Equity Office » Equity Office Memo: Vol. 2

Equity Office Memo: Vol. 2

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Are we ok? We are not. Not our children. Not our staff. Not our families.  However what we aim to be is reflective, responsible and conscious of the learning within the struggle. We know everyone is not ok, more importantly, it is ok to NOT be ok. So what next?

Every next step should be made with the intention to improve, build, elevate, progress, ascend, uplift and learn. Collectively, we are failing upwards, but the center of all failures should be a lesson learned in life’s report card with a new category that calls for us to check in on each other. A “how you holding up” goes way farther than a dollar can ever go, after all who has ever seen the same exact dollar twice anyway? For our scholars, the process of learning begins when curiosity is inspired by a need to create and support an action.

The next part in the learning process can be dependent on the environment and exposure to knowledge. Your learning can be experienced when you make connections to your environment and discover the role that people, places and things play in your lives.  For our EPS staff, we have to use communication and collaboration to shoulder the load instigated by anxiety and uncertainty brought upon by this shape-shifting pandemic. More than ever your expertise under these conditions are valued more than any other time in history, and we believe our “change work” is led by you, our learning leaders.

Finally, at my core, I believe that every student is a future expert at something, and as we continue this march towards fairness, opportunity and equity, we should take a considerable amount of steps back and say after two weeks, “If anything, do I at least know for certain that I am building strong relationships with my students?”

A collection of flags representing Hispanic Heritage Month
Lesson Plans • Activities • Reflections • Art, Culture, & Sports
Design concept connoting diversity, teamwork, and inclusivity
Article of the Week
7 Things Teachers Say to Create a Supportive Classroom
Courtesy of EDUTOPIA www.edutopia.org

The things teachers say can cut deeply or build a lasting foundation for success
Here are seven teacher-tested expressions to try this year:

August 26, 2021
By Stephen Merrill

There’s no way for a teacher to get through a whole school year without blurting out the wrong thing a few times. Difficult mornings sometimes become insufferable afternoons, and kids of all ages know how to press adults’ buttons. When you do slip up, extend yourself some grace.

The good news? You can prepare to be supportive, and even practice before you step into the classroom. “One of the hardest things I had to do was learn how to change my ‘teacher’ language so that I could encourage and empower students on a daily basis,” confides sixth-grade teacher Alyssa Nucaro. In time, she concluded that “using powerful and effective teacher language takes a lot of practice and awareness.”

Read the Full Article

Podcast of the Week
From the Leading Equity Podcast

Generating Meaningful and Effective Engagement of Parents
and Community Members with Dr. Rosa Isiah

Dr. Rosa Isiah has served students in her community for 28 years. Currently, she serves as Director of Elementary, Equity, and Access in NLMUSD.  Dr. Isiah is passionate about equity and social justice, multilingual Ed, leadership, and closing opportunity gaps for historically underserved students. Dr. Isiah’s experiences as an immigrant, English learner, and a child in poverty add to her passion for her work.

Dr. Isiah is founder of #WeLeadEd Twitter chat and the WeleadED BAMradio radio podcast focused on Ed Leadership and Social Justice. Dr. Isiah co-authored five books on the whole child, equity, leadership, and the power of relationships, including  Beyond Conversations About Race (2021). Dr. Isiah contributes her voice to blogs, podcasts, and books on social justice, diversity, equity, access, and women in leadership. Dr. Isiah was the recipient of the Loyola Marymount University 2019 Leader for Social Justice award.

Resource of the Week
Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams

Whether readers are learning a new language or educators are trying to improve students’ general reading comprehension, Reading Progress enables students to practice their skills in a secure, student-centric environment.

With Reading Progress, educators can:
• Save time by creating reading fluency assignments for either the entire class or for individual students to complete independently.
• Visualize reading progress thanks to integration with the Education Insights dashboard. 
• Engage students in independent practice on their own time. 

REMINDER: Equity in Education Virtual Workshops

Relationship Building as a Tool to Improve
Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning


Relationship building is a critical component to student success. The use of relationship building as a skill is the ability to build positive relationships, especially with diverse students, individuals and groups using numerous strategies such as communication, conflict resolution, active listening, motivation and teaching pedagogy. This 2 hour session lead by Cory McCarthy explores:

  • The qualities of a Culturally Responsive educator
  • Recognizing Equity Detours
  • Safe Spaces
  • Self Assessment & Core Values
  • How to measure and assess growth as an Culturally Responsive educator
  • Improving Cultural Competence with Intentionality
  • Developing Essential Questions in the Classroom that uses relationships and relevance to improve outcomes

Culturally Responsive Teaching recognizes inequitable distributions of power and resources in our society. It challenges Eurocentric values and prevailing systems of oppression that are often invisible but entrenched in our history (Solorzano & Yosso, 2002; 2000; McCoy & Rodricks, 2015). 

Culturally Responsive Teaching & Learning: aware of the historic marginalization, employ a wide repertoire of Culturally Responsive Teaching strategies to honor, validate, support, and create a safe place for diverse students (Kozleski, 2000). 

Date: Tuesday, October 12th from 4 to 6 p.m.