Equity in ECCS

Logo with Elevating Equity in ECCS

At Eastern Carver County Schools, we are committed to creating a school environment where everyone feels welcome, safe, and included, and where every child has access to the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.  The mission of our school district is learners achieving their personal best and, simply put, we cannot be successful if equity work isn’t foundational to our approach to learning.

The School Board and district staff are committed to this work. Equity is foundational to personalized learning, it’s necessary for strong communities, and every single one of our students will benefit not just during school, but after they leave our halls.  This work requires an investment from all of us, administrators, teachers, parents, students, caregivers, and community members to be successful.  This is long-term, ongoing work which the entire ECCS team believe in, and in the potential of every student in our district.

Equity Definition: Equity in Eastern Carver County School District means a student’s identity - their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, immigration status, religion and/or disability – does not predict their success. All students are provided the tools, resources, and support they need to achieve their personal best.

Equity Vision: Eastern Carver County Schools is a safe, welcoming, and inclusive district where all students feel heard, seen, and valued. Our district celebrates students for who they are - their unique personal story – and provides students with a personalized, exceptional education that will help prepare them for who they want to become.

From the Director

Dear Eastern Carver County Schools Community,

It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for almost four months already. I arrived in the district during some very uncertain and challenging times, and wanted to give you an update on my first 120 days. I received a very warm welcome last December, and continue to receive that same welcome as I visit buildings and support our students, families, and staff both in-person and in virtual spaces. I have had the chance to connect with building leadership across the district and it’s evident to me that their core belief is striving to do what is best for every student.


While I have only been here a short time, I have been immersed in working with students, staff, parents and  community. That work looks differently depending on the day, but here’s a sample of what’s going on:  meeting with students and supporting restorative circles, providing professional development opportunities, engaging with our Equity Advisory Council, introducing myself in different ways to a variety of parent groups, presenting at board meetings on the work of the department and the Achievement and Integration budget and plan, and working collaboratively with district leadership to develop response protocols that ensure a clear, consistent and deliberate approach when incidents occur.


We have hired our new Achievement and Integration Lead Specialist in April. Arika Mareck has hit the ground running bringing with her a wealth of expertise in education and equity. She has already begun meeting with school sites, engaging with staff, facilitating student circles, and supporting past, present, and future equity goals.


Our Intercultural Specialist team continues to work diligently to support school sites in a variety of ways: supporting families navigating a new district, providing the opportunity to engage with teaching staff, professional development opportunities, and working with our students. We are so fortunate to have their expertise. We have also hired an Intercultural Specialist specific to Indian Education to align with our state-designated Indian Education dollars.


As we look to the end of this school year, I am excited about what we have done in partnership and what lies ahead as we work together to improve outcomes for every one of our students.


Robin Francis (Gordon)

Director of Equity and Inclusion

Equity Beliefs:

• Equity is essential and foundational to the success of Eastern Carver County School District
• Everyone is welcome and belongs in our school community
• Our students, families, staff, and community members bring diverse life experiences - assets that should be recognized, celebrated, and embraced as opportunities for growth and learning
• All learners can achieve high academic standards; high expectations will be communicated, supported, and maintained
• All students must see themselves reflected in the district; this means in staff, teachers, and administrators
• Curriculum must be inclusive and include diverse perspectives
• Authentic, two-way relationships between families, schools, and community partners is valued and nurtured across all demographics
• Explicit and transparent communication is vital to build trust and foster relationships
• Staff will participate in ongoing professional development and training to build a shared foundation for equity, foster change and develop a growth mindset
• Resources must be allocated to sustain equity work
• Measurable equity outcomes and accountability are essential to ensure progress

Equity Initiatives

Eastern Carver County Schools is and has been, committed to providing students equal educational opportunities. Over the last decade, our district has engaged in a variety of initiatives with the shared purpose of creating communities of belonging and success. Our commitment to equity is reflected districtwide in work designed to:

  • acknowledge and check our racial and cultural biases;
  • utilize data to understand what is working and where we must improve;
  • implement best practices related to engaging and supporting learners in achieving their personal best;
  • provide stakeholders in our community with opportunities to engage meaningfully and guide our vision for equity.


Robin Francis (Gordon)

Director of Equity and Inclusion

Arika Mareck

Achievement and Integration Lead Specialist