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Thursday, 01 August 2019 15:31

August 2019 Superintendency Message

A message from Superintendent Jeff Stephens:

Some parents shared with me a note they discovered from their 7-year-old son who was obviously doing some personal goal-setting prior to the start of school. This little boy had carefully written the following:

  • Goof ball switch – off!
  • Be nice to new friends.
  • Don't cry (unless you're hurt).
  • Be super awesome.
  • Have fun!

Now that's a bold set of goals! Back to school is a phrase that suggests shopping for clothes, buying supplies and making new friends. For many, the anticipation of attending a new school, meeting your teacher for the first time or taking a new class can generate not only excitement, but apprehension as well. Certainly, going back to school is reason for celebration because with it comes an opportunity to learn and grow.

One of my favorite Weber District 'beginning of school' traditions is visiting each elementary classroom with members of the district leadership team and reading to children, as well as distributing Superintendent's Summer Reading Awards to those students who have read 10 books or 1,000 pages during the summer. Typically, we give out about 5,000 awards each fall. The book that I'll read in classrooms this fall is What Do You Do With A Chance? By Kobi Yamada. This is the story of some remarkable chances and a child who doesn't know quite what to do with them. However, the more chances come around the more the child's fascination grows. And then, one day, a little courage makes all the difference!

I love the question posed in the title of the book—What do you do with a chance?  As we begin a new school year there are so many chances and opportunities that are within our grasp. For students, the chance to learn, to make new friends and to achieve personal goals. Parents can volunteer their time, participate on a community council and support their child's learning at home. Principals can connect to students, support teachers and school staff and advocate for their schools. For teachers, the opportunity to influence a child, to teach an important life lesson or to acquire a new teaching skill. As we start this new school year, each of us has extraordinary opportunities in front of us—chances to make a difference. The question is, 'What will we do with a chance?'

Monday, 29 July 2019 15:59

School Climate and Culture

School Climate and Equity

Equity is intrinsic to all aspects of school climate work. It is not a separate issue. The National School Climate Center defines this to be the quality and character of school life that fosters children’s, youth’s, and families’ full access to:

  1. Appropriately supported, high expectations for learning and achievement
  2. Emotionally and physically safe, healthy learning environments
  3. Caring relationships with peers and adults
  4. Participation that meaningfully enhances academic, social-emotional, civic, and moral development.

An equitable school climate responds to the wide range of cultural norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, leadership practices, and organizational structures within the broader community.

Schools can create more equitable communities through the following promising strategies:

  1. Encourage reflective practice and build cultural awareness in students and adults
  2. Increase understanding of diverse cultures
  3. Keep diverse schools physically and emotionally safe
  4. Make high expectations culturally responsive
  5. Design multiple pathways to meaningful participation
  6. Demonstrate caring by knowing students’ unique emotional needs

 

Weber School District Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Framework Standards -PDF document

framework 

Monday, 29 July 2019 15:59

Professional Development

Professional development is the strategy schools and school districts use to ensure that educators continue to strengthen their practice throughout their career. The most effective professional development engages teams of teachers to focus on the needs of their students. They learn and problem solve together in order to ensure all students achieve success. The Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Department can help leaders with a multitude of training on various topics. Here is just a few starting topics. 

2019 - 2020 School Year

Equity Literacy 

Safe and Inclusive Schools

Inclusive Language

Restorative Practices Introduction

WSD 504 Accommodation Plan

2020 - 2021 School Year

Weber School District Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Framework

 

Monday, 29 July 2019 15:59

Family and Community Resources

Weber School District’s Family Resource Center

Located at Burch Creek Elementary

(The center is located through the front doors to the left)

4300 S. Madison Ave. South Ogden, UT 84403     

801.476.5311    Public Welcome!

 

Visit our Blog here:  http://blog.wsd.net/familyresource/

 

The Family Resource Center follows Weber School District’s calendar. Center hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, when school is in session. The Center is closed during the summer.


