Summary of RAUC Equity Work 2016-20

Summary of RAUC Equity Work 2016-20
Posted on 10/29/2019
Ms. Craven led a volunteer after school group that read articles and engaged in discussion of the ways that race and racism shape our lives and our students’ lives. 

2017-18 and 2018-19:
For the past two years, we have dedicated five staff meetings a year to equity work. Our goal, as laid out in our School Improvement Plan, was to “deepen our capacity as culturally proficient educators and as a culturally responsive institution in order to better meet the needs of our diverse student population through whole staff meeting time for learning and conversations about equity.”
  • Last year our work was guided by outside facilitators to ensure we were facing our blind spots. While there were times when people chafed at not having a clear action step to take, we recognized what our facilitators kept reminding us--that at this point talking together was “the work.” Some of the most powerful conversations happened when we explored mini-case studies of school scenarios that resonated with our experience. We ended the year with an equity glossary, all terms we explored together. Having a common vocabulary has enabled us to make our conversations increasingly rigorous and real. You can access the glossary here >>
  • Co-sponsored Courageous Conversations initiated by a parent planning group and with the support of the Peabody and Baldwin school
  • Piloted a series of conversations with American Born Black families to explore their experience with school, done in collaboration with Gately. We learned a lot from this experience and hope to apply it to future work.

Based on end of the year surveys, we created new goals for the coming two years: Become a more culturally responsive institution so we better support the academic growth of all students, particularly our culturally and linguistically diverse students. Specifically, we will strengthen our capacity to see how race, implicit bias and the 4i’s of racism affect our interaction with students, families and each other AND we will strengthen culturally responsive instruction. 

  • This year we have six staff meetings with outside facilitators who will support us in reaching these goals. We are watching videos together, developing action research for our own classrooms, and reflecting together in groups to support each other and to hold ourselves accountable for following through on our commitments.

  • Concurrent to this work, we are also trying to seek out and listen more intentionally to the voices of our families, particularly our families of color. In early September, staff reflected on family engagement survey results and caregiver quotes excerpted from the Building Equity Bridges report to guide our approach to family engagement for the year. Yesterday, staff listened to a panel representing our American Born Black community as well as our Haitian Creole, Bengali, and Amharic speaking communities. 

  • Family Engagement Team will work to develop a clearer shared understanding of what a successful home-school partnership looks like. Stay tuned for information about how to participate in that process.
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