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Creating Equity in a Diverse Rural School

by Jennifer Chrisp


McCreary School, a rural community school with an average enrolment of 150 students from kindergarten to grade 12, provides a learning environment for a population of diverse students in Turtle River School Division, Manitoba. At the same time, the school incurs significant challenges for creating a school and classroom environment that is equitable for all students. The diverse background that makes up an individual student (including, but not limited to, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and cognitive and physical ability) contributes to the creation of a sample of minority students within the school population. School-based data have shown a relationship between the minority population and lower social and academic achievement. These barriers combine to produce learning obstacles that must be carefully considered in order to bring about change so that success for all learners may be achieved through equitable opportunities. The teachers at McCreary School have collaborated to make a plan for change at both the school and classroom level, in order to create an increase in equitable opportunities for every student. The teachers determined that change is required in three domains: meeting individual students’ basic physical needs, supporting students academically at the school and classroom level, and supporting students socially at the school and classroom level. While the range of diverse students poses a challenge for creating an equitable learning environment for all learners, several solutions have been put into effect by teachers, in order to work toward creating and maintaining equity at both the school and classroom levels.

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Creating Equity in a Diverse Rural School
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