Gender Equity: ‘Another One of Our Successful Programs’ 

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
Rockford Public Schools

Rockford Public Schools (RPS) has been a leader in West Michigan for more than 15 years in the areas of Gender Equity, Title IX and exceeding compliance benchmarks.

RPS’ administration was on the initial Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) committee, beginning in the mid-1990s, to establish guidelines, procedures and reporting formats, and to hold local districts accountable for accurate annual data to assure Gender Equity was being followed.  KISD local school districts were the first schools to establish such a system in the State of Michigan and have been models for the Midwest.

In the early 2000s, I was appointed to an oversight committee to develop a comprehensive reporting policy and to train local districts on how to report required Title IX data. Essentially, the committee developed a system that would become engrained in the culture of local districts, regardless of who was responsible for submitting data. The model that was created has three aspects of reporting, as follows:

1. By August 15 of each year, districts electronically submit a Title IX Compliance Report to the KISD. Included in the annual report is the athletic participation and budget information. Documents to be submitted are:

•            Participation and Coaching Data Worksheet

•            Title IX Annual Compliance Report

•            Athletic Opportunities and three-part Title IX Compliance Worksheet

2.  Every three years, beginning June 1, 2007, a student interest survey will be completed by students in grades 9 through 11. The purpose of the student interest survey is to assure districts continue to monitor Title IX and Gender Equity and have equal opportunities for both male and female students.

3.  All collected data is shared with parents of athletes at each team’s beginning-of-the-season meeting. We report the annual data to our Board of Education each spring as well. In addition, parents are notified in the first newsletter of each school year that I am the Title IX compliance officer for the district. Included in that notification are the district’s grievance notification form and policy.

Part of the compliance data looks at male/female enrollment, male/female total participants and total athletic contests by gender. It also looks at whether male/female teams have the same supporting aspects of a contest, such as concessions, announcers, programs, etc.

I am proud to report that our superintendent, board of education, and teaching and coaching staff all value Title IX and Gender Equity to ensure male and female students are treated equally.

I hope you and your family have a great 2011-2012 school year filled with many successes. If I can be of any assistance to you, please contact me at (616) 863-6554. Thank you.

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