 

Centro de Recursos Familiares del Distrito Escolar de Weber

Situado en la Primaria Burch Creek

(El centro se encuentra a la izquierda, pasando las puertas principales)

4300 S. Madison Avenue, South Ogden, UT 84403

801.476.5311 El public es Bienvenido

Visite nuestro blog en:  http://blog.wsd.net/familyresource/

 

El Centro de Recursos Familiares sigue Calendario del Distrito Escolar Weber. El horario del centro es de 7:30 a.m. a 5:00 p.m. Lunes a jueves, cuando la escuela está en sesión El Centro está cerrado durante el verano. 

 

 Book of the Month Review

August/September

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain
by Zaretta Hammond   Published in 2014

To close the achievement gap, diverse classrooms need a proven framework for optimizing student engagement. Culturally responsive instruction has shown promise, but many teachers have struggled with its implemention - until now. 

In this book, Zaretta Hammond draws on cultting-edge neuroscience research to offer an innovative approach for designing and implementing brain-compatible culturally responsive instruction. The book includes:

  • Information on how one's culture programs the brain to process data and affects learning relationships.
  • Ten "key moves" to build students' learners operating systems and prepare them to become independent learners
  • Prompts for action and value self-reflection

 

October/November

Blind Spot
by Banaji and Greenwald   Published 2013

"I know my own mind.
I am able to assess others in a fair and accurate way."

These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality.

“Blindspot” is the authors’ metaphor for the portion of the mind that houses hidden biases. Writing with simplicity and verve, Banaji and Greenwald question the extent to which our perceptions of social groups―without our awareness or conscious control―shape our likes and dislikes and our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential.

In Blindspot, the authors reveal hidden biases based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, a method that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the human mind and that gives us a glimpse into what lies within the metaphoric blindspot.

 

December/January

Excellence Through Equity - Five Principles of Courageous Leadership to Guide Achievement for Every Student
by Alan M. Blankstein and Pedro Noguera with Lorena Kelly   Published 2016

Excellence Through Equity is an inspiring look at how real-world educators are creating schools where all students are able to thrive. In these schools, educators understand that equity is not about treating all children the same. They are deeply committed to ensuring that each student receives what he or she individually needs to develop their full potential—and succeed.

To help educators with what can at times be a difficult and challenging journey, Blankstein and Noguera frame the book with five guiding principles of Courageous Leadership:

  • Getting to your core
  • Making organizational meaning
  • Ensuring constancy and consistency of purpose
  • Facing the facts and your fears
  • Building sustainable relationships

They further emphasize that the practices are grounded in three important areas of research that are too often disregarded: (1) child development, (2) neuroscience, and (3) environmental influences on child development and learning.

 

February/March

We Can't Teach What We Don't Know
by Gary Howard  Published 2016

Gary Howard outlines what good teachers know, what they do, and how they embrace culturally responsive teaching. Change Begins With Us: School transformation begins with the teachers' willingness to change their classroom structures, school structures, and themselves. It is crucial that teachers make the commitment to look deep inside themselves to see how they can better their attitudes, practices, and beliefs related to race and cultural differences. This book is a reminder to teaching is more than a job; it is a vocation in which we must dedicate our entire self.

 

April/May

June/July/August 

 

Monday, 29 July 2019 15:58

EJI Committees and Mission Statement

EJIC Mission Statement

Help create a safe and inclusive climate throughout the district
wherein diversity/differences are embraced and celebrated,
every student and employee is inspired to achieve, thrive and grow,
and where each is empowered to act against any form of intolerance, bigotry (and/or) injustice.
 

 

Advisory Committee Members

Kilo Zamora - Social Change Facilitation, CEO; Gender Studies Faculty, University of Utah

Jackie Thompson - Governor's Multicultural Commission and Retired Educator

Forrest Crawford - Professor, Weber State University

Kathleen Christy - Retired Educational Equity Director

 

WSD Committe Members

Dr. Jeff Stephens - Superintendent

Lori Rasmussen - Assistant Superintendent

Art Hansen - Assistant Superintendent

Gina Butters - Executive Director, Secondary

Cami Alexander - Executive Director, Elementary

Lillian Tsosie-Jensen - Director, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion

Karla Porter - Director, Student Services

Clyde Moore - Supervisor, Secondary Education

Karen Miller - Coordinator, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion

