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Equity and Inclusion

Four elementary students stand together for a posed photo.

At District 196, the sky’s the limit. That’s because our committed team of educators is dedicated to helping learners explore the outer limits of their vast potential. We firmly believe that our students come first and that all students can learn. Our highly-skilled and compassionate educators and staff are dedicated to creating safe, respectful and inclusive environments that allow students to maximize their learning.

It is our policy to create a culture of respect in each building in District 196. Per policy 503.8AR, "District 196 schools are expected to establish a culture of respect. The district and schools will establish strategies for creating a positive school climate and will use evidence-based social-emotional learning to prevent and reduce discrimination and other improper conduct."

District 196 Equity Framework

District 196 qualifies as a racially isolated district and currently has two racially identifiable schools: Echo Park School of Leadership, Engineering and Technology and Oak Ridge School of Leadership, Environmental and Health Sciences. In collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Education, District 196 has developed an achievement and integration plan to address the needs of these school communities.

The purpose of the Achievement and Integration for Minnesota Program is to do the following in Minnesota public schools:

  • Pursue racial and economic integration;
  • Increase student achievement;
  • Create equitable educational opportunities, and
  • Reduce academic disparities based on students’ diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds.

Read Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.861.
Read Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.862.

District plan

The District 196 2017-20 Achievement and Integration Plan was developed by a 55-member council that consisted of parents, teachers, students and other district staff. The plan's budget is approved on an annual basis by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Get involved!

District 196 is looking for residents and staff members to join the Community Collaboration Council to assist with the development of a new Achievement and Integration plan that will guide integration and equity efforts in the district for the next three years. 

The Minnesota Department of Education mandates a plan be developed by a Community Collaboration Council of residents and staff that is representative of the diversity in the district and includes representation from the district’s three racially identifiable schools: Cedar Park Elementary Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School, Echo Park School of Leadership, Engineering and Technology, and Oak Ridge School of Leadership, Environmental and Health Sciences. 

The plan should benefit all students and schools in the district and may include programs with multicultural emphasis, duplication of successful programs, staff development opportunities and targeted resources at the racially identifiable schools. The plan may not include involuntary reassignment of students (busing) or academic programs that segregate minority students.

Interested residents and staff members are encouraged to apply for membership on the Community Collaboration Council. The deadline to submit online applications is August 30. 

Applicants should be able to attend all meeting dates. The meetings will be held 6-8:30 p.m. on October 3, November 14 and 21, December 12 and January 9, with an optional meeting on January 23. Child care and translation services will be available. 

Cultural Family Advocates

Cultural Family Advocates (CFA) support our achievement and integration plan by working with culturally and ethnically diverse students, to increase and support over all participation and academic achievement. These staff members advise school staff in understanding the culture and expectations of diverse families, and serve as a liaison between the school district and diverse families in facilitating an understanding of school culture and expectations. Learn more about our Cultural Family Advocates

Robin Gordon


Robin Gordon,
Equity and Inclusion Coordinator


Patty Kaiser,
Secretary to Equity & Inclusion, ELL and Magnet Program