Equity and Family Empowerment

Winchester Public Schools - October 2021

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Monthly Newsletter

Beginning October 1, 2021, the Office of Equity and Family Empowerment will publish a monthly newsletter designed to share information.

One section of the newsletter will be dedicated to cultural observances and links to resources everyone may use to honor the observance. Although we as educators strive for students, staff, and families to daily see representation of themselves (ourselves) in the fabric of the school division, many individuals feel valued by honoring what has nationally been designated as a time of celebration.

The noted observances will be from the ADL Calendar of Observances and will include “U.S. Holidays that are either legal holidays or observed in various states and communities throughout the country.” -ADL.org

If you have items you'd like to submit and share in the newsletter, then send the items via email to walkerv@wps.k12.va.us.

Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month is dedicated to honor the legacy of the Hispanic/Latino communities. This year’s theme, Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope, “invites us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope.” -Ms. Elaina De León, National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM) Theme Winner.

President Lyndon B. Johnson first established Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, which was later expanded into a month by President Ronald Regan in 1988.

The month of September 15 - October 15 is significant because the anniversary of independence for several countries is involved, including Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.

During this month and throughout the year, the National Park Service and partners share history, heritage, and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans of the past and present.


Several Local Resources Serving the Community

Provided by Sam Chavez - FDES and Nohemy Garcia Rivera - DMMS



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First 30 Days - Listening & Learning (Awareness)

It's hard to believe that I have reached my first 30 days in WPS. Where has the time gone? I've had the opportunity to meet many people, visit each school several times, attend various meetings, read policies and procedures, complete and plan professional learning, collaborate with WPS and community colleagues, and learn more about the community - to name a few things.

It's been a busy 30 days!

As I have been listening and learning, it's helped me to determine priorities. As outlined in my 30-60-90-day plan, my next steps will be to align everything that I've gathered with the priorities of our superintendent, Board of Education, and strategic plan.

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to continue to meet more people and learn more about WPS. Feel free to contact me directly if you'd want me to visit your classroom or office.

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October Observances

National Bullying Prevention Month. A campaign to unite communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.

LGBTQ History Month. Established to recognize the achievements of men and women in the LGBT community. First observed in 1994 and coinciding with National Coming Out Day, which is October 11, the month encourages informative discussions to learn more about the LGBT movement. The 2021 theme is 31 Days, 31 Icons. Visit LGBT History Month or GLSEN to find more information on historical figures and societal contributions.

Disability History and Awareness Month. Created to "commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America's workplaces and economy." -NDEAM

Youth in Virginia further advocated to have the month officially recognized, as outlined in Superintendent Memo #279-21.

U.S. Day Observances:

  • October 11: INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY (American Indian Day): Celebrates and honors Native American history and culture. Similarly, it is celebrated as Día de la Raza, “Day of the Race”, in Spanish-speaking countries and communities
  • October 31: HALLOWEEN: The eve of All Saints’ Day.

Religious Observances:

  • October 6-14: Navaratri (Hindu)
  • October 15: Dussehra/Dassera (Hindu)
  • October 18: Mawlid Al-Nabi (Islamic: Sunni)
  • October 23: Mawlid Al-Nabi (Islamic: Shi’a)
  • October 31: Reformation Day (Christian)

As cited on 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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Dimensions of Equity

“No two children are alike.” -Alliance for Resource Equity. This sentiment is articulated in educational divisions nationally and globally, evidenced by the instructional resources and programs offered to meet the unique needs of students.

The Alliance for Resource Equity provides an interesting framework that demonstrates the 10 Dimensions of Equity and how such reflects in every aspect of an educational system. Essential questions are asked to help school divisions identify areas of strengths and opportunities for growth when it comes to equity and family empowerment.

The Alliance for Resource Equity - Dimensions of Equity will be considered as we move forward in our initiatives.