October 1, 2018
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Lexington Public Schools:
Our Proposed Call to Action
At last week’s meeting of the Lexington School Committee, several Lexington school administrators presented a draft position paper called: “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Lexington Public Schools: Our Proposed Call to Action . The report and proposed action steps were developed collaboratively by the nineteen members of the Administrative Council under the leadership of Superintendent Julie Hackett. The report is intended as a starting point for on-going work in the district, but also to enlist perspectives from the greater community in shaping a final proposal. It is our hope that community members will remain engaged as we move forward with the work.
This report follows a community discussion last year about disparities in discipline for African American/Black students and children with identified special needs. This issue is not unique to Lexington and is sadly mirrored in data across the state and the nation. While we need to address this specific concern, we also need to go deeper to assess and change practices that place children of color and children with identified special needs at a disadvantage. Our leadership is committed to this work and our staff is passionate about understanding the issues and refining our practice.
Last year at Estabrook, a committed team of teachers led the entire staff in anti-bias work – beginning by exploring issues of identity and raising awareness of white privilege. This year, our Equity Team will continue to take the lead in continuing the work, while moving to focus the work more directly on students. More to come on this in the months ahead.
To read the full report, go to the Lexington School Committee website and find the September 25 agenda packet or click here:
We welcome your participation, insights and feedback.
All School Meeting
Last Friday, we held the first All School Meeting of the year. We tried out our new seating format and Ms. Gavin and I introduced the expectations (signal for quiet, showing appreciation by clapping, etc.). We also introduced options for students to share individually. Mrs. Linton modeled reading a favorite poem. Ms. Gavin and I modeled telling jokes (bee jokes, of course), and three fourth grade ELL students introduced the holiday of Enkutatash - Ethiopia's New Year and shared a poem. This will be a regular monthly feature - highlighting a different culture in our school.
How is All School Meeting the same as All School Assembly? The primary purpose remains fostering a sense of school-wide community. Children and staff develop a feeling of connectedness to the rest of the school. They both provide a forum for highlighting learning in the school, for acknowledging and celebrating different cultures and special days, and for reinforcing school-wide expectations.
How is All School Meeting different from All School Assembly? All School Meeting will be more frequent (monthly) rather than 6 times per year. All School Meeting emphasizes “sharing” rather than performing. Sharing is less formal and can grow organically out of what is happening in the classroom. As part of a more informal approach, students may sign up to share individually or in small groups and classes may choose to share individually at a time that fits with what is happening in the classroom. All School Meeting will be led by a team of fifth grade hosts, providing our oldest students with a leadership opportunity. Finally, the seating arrangement is different with mixed grade levels and students sit in a ‘U’ formation which mirrors the circle of morning meetings in the classroom.
Parents are still welcome to attend when their child is sharing, but the primary goal of All School Meeting is to enhance school-wide community for children rather than highlighting work for parents. I know that some parents may have liked knowing well in advance which month their child’s grade was presenting. This will no longer be the case as the schedule will be more fluid.
I am passionate about the value of All School Meeting and the crucial role it plays in strengthening a safe, responsible, and kind school community.
Scenes from All School Meeting
ELL Parent Coffee
Thursday, Oct. 4th, 8:45am
Friday, Oct. 5th, 8:45am
SCHOOL PICTURE DAY - TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9
Safe Routes to School Returns Wednesday October 10
Be sure to walk, bike, car pool or take the bus to school!
This Month's Healthy Habit is water!
Did you know....
- Kids 5 to 8 years old should drink 5 glasses a day (1 liter)
- Kids 9 to 12 years old should drink 7 glasses a day (1.5 liters)
- Adults should drink a minimum of 8 8oz glasses a day.
- Water increases brain power and boosts energy
- Drinking water improves cognitive and motor skills - and your mood.
- Water helps your body flush out toxins and boosts your immune system
- Drinking enough water prevents pain such as headaches and backaches
Lori Verity Alberts
Gr. 4 Teacher & SRTS Coordinator
Scenes from Back to School Night
ELL Teacher Rebecca Ault, Katie Bourret, Annie Roche and Monica Tsubaki talk with parents.
Literacy Specialist Carolyn Plamondon, Tom Grasso, Kate Glenn and Sharon Cantone discuss literacy program with parents.
Math Specialists Amy Burk and Nithya Subramanian.
Special Education Teachers Erica Traub, Alison Buthlay and Laurie Barnhart.
Speech and Language Pathologist Jaimie Tingle and Occupational Therapist Alfredo Roldån-Flores
Special Education teachers Jennifer Pierrelouis and Heather Kramer (Therapeutic Learning Program).
Art Teacher Julie Durrell shows student work.
New PE Long-term Substitute Courtney Capone was on the job!
New Technology Specialist Julie Spang demonstrates the use of green screen technology.