Welcome to the 2023-2024 School Year!
The Equity and Inclusion Team...
...would like to invite you to educate, discover, and inspire our students for lifelong success. You are welcome to click on the above photo* or click here to learn more about us and browse through this school year's first E&I newsletter.
*Not pictured: Tracy Frederick-Corcoran and Rashelle Redmon
Living our mission and core values to prepare students, families and employees for lifelong success
- Through the efforts of the Community Collaboration Council and the Equity and Inclusion Department came the collaborative creation of the 2023-2026 Achievement and Integration (A&I) Plan. The plan's purpose is to (1) pursue racial and economic integration, (2) increase student achievement, (3) create equitable educational opportunities, and (4) reduce academic disparities based on students' diverse racial, ethnic, and economic background. Click here to read the A&I Plan or view the A&I Presentation.
- The Equity and Inclusion Department Website has been updated. Click here to surf the E&I website or use this tiny URL, district196.org/equity.
- The E&I Department led this year's first Equity Advisory Council (EAC) meeting by introducing the District Strategic Roadmap, reviewing the EAC's charge, and reviewing the Achievement and Integration Plan. The next meeting will be held on January 11, 2024. Click here to learn more about the EAC.
Developing the whole student and honoring diverse needs and cultures
- Over this past summer, some Cultural Family Advocates (CFA) participated in summer programs, such as Connections, "Conexiones," an opportunity for staff members to connect with students on an individual basis through activities of their choosing. Spanish speaking staff developed an even stronger bond with students as well as strengthened students' cultural identities. As one CFA stated, "The connection with the parents is also evident. What could be more rewarding for a parent than to know that someone is interested in the welfare of their children?" The bond continued to develop as those staff welcomed the students into this new school year! Click here to see the bond!
- The Communications Department has created and distributed posters to each building to support our multilingual families. If families are in need of an interpreter, one will be provided - at no cost to them. Click here to view the Welcome! poster.
- The Somali Information/Tech Night was held in October for K-12 Somali students and their families. The event facilitated an exploration of topics including attendance, grades, important dates and rights and responsibilities. In addition, guidance was provided in navigating and updating school applications, such as Infinite Campus, Schoology, Seesaw and educational benefits. It also fostered a platform for parents to engage, inquire, and express their concerns within the community. Click here to view photos.
Engaging students with opportunities in academics
The E&I team continuously seek opportunities to provide our students with mirrors (to reflect staff who have similar identities to our students), windows (to see staff who have other identities than our students), and sliding glass doors (to provide experiences for our students).
- Once again, District 196 has been selected to host the Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color (MnACC) Fair on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at Eastview High School! The Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color (MnACC) is a collaborative dedicated to providing access to higher education for students of color in Minnesota. Click here to read more highlights.
- On May 2023, the Minnesota Department of Education awarded $750,000 to District 196 to implement the Grow Your Own - Adult Pathway Program. The Grow Your Own Program is designed to support adults who identify as American Indian and/or people of color in completing a teaching degree and obtaining an initial teaching license. The first of two teacher candidate cohorts has been selected. They will continue or begin their teacher education program through our partnering institution, Metropolitan State University, or four other institutions. Click here to read more or here to view kickoff photos.
- The E&I Department is implementing the second year of the Teachers of Color Mentorship Program. There are returning mentors/mentees and new mentors/mentees. This year's work is based on Dr. Yvette Jackson's book, "The Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools" and culturally responsive teaching through The Catalyst Approach. Click here to read the mentorship newsletter.
AVID: Advancement Via Individual Determination
AVID provides a College and Career Readiness Framework that can accelerate every student to achieve their goals after graduation. Educators often talk about college and career readiness, but what does that truly mean?
AVID’s definition of College and Career Readiness:
“No matter what post secondary path high school graduates choose, students must develop certain essential skills to design their own futures: critical thinking, collaboration, reading, writing, and relationship building. The development of these skills is rooted in belief in self. If students believe they are capable, there is a foundational confidence to learn and a resiliency to overcome setbacks.”
If that is the definition, how can educators achieve college and career readiness for each and every student? AVID’s College and Career Readiness framework identifies “What Educators Do” and “What Students Need” to ensure student success. These actionable steps give tools to help ALL students thrive. To learn more, find the full framework here!