#OurKids

‚ÄčOur mission is to work with and inspire students to grow and develop their ability to learn, think and inquire through meaningful, motivating and rewarding learning experiences supported by highly qualified caring adults in a safe, supportive and inviting community.

That mission statement was created during our recent strategic improvement planning process. Folks from throughout our community came together to identify our core values, dream about the future, and create plans to reach those dreams. One of those core values, as reflected in the mission statement, is the need for caring adults to support #OurKids. Another is the importance of creating a safe, supportive, and inviting community.

Recent events have left many questioning just how safe and supported they are in our nation, and whether some key adults in our country can be described as “caring.” While our impact on a national stage may be limited, there is much we can do for #OurKids, our friends, and our local community. The beauty of schools, especially public schools, is that we have a sacred opportunity to show our students every day, through our words and actions, that they are loved, cared for, and appreciated.

I am honored to serve a school district and a community where everyday we strive to meet the needs of our students–ALL of our students. #OurKids is not just a fun hashtag, it’s a reflection of our core values. We truly believe that every student deserves to be supported by caring adults in a safe, supportive and inviting community. I know our teachers, administrators, and support staff give their best for #OurKids everyday and I applaud them for their great work.

Working Group to Eliminate Disproportionality

Since the start of the school year, we’ve been talking about concerns I have with disproportionality (see 10/11/16 Board meeting or Facebook for the initial presentation to the Board). It’s time for action on this important topic, so I’m looking for folks willing to assist the district with our work on eliminating disproportionality in student achievement, discipline, participation, etc. We need expertise in various areas, including developing cultural competence, best practices in curriculum and instruction, demographics, sociology, statistics, survey methodology, data presentation, etc.

This working group will review available data, identify and procure additional data sources, develop analysis frameworks, identify areas of greatest concern and best practices in addressing those areas, and develop appropriate metrics for monitoring progress. Much of the work of the group can be done individually, virtually, or in small groups, but some work will need to be completed as an entire group in face-to-face meetings. Time commitments will vary depending on areas of expertise and interest.

If you are interested in assisting the district with this important work, or know of someone who might be, please complete the form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSD-DispWorkGrp. We hope to get this working group formed during January/February 2017 and will work with selected members to establish a calendar of activities at that time.


Note that I hope folks more creative than me can come up with a better name than Elimination of Disproportionality Working Group for this group, so this should be considered a “working title” for the group. Suggestions received so far:

  • Working Group to Eliminate Disproportionality (I hadn’t noticed the dual-meaning of the original name, so have gone ahead and changed to this name for the time being)
  • Working Group on Proportional Representation
  • The working group to maximize inclusion for disproportioned students
  • C RED Committee for Action.. Using ūüíó to end the ūüĒĄ ReducingEducationalDisproportionality

Enrollment Projections Working Group

I’m looking for folks willing to assist the district with producing¬†our annual enrollment projections. We need expertise in various areas, including demographics, sociology, real estate, statistics, survey methodology, data presentation, economics, geo-spatial analysis, etc.

This working group will review available data, identify and procure additional data sources, develop analysis frameworks, and, ultimately, produce enrollment projections for the next five (or more) years. Much of the work of the group can be done individually, virtually, or in small groups, but some work will need to be completed as an entire group in face-to-face meetings. Time commitments will vary depending on areas of expertise and interest, and will be cyclical (for example, little work following publication of projections and much more work in the months following the October student count).

If you are interested in assisting the district with this vital task, or know of someone who might be, please complete the form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSD-EnrProjWorkGrp. We hope to get this working group formed during January 2017 and will work with selected members to establish a calendar of activities at that time.

More Enrollment Information

Twice a year, the district works with the Georgia Department of Education to certify our official enrollment. The following data are from our October certified enrollments this year (2016-17) and previous years. As promised in my last post on this topic (2016-17 Enrollment), here are some additional analyses of these data.

The following two graphs are repeats from the last post, with some minor improvements to them.

enrollment-by-year

16-17-enrollment-by-grade

The following graph presents grade level enrollments by school for the 2016-17 school year.