Ray Long - Retired Administator, WSD

Jamie Ellis - Assistant Principal

Brandon Baca - Teacher, Social Studies; President, WEA

Lorena Hernandez - Teacher, Spanish Immerison

Barb Whitman - Director, Ogden-Weber UniServ

Heidi Alder - Legal Counsel

Sandy Lambert - Assistant & Support Staff

 

WSD Team Leads

Roy Cone 

Melinda Stimpson - Roy High School/Social Studies Teacher

Amy Herrick - Roy High School/LIA and EL Teacher

Brandon Lott - Freedom Elementary/Admin Intern

 

Bonneville Cone 

Natasha Davis - Bonneville High School/Counselor

Quinn Talbot - TH Bell Junior High School/Asst Principal

Clay Dyer - Washington Terrace Elementary/6th Teacher

Craig Pitts  - H Guy Elementary/2nd grade Teacher

 

Weber Cone 

Melanie Malan - Weber High School/Spanish Teacher

Marian Doman - Orion Junior High/History Teacher

Julie Smith - Bates Elementary/Counselor

Melissa Leemaster - North Ogden Elementary/Reading Specialist

 

Fremont Cone 

Alicia Mitchell - Fremont High School/Asst Principal

Caysie Bowden - Rocky Mountain Junior High/Counselor

Sher Elliott - Plain City Elementary/Counselor

 

Flex Team 

Jennifer Warren – District/SpEd Supervisor

Anneke Petersen - Two Rivers High/Counselor

Nick Reyes - Bonneville High School/Asst Principal

Cedric Smith - T. H. Bell Jr. High/Science Teacher

Monday, 29 July 2019 15:58

Equity In Motion

Restorative Practices

Latinos In Action (LIA)

Title VI

Immigrant/Migrant/Refugee Education

 

Highlighting schools in Weber School District working towards Equity, Justice, and Inclusion. 

Valley View Elementary School


Riverdale Elementary School

Schoolwide assembly for students on "See Something. Do Something." Assembly was led by Bonneville High School studentbody officers, with performance by the Bonneville High School Drumline. 

 Riverdale ELementary "See something, do something" assemblyRiverdale Elementary "See something, do something" assembly #2Riverdale Elementary "See something, do something" assembly #2

 

Orion Junior High School

Latinos In Action Parent Night

Monday, 29 July 2019 15:58

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Planting Seeds of Equity

Planting Seeds of Equity

Change is a continuous process. You cannot assess it with the static yardstick of a limited time frame. When a seed is sown into the ground, you cannot immediately see the plant. You have to be patient. With time, it grows into a large tree. And then the flowers bloom, and only then can the fruits be plucked. - Mamata Banerjee

Culturally Responsive Teaching 

Culturally Responsive Teaching is teaching and leading in such a way that more of your students, across more of their differencing, achieve at a high level and engage at a deeper level. It is knowing and understanding your students.

Cultural Competence 

Cultural Competence is the will and ability to form authentic and effective relationships across differences. 

 

Resources 

The 7 principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching - .pdf document  - Gary Howard 

  1. Students are affirmed in their cultural connections
  2. Teachers are personally inviting 
  3. The classroom is physically and culturally inviting 
  4. Students are reinforced for academic development
  5. Instructional changes are made to accommodate differences
  6. The classroom is managed with a firm, consistent, loving control
  7. Interactions stress collectivity as well as individuality

 

Culture Responsive Teaching & The Brain - website

Culturally responsive pedagogy can be a game-changer in a school’s pursuit of educational equity. There are misconceptions about what culturally responsive pedagogy is and how it works. CRT is more than just a set of multicultural activities, social justice lessons, or kinesthetic learning strategies. It is so much more. Check out the resources at this site.

 

Teaching Tolerance - website 

Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.

 

Monday, 29 July 2019 15:57

Community Events

Calendar

Hispanic Heritage Month - September/October

Bullying Prevention Month - October

Unity Day - October 21, 2020

LGBT History Month - October

National American Indian Heritage Month - November

International Holocaust Remembrance Day - January 27

American History Month - February

Black History Month - Feburary

Greek-American Heritage Month - March

Gender Equality Month - March

National Women's History Month - March

World Autism Awareness Day - April 2

National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month - May

Jewish American Heritage Month - May

LGBT Pride Month - June

 

Community Connections

 

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