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EQUITY & INCLUSION AT THE CLUSTER

The Cluster Race, Class and Equity (RCE) group seeks to build an equitable and inclusive Cluster school community through dialogue, fact-finding, and advocacy.

 

What does an equitable and inclusive school community look like?  

Equity includes... 

  • Eliminating race and class disparities in achievement, discipline, and access to advanced work groups or classes by devoting resources and attention to those students most in need; 

  • Valuing and preserving the racial and socioeconomic diversity of our schools, within grades and across them;

  • Ensuring that administration, teachers, staff, and school-related organizations reflect the diversity of our students; and

  • Collaborating with other groups across the District to help build a public school system that serves all children.

 

Inclusion means…

  • All families have a voice, know they are welcome, and feel valued; 

  • Honoring our differences, learning from others, and appreciating the richness of our diverse community; and 

  • Advocating for all children as if they were our own.

 

The Race, Class, and Equity group is organized into the following committees, which are open to all members of the Cluster community, including families, staff, and administrators: 

  • Coalition Building & Outreach Committee will build connections with other education and equity groups beyond the Cluster to fight for a DC public school system that works for all children.

  • Events Committee will offer Cluster-wide online events, including dialogues and guest speakers.

  • Inclusion Committee will work to include everyone in our school community by welcoming new families, helping families connect with each other, and promoting family involvement in school events.

  • PTA/LSAT Support Committee will work closely with LSAT and PTA to ensure that both organizations reflect the diversity of the Cluster community and prioritize equity and inclusion work.

  • School Practices Committee will work to ensure that Cluster school practices are equitable and inclusive. Practices include student discipline, academic differentiation, computer access, and family engagement, as well as teachers' choices about books to read and display, educational materials to employ, and languages to use.
     

To learn more about the group or get involved, email chcs.equity@gmail.com

KINDRED PARTNERSHIP

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With support from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, we have launched a partnership with Kindred. Kindred supports schools and school systems to realize the collective well-being of all students and families. Its vision is that children and families thrive without difference by economic situation, racial or ethnic identity, ability, or other designation. Our partnership over the course of three-to-four years will involve conversations and actions between parents, staff, and school leadership as we tackle issues of racial and economic segregation within our school community.
 

  • Year 1: Kindred’s team supports the development of authentic relationships between diverse groups of parents and staff by facilitating small-group dialogues about their backgrounds, race and equity, and goals for their students.

 

  • Year 2: Kindred’s team trains and coaches parent and staff dialogue participants to lead groups with other parents and staff to reach the broader school community. 

 

  • Years 3-4: Kindred supports parents and staff to ensure that their school’s parent organizational bodies into equity-driven action groups.

 

Parent selection process

In total, we sought out 12 parents who are truly invested in fostering an inclusive and equitable school community at the Capitol Hill Cluster. Given the uniqueness of the Cluster, we also centered the voices of families who have been historically missing from critical conversations about the school’s initiatives. To reach this goal we worked with the Parent-Teacher Association, school leadership, and the Race, Class, & Equity Group to identify, recruit, and select dialogue members who reflect the diversity of the school community. 

​You can learn more about Kindred by watching their recruitment video or by reaching out to Ryan Jones, Facilitator and Organizer, at ryan@kindredcommunities.org if you have any questions.

The latest

Kindred is excited to continue the first year of our partnership with the Capitol Hill Cluster school community. During our first year, we are working to support the development of authentic relationships between diverse groups of parents and staff by facilitating 10 small-group dialogues about their backgrounds, race and equity, and goals for their students. Throughout the dialogue sessions, participants also consider educational and racial inequities that may exist in the school community and possible collective actions that can be taken as both parents and staff members to ensure that all students and families are able to thrive (see graphic of dialogue arc below).

 

In the Cluster community: 

  • The parent dialogue group has completed 7 out of 10 sessions and the next meeting will take place on Thursday, April 8. The group continues to maintain 13 participants who have explored topics around their educational experiences and the educational experiences of their parents/caregivers and have learned to identify microaggressions and ways to intervene and/or repair when observing, experiencing, or perpetuating them. During the next session we will be examining how inequity manifests in test scores and other indicators of future financial opportunity and lived outcomes.

  • The staff dialogue group has completed 8 out of 10 sessions and the next meeting will take place on Thursday, April 1. The group has 12 participants who have explored ways in which racial privilege and disadvantage show up in the school community and what their roles as staff members are in working toward equity. They've also explored how institutional bias manifests in school systems and the ways in which staff, families, and children experience school. In the next session, the group will be joined by Principal Berkowitz who will learn more about their experience in Kindred dialogue groups and their ideas for collective action to address racial inequities in the school community. 

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EQUITY & INCLUSION RESOURCES

Discussion Group Readings

November 2018

  • Teaching for Change, “G is for Gentrification: Breaking Barriers of Race, Class, and Language”

  • “Maintaining a ‘Commitment to Everyone’: Toward a Vision of Equitable Development in Urban Public Schooling by Linn Posey-Maddox

October 2018

April 2018

  • “Opportunity Hoarding: Creating and Maintaining Racial Advantage,” from Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools (2015) by Amanda E. Lewis and John B. Diamond [PDF

December 2017

October 2017

  • "Professionalizing the MPTO: Race, Class and Shifting Norms for ‘Active’ Parents.” Linn Posey-Maddox [PDF]

June 2017