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.
Volunteer Opportunity: LGBTQIA+ Working Group
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 (email@example.com), and/or Dr. Birden (firstname.lastname@example.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:
- Click here to access a sample survey for connecting with families at the start of the school year.
- Here's another sample survey! *Although for this one, my thought is to leave the holiday/tradition part open ended.
- You may consider this bank of questions to draw from.
- Click here to access accompanying article on family engagement & ideas around building positive and proactive relationships with families
- Click here for article on 6 family engagement activities
Prek-3 Educators: You can watch this May 2021 session on demand!
GLSEN is a leading American education organization whose mission "is to ensure that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression." Their site is incredibly extensive in terms of cultivating supportive educators, promoting LGBTQ+ affirming policies, supporting GSAs, and fostering community education (GLSEN, 2021).
PRIDE is a new six-part docuseries on FX and also available on Hulu "chronicling the struggle for LGBTQ+ civil rights in America from the 1950s through the 2000s. Six renowned LGBTQ+ directors explore heroic and heartbreaking stories that define us as a nation" (FX, 2021).
The History of Juneteenth is a podcast that aired 5/25/21, and this year, 6/19/21, will be the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth, formerly Emancipation Day or Jubilee, the day slavery ended in Texas, June 19, 1865. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed is featured in this podcast and speaks on her new book, called "On Juneteenth."
Upcoming professional learning opportunities:
- Educators 4 Antiracism Conference will be posted in July - keep checking back here
- Building Antiracist White Educators Summer Series, July 6, 13, 20, 27, Aug 3, 4-6 pm
- Math teachers: article for you!
- Learning for Justice Webinars on demand
- Introduction to Courageous Conversations, dates throughout June
- Abolitionist Teaching Network Summer Conference, July 8-10
- National Teacher Leadership Virtual Conference, July 13 is free
- Teaching Democracy: Taiwan, Aug 10
- Ties that Bind: Women’s Empowerment in Early 20th Century Korea, Aug 12
Contact & Social Media
*Note: Image (c) 2019 CLC Collective and Dottir Press