EDC Digest April 2021- Updated 4/21

Monthly Newsletter of the Equity and Diversity Council

About the Equity and Diversity Council (EDC)

The Equity and Diversity Council (EDC) of the West Hartford Public Schools collaborate as a faculty and staff advisory that seek to promote equity, advance diversity, and foster inclusiveness across all areas of our district’s programs and services. The EDC upholds the Vision for Equity and Anti-Racism...(read more)

As educators across the country are thinking about what to do or say now that a verdict has been reached in the trial of the former police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd. Unexpected feelings, reactions and emotions may be observed among students and colleagues. Let us draw upon what we have learned in unpredictable times and when sensitive events occur. Everyone processes these experiences in unique ways. Some may want to talk. Others may need silence and room to reflect, while some may want routine and normalcy. As we do our best to strike a balance, we need to leave space for students to process and to be able access school supports as they need.


Regardless of personal stance or reaction, the safety/well-being of all of our children is our number one priority. This is not a moment about politics or debate. It is about coming together to support students and each other as colleagues during this sensitive time. Let's be reminded to listen more than we speak and to offer words of security and support. Be willing to be human and sincere and be certain to care for yourselves too.


Please consider guidance offered by the members of Hall's Culturally Responsive Team (CRT). Although it is designed for a high school audience, the ideas, tone and respectful way in which it is presented is worthy of consideration. It may serve as a resource to you.


Message to Hall HS Faculty from the members of the CRT


The Office of Equity Advancement is available for support. Contact Roszena Haskins- 860-561-6906 or Scott Ratchford -860-561-6633

Please see Superintendent Moore's Community Message in partnership the Office of Equity Advancement and parent Mike Keo, founder of #IAMNOTAVIRUS about the attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Our AAPI communities need and deserve our solidarity. After the attacks, leaders across the district mourn and rise up with our Asian American colleagues, friends and families. Education and conversations are ways in which we can all promote anti-racism in our community. Learn about the history and culture of Asian identities and AAPI achievements and contributions to U.S. history. Share and gain resources and practical tools for how to walk in solidarity. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) offers 6 WAYS TO BE AN ALLY. Hollaback offers free Bystander Intervention Training. More WHPS and WH EDI Resources can be found here .

AAPI K-12 Literature Collection (Click Here)

WHPS Library Media and Curriculum Specialists, in partnership with #IAMNOTAVIRUS provides educators and families with a collection of K-12 literature.

Supporting Muslim Students In Ramadan

Ramadan is observed April 12th - May 12th this year.

Student and Educator Classroom and School Highlights

Check out student and educator school and classroom highlights.

Gallery of SEL and Cultural Competence Strategies

The Professional Development Committee of the EDC invites colleagues to access SEL and Cultural Competence Strategies from the March Equity CSI. Thank you colleagues for all of your contributions to this resource toolbox.

Raising Awareness, Promoting Inclusion and Honoring Heritage Months in Our Schools

The Office of Pupil Services, in collaboration with the EDC and LGBT+ Alliance invites staff, students and families to recognize and participate in monthly programs and activities to raise awareness, promote inclusion, celebrate culture and build community. Stay tuned for information about spring events and programs.


April Autism Awareness Month

May Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May Jewish American Heritage Month

May National Mental Health Awareness Month

June Caribbean-American Heritage Month

June LGBT+ Pride Month

Sept 15th - Oct 15th National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

October Italian American Heritage Month

November National American Heritage Month

February Black History Month

February 1st Lunar New Year 2022

March Irish American Heritage Month

March National Women's History Month

March 21 World Down Syndrome Day

Mark Your Calendars: April 2021 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Events & Programs

CHECK BACK REGULARLY FOR UPDATES:

  • Wednesday, April 21, 6PM - 8PM- A Training for Short Term/Child Care Providers of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A digital Sit Kit containing support materials will be given to all participants. Flyer, Register HERE.

  • Thursday, April 22, 7:00-8:30 PM: A Film Screening & Panel Discussion for Parents Regarding Substance Use and Wellness. The event is scheduled to take place virtually following the high school seniors' viewing of Chris Herren's film "The First Day". For this evening event, we will show the film and then a moderated panel will discuss: what parents can do to raise resilient young adults ready to make healthy choices; how to discuss substance use in an honest fashion with young adults; what to look for as signs that a child may be exploring or using substances; when and how to find support. Flyer & Registration

  • Thursday, April 22, 6PM - 7:30PM: A Panel Discussion for Parents Regarding Substance Use and Wellness. The event is scheduled to take place virtually following the high schools' showing of Chris Herren's film "The First Day". This moderated panel will discuss: what parents can do to raise resilient young adults ready to make healthy choices; how to discuss substance use in an honest fashion with young adults; what to look for as signs that a child may be exploring or using substances; when and how to find support. Flyer coming soon...

  • Thursday, April 22, 2021 @ 12:00pm - 3:00pm -Differentiated-Daily-Doable: Strategies to Use with Your English Learners- Learn practical and immediate ways to support your English learners whether you are teaching remotely, using a hybrid model, or in person. This session will include time for you to ask specific questions about meeting the needs of your students. The presenter will employ her expertise on the neurobiology of bilingualism and biliteracy research, Culturally Responsive Education frameworks, and her four decades of teaching experience. Prior to the session, participants will receive the Seminar Resource Handbook called "Response to Instruction and Intervention: Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Frameworks, Processes and Strategies to Enhance the Academic Performance of Your CLD and EL Students." Click HERE for more information and to register.

Community Programs, Services and Resources for Families

Food programs, employment and certification training programs for parents.

  • NEW -Covid Vaccine Clinic and Events- West Hartford is opening new Covid vaccine clinic and holding an additional event for Hillcrest area residents. For more details, click HERE


  • NEW -Rental Assistance Program for families impacted by the pandemic. Information is available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DOH/DOH/Programs/UniteCT. Under the program the State will provide financial assistance to pay down rental arrears and help with future rent for families who have lost income as a result of the pandemic. If anyone has questions about the program the CT Fair Housing Office has some experience with it would be happy to provide assistance. Families can visit http://www.ctfairhousing.org or call Greg Kirschner directly at (860) 263-0724.


  • NEW - Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Free tax preparation services for individuals and families earning up to $57,000-$69,000/year(depending on town) in the Greater Hartford region. Individuals and families with household incomes up to $68,000 can also file online at MyFreeTaxes.com. Make appointment by visiting 211CT.org or Call 211, press 3 then 6.


  • SNAP-eligible families may qualify to get financial assistance for childcare so that you can pursue free education and training at one of Connecticut’s local community colleges from now through June 30, 2021. Information/Flyer




NEW~CHECK IT OUT: One Community for Equity

A District, Family and Community Partnership in Action