Equity & Access Newsletter

Secondary Edition

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How to Make it Through the Holidays Mentally and Emotionally

With the holiday season underway, trying to manage relatives, additional shopping, traveling, deciding who's house to go to when; all of which can be overwhelming and stressful which could also create some anxiety. Here are several ways to keep your sanity during the holiday season.

  1. Make a budget and a plan. Spend an hour or two to create a budget for all the things you need during the holiday season. Work hard to stick to your budget; things can get out of hand quickly if you're not mindful.
  2. A little here, a little there. Shop for one or two people at a time and spread it out over time to keep your stress level low.
  3. The times less traveled. Try to take a couple of days or half days of work off to get some of your shopping done when fewer people are out and about.
  4. Don't spend 40 hours a week on Pinterest. Don't waste your time trying to make everything homemade to make the season more festive for everyone else. Do what's important to you and enjoy spending time with the ones you care about.
  5. Don't overcommit to commitments. Be reasonable about the events you attend, so you don't overextend yourself.
  6. Don't try to be everything to everyone. Just like your money, you have limits on your time. Commit to what you want; and enjoy yourself.
  7. Remember what the time is about. You can spend your time shopping, decorating, or cooking. Focus on loved ones.
  8. Too much sugar isn't too sweet. With all of the holiday goodies that people bring during the holiday season; it's easy to get carried away. Moderation is the key.
  9. Out with the old. Finding ways to declutter your space and gifts can bring a sense of calm to your home and mind.

The holidays are an excellent time for us to decompress and build stronger connections with the people we love; let's not let the pressures of the holiday sabotage our time enjoying friends and family.

9 Ways to Keep Your Holiday Sanity

Solutions, Ramsey. “9 Ways to Keep Your Holiday Sanity.” Daveramsey.com, Dave Ramsey, 4 Nov. 2013, www.daveramsey.com/blog/9-ways-to-keep-holiday-sanity

Reflection from a student - the Day of Dead Field Trip

Teresa Young is the Equity Champion at Westport Middle School. Students were able to attend a Day of the Dead field trip. Teresa shares a student reflection which talks about the importance of culturally relevant field trips for all students. Here is one more example of learning through exploration.

Day of the Dead Student Reflection

How Field Trips Boost Students' Lifelong Success (article)

What's In your Toolbox?

Culturally Relevant Teaching is Not Just About Race

For some educators when they hear the phrasing, "the material must be culturally relevant to engage the student." Some folks have the impression that you're talking about presenting the material to the student based on their race. Even when students identify as the same race, it does not mean that they share the same culture. When appropriate, use culture as an opportunity to engage students in the learning process.

Another misconception with culturally relevant teaching is that you may have to dumb-down the curriculum or lesson. High expectations for students shouldn't change; the process for delivering and conveying those expectations may look different based on students needs and motivation.

The attachment below addresses culturally relevant teaching strategies. Three categories are used to make the learning framework equitable for all students.

Culturally Relevant Teaching Strategies

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GLSEN's Four Supports: Are they in your school?

To make sure that schools are safe spaces for all students, adults in the school setting must be intentional about the culture and climate that is present in your building. For LGBTQ youth, GLSEN recommends four major supports must be in place to cultivate inclusive and safe environments. Below is a list of supports with links to find out more.

Visible, supportive educators

Inclusive and affirming policies

Inclusive curriculum and resources

Student clubs that support LGBTQ visibility, such as GSA

All of our high schools and several middle schools have a GSA; which is excellent for supporting students and allies. Exploring other supports GLSEN offers gives a school an opportunity to address bullying and harassment where all students can feel safe and ready to learn.

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MLK Art Contest - You're invited!

Your schools are invited to participate in an art contest tied to the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in January 2019. This contest is being co-sponsored by the offices of the NAACP, SPS Equity & Access, SPS Community Partnerships, and SPS Fine Arts. You and your student’s participation in this contest is voluntary, however, we hope to have entries from all SPS Schools!

Contest details:

Theme: Reigniting the Dream (This is also the theme for the march and rally on January 21, 2019)

Number of entries: Each school may submit as many entries as they would like.

Specifications: All art work submitted should be on 8 ½ x 11 plain white paper. The students name, classroom teacher and art teachers names, grade and school should be listed on the back. Any text on the art work needs to be dark and we recommend using bold colors and outlining designs in sharpie when appropriate. Submitted art work should be “print ready.

Deadline to submit entries: Entries should be submitted to Breana Kavanaugh at KAC no later than Friday, December 21, 2018. Entries received after this deadline will not be considered.

Contest winners: Winning entries will be chosen and notified no later than January 4th. Winning artists will be recognized at a Board of Education meeting and the MLK March and Rally on January 21st at the Gillioz Theatre.

Thank you so much for considering this wonderful opportunity! We can’t wait to see what your students create!

Upcoming Events

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