We have officially crossed the halfway point of the 19/20 school year- unbelievable! It has been so rewarding to see the academic and emotional growth of our students.  As a staff, we continue on our journey of learning and improving practice during monthly staff meetings, Late Starts, and PD days.  During our January staff meeting, East hosted Dr. Keith Brooks (112 Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and Dan Cahill (Leader of Secondary Personalized Learning) who facilitated a presentation on Equity and conversations around race.  One of our goals as a building this year is to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our students.  We want our staff to be reflective in their classroom practice and interactions with students as we all continue to strive for this goal.

Keith and Dan began the session by having staff watch a video and reflect on how to engage our students and colleagues in difficult conversations, starting with race.  At times, these conversations can be challenging, as people are concerned about the fear of being misunderstood or offending someone.  The purpose for this time was for each staff member to think about ways that we can interact effectively, building our capacity to bridge those dialogues with others.  The second part of our session asked staff to think about how well we represent all students in the curriculum.  Questions like “Who is missing from the material?”, “Are there consistent and positive images of all students reflected in classroom material”, “Do I use materials that provide opportunities for multiple perspectives” guided this time.  We will continue to build our capacity through professional development to incorporate strategies to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all students at East.