Equity and Family Empowerment

Winchester Public Schools - February 2022

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Superintendent's Equity Advisory Committee

The Superintendent's Equity Advisory Council met on January 26, 2022, to discuss the Council's top three recommendations identified at the last meeting, which included (a) internet access for all students, (b) strengthening student transitions - specifically for 5th grade students, and (c) increasing student mentoring programs. The Council gave recommendations based on data-analysis they conducted at the previous meeting where they identified "glows" and "grows" for seven different student categories. Members present at the last meeting were then surveyed about their top three "grow" recommendations.

The January 22nd meeting opened with Dr. Jason Van Heukelum providing an update about several current events impacting the division.

Next, attendees were asked to think-pair-share ideas on ways to recruit and retain diverse employees across all positions within the division, specifically recruits from Winchester City. The Council provided recommendations including program ideas, increased incentives, and targeted marketing techniques.

The second portion of the meeting focused on the Council's top three recommendations. Dr. Veronique N. Walker provided an update internet access, which is available to all students. Dr. Matthew Wygal presented information about supports in place for students transitioning into 5th grade from four different elementary schools. Pastor Scott Santmier of Fellowship Bible Church detailed a student mentoring program that he facilitates in partnership with Sara Shoemaker, School Counselor at Garland R. Quarles Elementary School.

Two committee volunteer opportunities were provided to Council members - one for student transitions and the other for student mentoring programs. The separate committees will meet more frequently to delve deeper into opportunities for growth in the aforementioned areas.

The next Superintendent Equity Council, scheduled for March 9, 2022, will focus on Youth Stewardship. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Council, then email Dr. Veronique N. Walker for more information.

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Black History Month Celebrates Black History and African American culture in the United States (adl.org, 2022). The 2022 theme is Black Health and Wellness, which honors all the Black communities have done to be well, Western medicine’s scholars and practitioners, and “ways of knowing throughout the African Diaspora.” (asalh.org, 2022).

Events and Activities

Resources for Black History Month

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Share with Students!

Based on the Black History Month theme created by John Handley High School’s Black Student Union (BSU), students have the opportunity to submit original artwork (Grades PK-3) or an essay (Grades 4-6, 7-8, 9-12) Celebrating African-American Contributions!

Submissions are due by February 28, 2022.

Contest details may be accessed here.

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February 1, 2022

Lunar New Year: (Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist). On this day, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese New Year are celebrated. Also known as the Spring Festival, an important festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.

More information about Lunar New Year may be accessed here.

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  • February 1: National Freedom Day: Commemorates the signing of the 13th Amendment by Abraham Lincoln, which abolished slavery in 1865.
  • February 14: Valentine’s Day
  • February 15: Susan B. Anthony Day: Birthday of Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906), a pioneer in the Women’s Rights Movement.
  • February 21: Presidents’ Day: Honors all past presidents of the United States of America.

Religious Observances

1. February 15: Nirvana Day (Buddhist): Celebrates the day when the historical Buddha achieved Parinirvana, or complete Nirvana, upon the death of his physical body. Sometimes celebrated on February 8.

2. February 16: Magha Puja (Buddhist): Also known as Sangha Day, it commemorates the spontaneous assembly of 1,250 arahants, completely enlightened monks, in the historical Buddha's presence.

3. February 28: Maha Shivaratri (Hindu): Also called Shiva Ratri, it is the Great Festival of Shiva. The festival is celebrated at the 13th night or 14th day of the waning moon in the Hindu calendar (month of February or March of the English calendar).

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.

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