December 2022 Newsletter

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SPOTLIGHT: Teresa “Terri” Taylor
Terri Taylor proudly serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator at Kenmore Middle School. Ms. Taylor has a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology and Audiology and Communication Disorders and a Master of Education in Literacy and Culture. She’s worked in a variety of roles in education for almost two decades. Prior to serving as Kenmore’s DEI Coordinator, Ms. Taylor has worked as a special education teacher, literacy coach, reading specialist and served as Kenmore’s family engagement champion. Ms. Taylor is passionate about creating multiple pathways for student success and empowers students to reach their academic and personal goals in school and beyond. She also works closely with staff to facilitate partnerships with families through family engagement. She is committed to collaborating with Kenmore Middle School’s staff and the community to cultivate and foster an equitable and inclusive learning environment where all learners thrive, are valued, and develop to their fullest potential.

Kristin La is originally from Arlington and is an APS alum. She joined Gunston Middle School as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator in August 2021 after moving back to Arlington from a thirteen year adventure in California. A career changer, Kristin brought her experience as a field geologist, environmental consultant and lifelong reflective learner to her public middle school science classroom in San Francisco. In teaching, she used project based learning and arts integration to allow young people to grapple with real world, authentic issues. Kristin’s values of reflection and collaboration eventually led her to seek out a coaching position. As the DEI Coordinator and a member of the instructional coaching team at Gunston, she both advocates for students and strives to shift mindsets in adult spaces. She brings her experience with restorative justice, culturally relevant teaching practices and systems thinking to support the professional learning community and hopes to inspire teachers to consider new ways of teaching and learning. Kristin is driven by the belief that strengthening student agency, student voice, and partnerships with families will allow teachers and staff to know and connect with every student by name, strength and need, to achieve more equitable outcomes for all students.

December 2 – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
December 3 – International day of Persons with Disabilities
December 10 – Human Rights Day
December 18 – International Migrants Day and Arabic Lang. Day
December 20- International Human Solidarity Day

IMPLICIT BIAS TRAINING: The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is continually engaging APS colleagues across schools/departments and professional responsibility to ensure that each is made aware of how biases impact our behaviors at work and in life. It is our endeavor to ensure that every colleague participates in this training prior to the end of the 2023-24 academic school year.
CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING AND EQUITABLE PRACTICES:  The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is actively working to ensure that teachers, specialists, and administrators (school based and central office) have a consistent understanding of the tenants of culturally responsive teaching and equitable practices.

Freedom’s Eve: Celebrate the Coming Year Saturday, December 31, 2022 11:00 am – 3:00 pm National Museum of African-American History & Culture
New Year’s Eve has been a cause for celebration since December 31, 1862, when enslaved people in the Confederate States stayed up until midnight to watch and wait for the freedom granted by the Emancipation Proclamation. At the close of this year, program attendees can honor the past and present at the Museum. You are invited to participate in activities that will help you understand the first days of freedom, encourage you to share your hopes and dreams for the future, and to honor the last two principles of Kwanzaa—Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith).

Culturally Responsive Teaching and Equitable Practices Indicator 1: Disaggregates assessment, engagement, behavioral, and attendance data by student groups and identifies and applies differentiated strategies to address growth and learning needs of all students with specific attention to students within gap groups. Teacher Practices: Utilize whole-group instructional activities to gather achievement data. Strategically groups students based on needs, to include strengths, identified through the collection of formative and summative data. Students have individualized learning pathways that support their unique academic needs.

Please use this link to share your thoughts on what we’re reading and offer suggestions to expand our library and collective knowledge. We are currently reading: The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives – Shankar Vedantam

Diversity: The representation of different and unique identities, characteristics, experiences and perspectives reflected through, but not limited to: disability, age, race, national origin, sexual orientation, color, armed service status, religion, and sex.