Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

Staff Edition 4: December 2020

Watch our December Read Aloud Video with your students and families!

This month's read aloud features a student in third grade, a member of our Equity & Inclusion Council and parent of Region 15 graduates, and a Region 15 school psychologist! The intent for this month's read aloud is to continue communicating around the importance of ever-deepening learning and inclusivity specifically when it comes to religions, and in this case, particularly in regards to our Jewish families and staff members. Jeremy's Dreidel is a compelling story about Hanukkah, playing dreidel, and people who are blind, as Jeremy's dad is in the story. You could share this with your students this week, even (or especially?) in our remote setting!

Note: This read aloud is displayed with the permission of Kar-Ben Publishing, “Jeremy's Dreidel” by Ellie Gellman, illustrated by Maria Mola. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

December Read Aloud Video: Jeremy's Dreidel

CREC Teacher Residency Program

Pending budget approval, Region 15 will be seeking 2 candidates for CREC's Teacher Residency Program for right here in our schools! What is this program? See below:

Do you hold a Bachelor's degree?

Do you demonstrate a commitment to diversity in the field of education?

Do you have experience working with marginalized populations?

The CREC Teacher Residency Program is an alternate route to elementary certification focused on increasing teachers of color across the state of Connecticut. Resident candidates will be enrolled in rigorous coursework for 18 months and serve in a paid residency position in a mentor teacher’s classroom for the school year. Residents will work in a partnering district and attend classes virtually and on-site in one of our cohort locations.

· Resident selection prioritizes potential to work with diverse students and minimizes barriers to traditional certification program admission

· Residents participate in courses for 18 months at little to no cost

· Coursework is designed by practicing educators and prioritizes skills necessary to be successful in a diverse classroom

· Residents work for one year in a partner district under a mentor teacher while receiving pay and benefits

· Residents are guaranteed a full-time teaching position in the partner district upon completion of the certification requirements

· Residents are eligible to earn CT certification after fourteen months and 90 days of successful teaching in their own classroom

Join us at one of our virtual information sessions

Reserve a spot today by clicking here: Information Session Registration Form

Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 8:00 am - 8:30 am

Monday, January 11, 2021, 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Thursday, January 21, 2021, 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 4:30 – 5:00 pm

Monday, February 1, 2021, 3:30 – 4:00 pm

Thursday, February 4, 2021, 8:00 – 8:30 am

SEE" you soon!"

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pop-Up Session: SAVE THE DATE

In the Teaching Hard History podcast linked above, Dr. McKinney states "like so many things that start off beautifully, the trajectory of the King holiday has become infinitely more complicated. This is the process that happens when you create monuments, when you try to memorialize particular individuals at very specific moments in time, that process invariably moves us away from complexity, moves us away from contradiction, moves us away from the stuff of history, and closer to abject celebration."

As a follow up to the podcast on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. linked above, on January 6, I'll offer a pop-up PD session for us to dig into the instructional recommendations offered in the podcast and have some time to work on what that can look like, sound like, and feel like in terms of instructional activities in the classroom across grade levels. Because context so deeply matters, this session will allow for some time and space to plan intentional and impactful instruction that thoughtfully includes the critical contexts we need to share about.

If you're interested in attending this session on the early dismissal day, January 6, from 2-3 pm, please sign up here.

As you move into winter break, here is some wisdom from the National Equity Project in closing out 2020:

"We wish for you this season time to pause, to center yourself, perhaps wrap yourself in familiar or reimagined traditions, in warmth and coziness. Light a candle in remembrance and recognition of our shared grief and loss in 2020. When you are ready, notice and reflect on this year. And through that reflection, set intentions for our collective liberation in 2021 and beyond.

“Day told her sister, When you are darkest is when you are most beautiful. It’s when you are most you.” from Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong'o"

Interested in continuing professional learning over break?

Resources for continuing our professional learning are absolutely abundant. Here are just a few sites with free, recorded webinars and tons of other material if you're interested in digging in.

National Equity Project

Educators for Antiracism

Abolitionist Teaching Network

Please follow our accounts on social media for resources and updates!

Instagram: @r15equity_inclusion

Student contest opportunity

Click here to access more information about: "UConn's Neag School of Education, the Connecticut Writing Project, and UConn's Department of English invites your students to enter the 28th annual Letters About Literature contest. Students in Grades 4 through 12 are asked to read a book, poem, or speech and write a letter to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Entries will be eligible for state prizes. DEADLINE: Jan. 20, 2021"