welcoming Schools Resolution


PDF, English, Safe & Welcoming Schools Resolution


PDF, Russian, Safe & Welcoming Schools Resolution


PDF, Spanish, Safe & Welcoming Schools Resolution


PDF, Spanish, Safe & Welcoming Schools Resolution

Equity Lens

The Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board of Directors is committed to the vision:

ALL students graduate and are prepared for a successful life.

This requires that the School Board attend to the effects of resource allocation, program development, and support systems on ALL students. This equity lens is designed to ensure decisions are made that provide for EACH student’s needs so the District’s vision can be realized.

PDF, English, Equity Lens poster

(English) Equity Lens

PDF, Equity Lens Worksheet

(English) Equity Lens Worksheet

PDF, Spanish, Equity Lens poster

(Spanish) Equity Lens

(Spanish) Equity Lens Worksheet

Title IX/Nondiscrimination Policy

Salem-Keizer Public Schools recognizes the diversity and worth of all individuals and groups.

It is the policy of Salem-Keizer Public Schools that there will be no discrimination or harassment of individuals or groups based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, marital status, age, veterans’ status, genetic information or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment.

District meeting locations are accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the hearing impaired, or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities, should be made at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

Complaints and inquires can be made directly to a school administrator or to the District office staff below.

Title IX Coordinator

John Beight, Executive Director
Human Resources
2450 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem, OR 97305

Assistant Title IX Coordinator

Debbie Joa, Prevention and Protection Coordinator
Human Resources
2450 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem, OR 97305

Contact Protection and Prevention Department