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:
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?'
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:
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:
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.
Safe and Inclusive Schools
Restorative Practices Introduction
WSD 504 Accommodation Plan
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:
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
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
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:
"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.
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:
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.
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.
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
Melinda Stimpson - Roy High School/Social Studies Teacher
Amy Herrick - Roy High School/LIA and EL Teacher
Brandon Lott - Freedom Elementary/Admin Intern
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
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
Alicia Mitchell - Fremont High School/Asst Principal
Caysie Bowden - Rocky Mountain Junior High/Counselor
Sher Elliott - Plain City Elementary/Counselor
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
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.
Orion Junior High School
Latinos In Action Parent Night
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 is the will and ability to form authentic and effective relationships across differences.
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 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.
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