Equity & Inclusion Newsletter

January 2021 - Edition 5

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: May we each do our part to realize the vision of Beloved Community

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January Read Aloud Video

With Dr. Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday, on Monday, January 18, this newsletter is dedicated to the importance of learning about Dr. King in the context of the Civil Rights movement. One important, specific context for doing so includes teaching and learning around children's roles in the movement. This newsletter, therefore, focuses on Dr. King and the Children's March in Birmingham in 1963. The read aloud video we created, along with the resources that follow, are meant to foster learning related to this topic because "to fully understand the the movement, our students need to learn an accurate version of Dr. King's life and activism" (Dr. Charles McKinney, Historian). Teaching and learning about Dr. King in the context of the Children's March is just one entry point of many in studying Dr. King in context.

In this video, 3 PHS students, 2 GES students, and PHS Social Studies teacher, Mr. Syrotiak, volunteered as guest readers to share the text The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist, by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

The resources that follow delve deeper into the Children's March.

Note: This read aloud is displayed with the permission of Simon & Schuster.

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist

Recent Work: Secondary Spotlight

  • Dr. MLK, Jr. Essay Contest: There have been students across the district at the elementary, middle, and high school levels who made submissions this week to the statewide Dr. MLK, Jr. Essay Contest. Good luck to all who took time to reflect and write on this important opportunity!

  • At RMS in Library Media, students in grades 6 and 7 have been building the skills and conceptual understandings included in the International Society for Technology in Education standards as well as the American Association of School Librarian standards through researching and sharing via a Google Slide Presentation about an abolitionist. They have studied how that abolitionist impacted enslaved people and others with their courageous work. Students in grade 8 have been grounding in the question "can you change a person's mind by changing laws?" They have been working with this focus in the using the US Constitution to analyze which groups were not included originally (Indigenous peoples, Black or African American people, women, etc.), and how and why Amendments have been added to the Constitution. For instance, some of the questions that have been raised that students are investigating through the use of library media skills include: "after the Civil War, why did the law of the land not guarantee equal Civil Rights for 4 million freed people, who had been enslaved?" and "how did courageous, committed citizens work to fix things that were wrong?" As students critically study this content, they grapple with an important backdrop to foster civic-mindedness, recognize learning as a social responsibility, and work through inquiry in their evolving technological landscape.

  • Students at PHS enrolled in Conversations on Race, Contemporary Issues, and Human Rights are working on their final projects for these courses. Students have been asked to act as a global citizen: someone who is aware of and understands the wider world & their place in it, and to take an active role in their community to make it more fair, equal, and sustainable. They have selected issues or topics to advocate for, developed an action plan to either raise awareness or create change, and ultimately carry out their plan with an authentic audience of their choosing. Last, they will reflect on the process and results and share with the class. Some students are authoring children's books to be shared with students in Region 15, others have proposed art installations, are crafting letters to elected officials, or proposing actions within Region 15 to staff. For example, pictured below are students from a Conversations on Race class meeting with the PHS Social Studies department to share the project they developed. They focused on feedback and recommendations from their perspectives as students around including the teaching and learning of Claudette Colvin along with Rosa Parks.
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Region 15 may be seeking participation in CREC's Teacher Residency Program! What is this program? See below:

The CREC Teacher Residency Program with the Regional Educational Services Center (RESC) ALLIANCE 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

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

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

Ready to Apply*? Click HERE!

*Candidates will select one of the four locations listed here: Hamden (ACES), Hartford (CREC), Old Lyme (LEARN) or Trumbull (CES).

Contact & Social Media

Instagram: @r15equity_inclusion

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