16-17-enrollment-by-school

It’s interesting to examine the relative sizes of our grade levels and how they have changed over time.

enrollment-by-grade-by-year

Each of our grade levels grow a little differently. The following set of graphs present year-over-year enrollments by grade level, along with the associated percent change for each year.

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Many of us in the community, myself included, are concerned with the decreasing racial diversity in our schools. The following graphs present information on¬†distributions by race. The “Non-White” categorization includes students from all races other than White, including, for instance, our Black, Hispanic, and Asian students, as well as our students indicating multiple races. The vast majority of our students are either White or Black, so the “Non-White” categorization is designed to present information on our diversity without leaving out information on students who are part of very small categories.

16-17-race-by-school

While the count of “Non-White” students continues to increase along with the count of White students, the percentage of the total enrollment represented by the former has been steadily decreasing for many years.

non-white-by-year

The following graphs present the same information for each grade level individually.

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I hope you have found this information helpful. I look forward to sharing future data analyses for your consideration.

 

 

 

 

Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Chapter 3: Why Race?

Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Chapter 3: Why Race?

I’m reading a great book about how to talk about race. It’s called Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools, Second Edition, by Glenn E. Singleton.

I previously shared notes about earlier parts of the book, so check those out if you’re interested:

Here are my notes from Chapter 3:

