Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter
Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland
January/February 2023 Edition
MBHS Statement on Anti Semitism
In the midst of the rise of hateful incidents targeting Jewish community members, we would like to share a united front against antisemitism. Montgomery Blair High School is committed to a safe, diverse, and equitable school environment. Antisemitism inside and out of school will not be tolerated at Montgomery Blair High School. As always students should see their counselor or school staff to report any discriminatory incidents.
We, as a school, have taken measures to educate the Blair community about the ill effects of antisemitism:
- Silver Chips (print) coverage of Union Station defacement and Staff Editorial, February 2022
- MBHS Culture of Respect Module Presentation/SAT Day, March 2022
- Holocaust Remembrance Week, April 2022
- Student Government Association (SGA)-sponsored speaker event featuring Richard Weiner on effectively addressing antisemitism, on January 9, 2023
- Blair’s Jewish Club will continue to discuss and share the many facets of the Jewish community.
In addition, we will continue to follow the antiracist guidelines and suggestions, as outlined by Montgomery County Public Schools, in order to promote an equitable and safe learning environment for our students.
Important Definitions (Anti-Racist Audit)
Definition of Racism (MCPS)
Racism-The systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another. Racism plays out on multiple levels: internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and structural.
Definition of Antiracism (MCPS)
Antiracism-Actively working to ensure racial justice by identifying, interrupting, and dismantling racists practices, policies, and attitudes that disproportionately harm communities of color.
Being antiracist means:
Demonstrating an everyday commitment to critical reflection of how our beliefs, practices, and interactions contribute to inequitable outcomes by race.
Acknowledging the generational harm and advantages racism has caused in the communities in which we work and live.
Understanding how the prioritization of dominant culture contributes to racial inequities and the permanence of racism.
Identifying the racial inequities in our context and collaborating with staff, students, families and community members to address them and hold each other accountable.
Disrupting and eliminating racist policies, practices, and procedures that block access, opportunity, and equitable outcomes for students, staff, and families of color.
Proactively developing new practices and policies that create access, opportunity, and equitable educational, social-emotional, and health outcomes for students, staff, and families of color.
Important Information about the MCPS Anti-Racist Audit
Anti Racist Audit
What is the anti racist audit?
Conducted by MAEC (Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium)
A review of our district policies and practices to understand the impact of race and racism.
This review looked at six areas of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS): Workforce Diversity, Working Conditions, Pre-K-12 Curriculum, School Culture, Community Engagement and Relations, and Equity of Access.
Anti Racist Audit
Where is the data for Blair?
The data for Blair will be released in the coming months, it will be shared in a staff meeting when it is delivered.
For more information about the MCPS Anti-Racist Website, please see the link above.
All-In Honors Surveys
Increasing access to honors-level curricula is one of Blair's ongoing equity-driven, anti-racist interventions. The SGA's All-In Honors Committee has created surveys to help us to understand how the implementation of the courses is going at Blair.
Here is the link for TEACHERS: (click here)
Here is the link for STUDENTS: (click here)
Here is the link for PARENTS: (click here)
Teachers will have mid-quarterly and quarterly sessions in order to share best practices and learn a new teaching idea! Blair will continue to use student and teacher voice to help drive professional learning and differentiation in the classroom.
The first All-In Honors check-in was on October 7, 2022 at lunch in room 233.
The next All-In Honors check-in was on December 9, 2022, at lunch in room 227.
The UPCOMING All-In Honors check-in will be on March 3, 2023, at lunch in room 227.
We are excited to offer this year's All-In Honors will include the following classes:
- English 10
- NSL Government
- Algebra II (1 year only)
We will also continue to support the following All-In Honors courses:
- English 9
- US History/Modern World
MCPS defines restorative justice as an approach to building community, self-care, and conflict resolution.
At Montgomery Blair, we are committed to the principles and ideals of finding alternatives to corrective action, specifically, for students of color.
Our staff was trained in facilitating community circles on October 24th, and students experienced community circles schoolwide on October 26th. There will be more training in the Spring.
Our Blair SGA is working along with the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator to make materials and create surveys that allow students to experience restorative activities and practices.
The above Blair Student video about Restorative Justice was shared schoolwide in the Fall!
February is Black History Month
Book Study: The Four Pivots
We will use The Four Pivots framework to renew our culture of teaching and learning and reclaim many of the best attitudes and practices that have been impacted by Covid.
The areas of focus are:
1. reflection to improve practice
2. establishing deep, transformational relationships
3. focusing on possibilities instead of problems, and
4. establishing better and healthier work habits and routines.
Throughout the fall, students and staff participated in deep discussions about race, ethnicity, and how it relates to our Blair school community.
Students and teachers are developing a document of best practices, based on the book, to share with teachers.
Spotlight on Inclusive Blair Clubs/Organizations
Black Student Union--Tuesdays at 3 p.m.
The Black Student Union meets every Tuesday, after school in Room 148.