Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

STAFF Edition 10, June 2021

Read Aloud Videos & Spotlight on Recent Work:

This month, we would like to offer two read aloud videos that spotlight a recent collaboration between PHS students enrolled in four sections of US History with Mrs. Clark & Ms. Saraiva and four 4th grade classes throughout the district!

In their unit entitled "The Modern Civil Rights Movement," a cooperative learning project was developed in order to culminate students' learning about the goals, individuals, and tactics used in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s & 1960s. As students learned, the Civil Rights Movement was largely a grassroots movement where individuals organized and used their power to push for & create change. Although most are aware of the contributions of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, there were countless others' whose stories are not always told and whose critical contributions are not always named. Therefore, the US History students' task was to tell one such individual's story through a cooperative project on studying and analyzing the qualities of exemplary children's literature on the Civil Rights Movement, and then plan and create their own children's book for an authentic audience: fourth grade students who were in a social issues book club unit in English Language Arts at the time.

The Children's Book project afforded our high school students the opportunity to engage their collaborative skills, practice critical thinking, to research and synthesize information, and to spotlight the concepts and strategies they studied in the context of their unit. Importantly, the project afforded elementary students to spend time with high school aged peers, and to tell the stories of historically lesser-taught activists. The high school and fourth grade classes met virtually, live on Google Meet in small groups to share.

While we'd like to spotlight each participating high school student's phenomenal, thoughtful, and thorough work, we hope you enjoy examples of two high school student groups' projects, as they were kind enough to meet via zoom to share with you.

Before Rosa Parks
A Greater Step Toward Racial Equality

Volunteer Opportunity: LGBTQIA+ Working Group

Big picture

As part of the Equity & Inclusion Council, Region 15 and community members of Middlebury and Southbury would like to extend the opportunity to participate in an LGBTQIA+ Working Group made up of students, families, staff, administrators, and/or community members. The purpose of this group is to ensure that Region 15 and the communities of Middlebury & Southbury address the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth at all levels, by fostering:

  • supportive educators
  • student support systems
  • inclusive curriculum
  • LGBTQIA+ affirming policies
  • community education

The date of the first meeting, which will take place in June, will be announced soon. If you are interested in participating, please email: Dr. Chiappetta (cchiappetta@region15.org), and/or Dr. Birden (ebirden@region15.org) by June 10. Thank you to Jen Labriola, E&I Council Member and R15 Parent, for your leadership in this endeavor!

Families are such assets: Tools & ideas for initiating positive relationships at start of next school year

While we wish you a *much* deserved summer, we felt it would be important to share some user-friendly resources with you now in order to plan for how we proactively communicate & build relationships with families. I'm happy to collaborate with you on this! Check out the tools & article below:

Prek-3 Educators: You can watch this May 2021 session on demand!

Culturally Relevant Read Alouds in the Early Grades was a wonderful session that included the sharing of strategies for examining text selection and use, with your students in mind and advice for continually examining you and your students' identities and how this impacts classroom practice.

Contact & Social Media

Instagram: @r15equity_inclusion

*Note: Image (c) 2019 CLC Collective and Dottir Press