  • “Both [liberals and conservatives] fail to see that the presence and predicaments of Black people are neither additions to nor defections from American life, but rather constitutive elements of that life.” -Cornel West
  • “…people of color face an enormous challenge as they attempt to find a foothold in a nation that has never fully respected them or granted them equality.”
  • “Until teachers discover a love, empathy, and authentic desire to reach their students of color, these children will not develop to their full social, emotional, and academic potential.”
  • “…true racial equality in our habits of heart and mind remains elusive.”
  • “To work toward equality requires tremendous effort on the part of all racial groups–the racially advantaged and the racially disadvantaged.”
  • “The aim of this book is to help educators improve their achievement of¬†all students while narrowing the gaps between the lowest and highest performing groups and eliminating the pattern by which racial groups predictably and disproportionality occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories.”
  • Remember “…with liberty and justice for all.”
  • “White people must embrace their responsibility to challenge the awarding and acceptance of privilege.”
  • “…race as socially constructed rather than biologically determined…”
  • “…sustainable reform will occur only when White people individually and collectively embrace and encourage change.”
  • “…people are more comfortable talking about poverty, or gender, but they avoid talking about race.” -Julie Landsman
  • “…these studies also have the potential to provide evidence of the inherent racial biases in the SAT…”
  • “White students achieve scores that are quite similar across a broad income spectrum…[but] the scores of all groups of color show substantial change from lowest to highest income groups.”
  • “Often, Asian students face ‘positive’ racial discrimination and stereotyping…”
  • “…members of the dominant racial culture tend to search for and acknowledge primarily economic differences when explaining social stratification and academic achievement disparities.”
  • “…the students’¬†socio¬†or racial/cultural background appears to have a more powerful impact on participation and performance than their economic status.”
  • “…we have found the racial achievement gap to be the most difficult gap to address.”
  • “As expectations, opportunities, resources, and access become equitable across all racial groups, the gaps close, because all students are supported in the differentiated way necessary to achieve success.”
  • “systemic racism…the unexamined and unchallenged system of racial biases and residual White advantage…”
  • “…vision of accelerating the rate of achievement of Latino and Black students, while sustaining the continued growth of their White and Asian counterparts.”
  • “…opportunity gaps [is] a statistic that compares rates of progress toward proficiency among racial subgroups.”
  • “By addressing race as an essential and foundational issue, [the school] dealt effectively with¬†all known factors impacting student performance.”
  • “Many educators struggle to take personal and professional responsibility when it comes to meeting the needs of students of color and indigenous students who are not succeeding.”
  • “Effectively talking about race and addressing racism whenever and wherever it appears is an integral part of our responsibility to transform schools into inclusive, rigorous environments for ALL.”
  • “race [is] the socially constructed meaning attached to a variety of physical attributes…”
  • “racism…can be defined as beliefs and an enactment of beliefs that one set of characteristics is superior to another set…”
  • “a¬†racist would be any person who subscribes to these beliefs and perpetuates them intentionally or unconsciously.”
  • “…racism is the conscious or unconscious, intentional or unintentional enactment of racial power, grounded in racial prejudice, by an individual or group against another individual or group perceived to have lower racial status.”
  • “…racism does not require¬†intent.”
  • “Racism is different from prejudice. A person of color can hurt a White person because of prejudice. The difference is that in this country, people of color face systematic and ongoing personal and institutionalized biases every day.”
  • “Other groups do not have the racial power, presence, and position necessary to maintain the prejudicial acts over time and throughout society without abatement.”
  • “Racism becomes institutionalized when organizations…remain unconscious of issues related to race.”
  • “To serve students of color equitably, it is essential to challenge institutionalized racism and vigilantly reduce individual racial prejudices.”
  • “…institutionalized racism equates to prejudice connected with the¬†power to protect the interests of the discriminating racial group.”
  • “Rarely is intentional discrimination the central problem in the teacher-student relationship; rather, the discrimination includes unquestioned assumptions on the part of the institution within which these interactions take place.”
  • “The stating point in deinstitutionalizing racism is to believe first and foremost that racism exists.”
  • “…when White students enter an advanced placement classroom and see few if any students of color, they are unconsciously indoctrinated into White intellectual supremacy.”
  • “To eradicate these harmful practices, school communities must focus their efforts on intentionally and explicitly addressing systemic racial disparities, wherever they may exist.”
  • “Achieving true equity for all students must be a moral imperative, and it serves as a central and essential component of any attempt to eliminate racial achievement disparities.”
  • “All students can benefit from a focus on equity, because an equitable school system is one that works to address the needs of each individual child.”
  • “Educational equity is
    • “raising the achievement of all students, while
    • “narrowing the gaps between the highest and lowest performing students, and
    • “eliminating the racial predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories.”
  • “Equity is an operational belief that enables educators to provide whatever level of support is needed to whichever students require it.”
  • “Equity…recognizes that the playing field is¬†unequal and attempts to address the inequality.”
  • “Equity is not a guarantee that all students¬†will succeed. Rather, it assures that¬†all students will have the opportunity and support necessary to succeed.”
  • “In an equitable system, the barriers that inhibit student progress are removed.”
  • “…equity means that the students of greatest need receive the greatest level of support to guarantee academic success.”
  • “In coming to understand racism and institutionalized racism, it is not enough simply to become¬†non-racist. Educators of all races should become¬†anti-racists, which means to actively fight racism and its effects wherever they may exist.”
  • “Anti-racism can be defined as conscious and deliberate efforts to challenge the impact and perpetuation of institutional White racial power, presence, and privilege.”
  • “To be anti-racist is to be active. Simply claiming to be non-racist and to ‘not see race in others’ passively allows racism to continue.”
  • “Anti-racist schools move beyond the celebration of diversity and create communities in which it is possible for students to talk about how they experience unfairness and discrimination and to heal.”
  • “As White educators are prompted to examine race and practice anti-racism, they need to be aware that White privilege counteracts their engagement by offering the opportunity to walk away from this conversation on race at times when it gets tough or personally uncomfortable. People of color and indigenous people face racial injustice daily and simply cannot avoid dealing with racism.”
  • “There is no gray zone in anti-racist work.”
  • “…providing quality education for all children is not a question of educators’ experience or academic degrees; rather, it is a question of their personal willingness to fulfill their professional responsibilities.”
  • “Race matters in society and in our schools.”
  • “By understanding race and its impact on schooling, as well as by having a vision of equity and the courage to be anti-racists, educators will fortify their will.”

2016-17 Enrollment

Twice a year, the district works with the Georgia Department of Education to certify our official enrollment. The following data are from our October certified enrollments this year (2016-17) and previous years. Stay tuned for additional analyses of these data in the near future.

