NACER Year in Review
Reflecting on 2020 as a Network
About this Year....
If asked to describe the year 2020 in one word, the one that comes to mind is “change”. In less than 12 months, we’ve learned about epidemiology, democracy, and resilience. This year has taught us about our personal and professional relationships and what happens at their intersection. We’ve learned how to be a community from a distance and how to continue to advocate for our fellow community members in new and different ways. It’s been a historic year and while our work is far from over, we’re happy to be on this journey with each and every one of you.
Join us as we revisit some of our major milestones this year!
Virtual Community Conversations
Due to the precautions our district took in the prevention of COVID-19, we hosted our first virtual Community Conversations in April with school and district staff and community members from across our network. In one short hour, we covered a lot of information and recentered ourselves in our mission to support the children and families in the northeast Austin community. Through this virtual meeting, we engaged our network to identify needs (e.g. technology, online learning, food access, parent/caretaker communication) and innovative ways to meet them as a network. We have now hosted 4 community conversations and they have continued to address timely school and community needs.
We curated a collection of information most helpful to our community during the initial phases of the pandemic. The Resource Board helped facilitate conversations with families and students. Since then, we've transitioned to listing these resources directly on our website. Our partners keep the information relevant and up-to-date.
A Graduation Like No Other
Although we had to get creative with how we acknowledged our students' successes this year, we were excited to see how our NACER schools celebrated graduations and promotions!
We launched a monthly Smore newsletter to keep parents and our network informed of the constantly changing information so our families could maximize the resources available to them! Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Black Lives Matter Statement
One of the marked moments of unity and a rally to demand answers to inequities in our community was our collective writing of a letter in support of Black Lives Matter. This statement as a vertical team, as a network, as a family of schools cemented our commitments to the Northeast Austin community:
We are committed to vertically aligning our professional learning on equity, cultural proficiency and inclusiveness for staff in every Northeast Vertical Team school.
We are committed to having courageous conversations with our school community.
We are committed to ongoing dialogue with all students about race.
We are committed to providing instructional materials that represent diverse perspectives, cultures, and histories in all content areas throughout the entire school year and not just during designated months.
On August 25, 2020, nearly 600 educators and district and community leaders in the Northeast Austin Vertical Team participated in an Equity Summit to reflect on why we believe in an equity approach in our schools and introduce a Community-Building restorative circle process learned from Dr. Lang.
Welcome Back to School
Barriers to Learning video
Community Support from Our Partners
We've worked hard to provide resources, access, or assistance to our families and students. Our partners have been present every step of the way assisting with technical assistance, food distribution, virtual learning kits and so many critical resources that are needed now. The hard work that we've done as a network prepared us to respond quickly to our community needs when the pandemic began and throughout.
We would not be making as much of an impact without the assistance, positivity, and perseverance of our partners who commit many hours every month to support our mission. Thank you!