Inclusive Schools Week is December 1-5 and celebrates the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors. The Week also provides an important opportunity for educators, students and parents to discuss what else needs to be done in order to ensure that their schools continue to improve their ability to successfully educate all children.
As we head into Inclusive Schools Week and think about how we are are working towards meeting all of the needs of our students at Rooftop, we wanted to share this blog post from the Washington Post written by Amy Murray, director of early childhood education at the Calgary French & International School in Canada: http://tinyurl.com/qgkfgr2
A focus for Rooftop this year is the development of our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Team with a charge of building on our successes and taking them to the next level through innovation. Our PTA is committed to this effort and has set aside specific funds to support its development. Many of our families are connected to the tech industry and are looking for ways to connect their expertise to support our work at Rooftop. We’ve been working hard to leverage outside partners to support our efforts as well. Major partners include Salesforce.com, Clever.com, and Code.org. Our STEAM Team met at the Clever.com offices to continue this conversation.
Salesforce.com established a $100,000 Principal’s Innovation Fund for each middle and K8 school principal to invest in their school’s ability to innovate and increase access to STEM opportunities. In addition to purchasing Chromebooks for every staff member, through our STEAM Team, we’ll be working to develop a curriculum to support the implementation of a makers space at the Mayeda campus.
Experiential, hands-on learning along with design-thinking is an important way to engage our students. In September, Newsweek magazine explored the ways in which several schools around the country are tapping into their students’ creativity through the use of maker spaces. Please take a moment to check out this article as we engage in the journey to support our students as innovators: http://tinyurl.com/lmqkxt4
Look who’s teaming up with our new partner, Clever.com –
“Teacher Union, Popular Ed-Tech Startup Join Forces”
Our Equity/Diversity Team met before the break to develop an action plan to support Rooftop’s efforts to become an inclusive community for all of our families. We left the meeting with three action steps that will be implemented this school year:
We will host a resource fair this spring at the Mayeda campus that will include sessions focused on: volunteer training, cultural competency awareness, informational sessions presented by support staff, informational sessions focused on PTA-supported programs, community resource tables, and student performances.
We will has a second part of last year’s community meeting at Whitney Young. We will start the meeting with an analysis of the data collected from last year’s meeting. We will also explore the ways in which Rooftop is connecting to our larger community.
We will partner with the district’s Access and Equity department to provide specific, targeted training for school staff members. In particular, we will connect with the district’s professional learning community focused on building a “culturally and linguistically responsive learning community.”
Thank you for being a part of this exciting journey!
Jeff & Tiffany