2016-17 K-12 Enrollment

Grade
K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ő£
Elementary
Clairemont 74 74 84 87 319
Glennwood 75 75 63 73 286
Oakhurst 110 123 118 109 460
Westchester 75 76 73 68 292
Winnona Park 113 100 120 101 434
F.AVE 454 429 883
Middle School
RMS 391 375 356 1122
High School
DHS 362 337 290 255 1244
ő£ 447 448 458 438 454 429 391 375 356 362 337 290 255 5040

chart1

October Certified K-12 Enrollment

Increase
Year Enrollment # %
2009-10 2687
2010-11 2894 207 7.7%
2011-12 3256 362 12.5%
2012-13 3649 393 12.1%
2013-14 3975 326 8.9%
2014-15 4345 370 9.3%
2015-16 4661 316 7.3%
2016-17 5040 379 8.1%
2009-10 to 2016-17 2353 87.6%

chart2

Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Part 1 Introduction (Passion) and Chapter 2 (What’s So Courageous About This Conversation?)

Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Part 1 Introduction (Passion) and Chapter 2 (What’s So Courageous About This Conversation?)

I’m reading a great book about how to talk about race. It’s called Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools, Second Edition, by Glenn E. Singleton.

I previously shared notes about earlier parts of the book, so check those out if you’re interested:

Here are the notes I’ve jotted down from the introduction to Part 1 and Chapter 2:

  • Part 1 Introduction
    • “…African American children do not come into this world at a deficit.” … “If we do not recognize the brilliance before us, we cannot help but carry on the societal views that these children are somehow damaged goods and that they cannot be expected to succeed.” -Lisa Delpit
    • “…teaching is not a technical job.”
    • “…teachers and administrators who are most proficient at engaging all students of¬†every race in rigorous studies also have a tremendous amount of passion for this particular work they do.”
    • “Educators need to locate this passion in order to transform schools.”
    • “Culturally proficient, racially conscious, courageous education of all races can succeed with¬†all students, but only after they locate and nurture their passion for equity.”
    • “There is little honor in holding back, limiting participation, accepting mediocrity, and finding comfort in the status quo.”
    • “…with passion, we will have the strength not only to¬†stand up for what is right for our children, but to¬†do what is right for them as well.”
  • Chapter 2
    • “…some educators…admitted…they might not be quite as great as they had thought they were when it came to educating¬†all students.”
    • “…a truly first-rate school district is one where all students succeed, not just those of a certain race or background.”
    • “…all members of the school community need to be able to talk about race in a safer and honest way.”
    • A Courageous Conversation:
      • engages those who won’t talk.”
      • sustains the conversation when it gets uncomfortable or diverted.”
      • deepens the conversation to the point where authentic understanding and meaningful actions occur.”
    • Challenge is to “move beyond a basic awareness of the racial patterns” involving “inquiring about¬†why the data show a gap.”
    • Four Agreements educators must agree to:
      • “stay engaged”
      • “speak your truth”
      • “experience discomfort”
      • “expect and accept non-closure”
    • “…traditional rules and guidelines for dialogue are insufficient in interracial discourse about race.”
    • “…the agreements define the process, while the conditions outline the content…”
    • The “specifically ordered and necessarily sequential” Six Conditions guide educators:
      • Engage
        1. “Establish a racial context that is personal, local, and immediate.”
        2. “Isolate race while acknowledging the broader scope of diversity…”
      • Sustain
        1. “Develop understanding of race as a social/political construction of knowledge…”
        2. “Monitor the parameters of the conversation by being explicit and intentional about the number of participants, prompts …, and time allotted…”
      • Deepen
        1. “Establish agreement around a … definition of race…”
        2. “Examine the presence and role of Whiteness and its impact on the conversation and the problem being addressed.”
    • Emotionally, we respond to information through feelings…”
    • “Our intellectual response is often verbal and based in our best thinking.”
    • Morally we respond from a deep-seated¬†belief…”
    • Relationally, we connect and respond…through our¬†acting…”
    • “…the problem of educators not knowing what to do about racial achievement gaps or how to talk about race is not as devastating as the problem of educators failing to seek ways to close the gaps.”