Equity and Family Empowerment

Winchester Public Schools - January 2022

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Nomination Application Now Available

The student nomination application is now available for the Students for Educational Equity & Diversity [SEED] Advisory Team.

Student voice and choice are of utmost importance to WPS. The purpose of SEED is to identify students who reflect the diversity of the school division to assist the superintendent in making sure students have what they need to thrive. Students will meet with the superintendent, the equity & family empowerment coordinator, or other individuals to give us ideas on how to continue to best support WPS students.

Students grades 4-12 may be nominated to participate on the SEED Advisory Team.

WPS employees or students may nominate a student to become a part of the student advisory team.

Students in grades 4 & 5 are to be nominated by an adult.

Students in grades 6-12 may nominate a peer or themselves.

Nomination Deadline: Friday, January 21, 2022

Cultural Responsiveness

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Culturally Responsive Teaching involves connecting academics to students’ daily lives (New America, 2020).

Figure 1 (Muñiz, 2018) provides insight into eight competencies for culturally responsive teaching. As an extension of Our Stories: Through the Lens of Equity, facilitated on October 7, 2021, everyone will soon have the opportunity to engage in an asynchronous opportunity to Reflect on One’s Cultural Lens.

As a precursor to the asynchronous opportunity, take a moment to read this brief introduction and then answer the following questions:

  1. When did I become aware of my membership in various identity groups (i.e., those assigned by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic group, sexual orientation, and gender)? What types of interactions did I have with individuals from identity groups different than my own growing up?

  2. How does my identity shape my thinking, values, and understanding of the world?

  3. How does my identity differ from my students and colleagues? How does it shape my interactions with students, families, and colleagues?

  4. Have I ever used or been the victim of stereotypes and microaggressions? Do I have the skills to respond to stereotypes and microaggressions if I encounter them?

  5. What are my short- and long-term goals for developing this competency? What resources will I need to accomplish these goals?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - January 17, 2022

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s impact on American history and the Civil Rights Movement continues to impact modern society. Many of us stand on the shoulders of the work he and many dedicated supporters across this nation accomplished. Each year, his life is intentionally honored for his selfless contributions to equality, some of which are highlighted in this Nearpod video and lesson.

Locally, there are a few opportunities the week of January 17th to connect with Shenandoah University to further remember his life and legacy.

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  • January 1: New Year’s Day: The first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.
  • January 17: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day: The birthday of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated on the third Monday in January.
  • January 17-21: No Name Calling Week (this is also bullying prevention related): Annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling and bullying of all kinds.
  • January 27: UN Holocaust Memorial Day: Annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust coinciding with the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945.

Religious Observances:

  • January 5: Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Birthday (Sikh): Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th Sikh Guru of Nanak and founder of the Khalsa.
  • January 6: Epiphany (Christian): Known as Theophany in Eastern Christianity, it celebrates the manifestation of Jesus as Christ. In addition, the Western Church associates Epiphany with the journey of the Magi to the infant Jesus, and the Eastern Church with the baptism of Jesus by John.
  • January 6: Christmas (Armenian Orthodox Christian): Armenian Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on Epiphany, except for Armenians living in Israel, who celebrate Christmas on January 19th.
  • January 7: Christmas (Eastern Christian): Most Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas 13 days later than other Christian churches based on their use of the Julian rather than the Gregorian version of the Western calendar.
  • January 14: Makar Sankranti (Hindu): Seasonal celebration recognizing the increasing length of days.
  • January 17: Tu B’Shvat (Jewish): New Year's Day for Trees, and traditionally the first of the year for tithing fruit of trees. Now a day for environmental awareness and action, such as tree planting.
  • January 18: Mahayana New Year (Buddhist): In Mahayana countries the New Year starts on the first full moon day in January.
Note: Observances are provided as cited on the ADL Calendar of Observances. Additional information is available on the Equity and Family Empowerment’s Calendar of Observances and Religious Observances.

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