Equity and Family Empowerment

Winchester Public Schools - December 2021

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The WPS' Annual Equity Report was presented to the Board of Education on November 22, 2021. The content of the report was based on Policy AG - Equity and was divided into three sections:
  • Data snapshots pertaining to the six domains of the WPS Equity Framework;
  • Summary of the data in the form of Key Considerations; and
  • Looking Forward - strategies planned to facilitate the Equity Framework.

The WPS Equity Framework has six domains, each with an overaching goal:

  • recruitment and retention of a diverse and culturally responsive administrative, instructional and support staff;

  • development and implementation of a guaranteed, viable, culturally relevant curriculum for preschool through twelfth grade students;

  • development and implementation of culturally responsive professional learning for all staff designed to strengthen employees' knowledge and skills for developing inclusive and empowered environments and eliminating disparities in achievement and opportunities;

  • achievement and maintenance of equitable representation in disciplinary referrals and sanctions, special education identification, gifted identification, advanced placement enrollment, and governor's school enrollment, etc.;

  • inclusive family engagement with a focus on marginalized families; and

  • inclusive student engagement with a focus on marginalized students.

The following key considerations were determined Based on data outcomes from (a) Panorama Student, Staff, and Family Climate and Quality Surveys; (b) Virginia Department of Education School Quality Profile; and (c) TalentEd Application System:

  • Panorama student outcomes indicate acknowledgement of the diverse nature of their peers and schools.

  • Panorama student outcomes indicate more culture awareness and action is warranted.

  • Panorama trend data indicates consistently improved outcomes in school climate and quality.

  • Data indicates consistent outcomes and needs for students with disabilities and students identifying as two or more races.

  • Notable improvements in the recruitment and hiring of employees of color.

Looking Forward initiatives aligned with the WPS Equity Framework may be found in the image following this article.

The annual report may be accessed by clicking here. The presentation to the Board of Education may be viewed on the WPS YouTube Channel.

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Equity and Family Empowerment School Liaisons

The school liaisons met on November 17, 2021. The meeting provided an opportunity for liaisons to meet one another and to begin building a community amongst each other. Other topics of discussion included reviewing the equity commitment and framework, defining the role of the school liaisons, and identifying a couple of upcoming initiatives. The next meeting is scheduled for December 6, 2021.
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Note: Observances are provided as cited on the ADL Calendar of Observances. Additional information is available on the Equity and Family Empowerment’s Calendar of Observances and Religious Observances.

Hanukkah (November 29 - December 6)

Hanukkah is an eight-day “Festival of Lights” celebrating the rededication of the Temple to the service of God in 164 BCE. A lesson plan describing more about the celebration may be read here.

Christmas (December 25)

Christmas is a holiday celebrated world-wide. The religious origins are to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. Non-Religous celebrations involve various traditions. Click here to review a lesson plan that discusses Christmas celebrations around the world.

Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1)

Kwanzaa is a seven day celebration honoring African American heritage. Kwanza means “first fruits (of the harvest)” in Swahili. More information about Kwanzaa may be read by reviewing this lesson plan.

  • December 15: Bill of Rights Day: Commemorates the signing into law of the ten original amendments of the United States Constitution in 1791.
  • December 21: Winter Solstice: Marks the first day of the season of winter. The length of time between sunrise and sunset is the shortest of the year with the sun shining closest to the Southern Hemisphere and the farthest from the Northern Hemisphere.

Religious Observances

  • December 8: Bodhi Day (Buddhist): Observes the spiritual awakening of founder Siddharta Gautama, the Budda, ca. 596 BCE
  • December 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Christian): Celebrates the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (by her title, Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of Mexico and the Americas) before Juan Diego, an indigenous convert to Roman Catholicism, on the Mexican hill of Tepeyac in 1531.
  • December 24: Christmas Eve (Christian): Celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
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Coming Soon

As a continuation to the WPS professional learning session Our Stories - Through the Lens of Equity, an asychronous, self-paced series will be available soon. The series guides participants to reflect on their identity and its influence upon teaching, family engagement, leadership, and professional interactions. More information will be provided at a later date.

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Professional Learning

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