Anti-Racism & Inclusivity Curriculum
Core to our school’s vision and “You are my other me” is the idea that we must acknowledge what is happening to all of us right now at the school level and beyond. We cannot ignore the fact that our community needs to address both the explicit and implicit biases and systems that exist to perpetuate violent actions against people of color. We must also understand our different entry points to this conflict in order to better gauge how to best continue to connect with different people in our community: some in our community are experiencing deep and enduring pain with issues that have not, or have only minimally changed over time; some in our community may recognize and empathize with the pain but have been privileged to have not personally experienced it; some in our community may be overwhelmed or at a loss with how to begin grapple with it. As so, we, as a school, a city, and a nation, need to continually engage in deep, challenging, and trusting work in order to bring about lasting change. This past week’s events have compounded on centuries old and generations-old emotions stemming from the unjust treatment of people like Rodney King, the Little Rock Nine, Manzanar, etc. We need to have an inclusive and ongoing dialogue to further the work of the Civil Rights Act.
Even though these are complex issues for children to grapple with, it is important that we consider how to be responsive to their needs, questions, and emotions, and not ignore what might be coming up for them. As a school, our teachers have been planning and sharing resources to help students make sense of what is happening. The more we support our students, of all ages, to think critically, ask questions, and understand multiple perspectives, the more empowered they will be.
Photos above: (Top row) students created signs and wrote essays about a cause that was important to them. (Bottom row) students learned about the enduring effects of the Holocaust and met with a Holocaust survivor to hear her harrowing story.
Amplifying the Voices of Marginalized Communities
Our school is committed to teaching multiple perspectives to our students, even if it involves having difficult conversations about the mistreatment of groups of people.
Our work with Native Communities and Land Acknowledgment
We are proud with our school’s commitment to work with local indigenous leaders, artists and educators. Through our artist in residence program we have partnered with indigenous educators to create honest curriculum that highlights the history of our community, city and country and puts into context the role of these communities.
On November 12th our school collectively acknowledged the territory of the First People of the Los Angeles Basin, where our school resides and honored their stewardship of this land in a ceremony. Our students presented songs they had written about the L.A. River and special Guest Lazaro Arvizu talked to our community about his ancestors and their traditions. Councilmember Mitch O’Farell participated in the ceremony and congratulated our school for our dedication to re-establish a healthy relationship with the land and all our relatives.
We will continue this work and promise to be active stewards and gracious guests on this land, thus weaving the first people’s traditional knowledge and practice into the fabric of our curriculum.
View recording at:
Teacher Professional Development
2020: Facing History and Ourselves
Our whole staff participated in a thought proving professional development today: Facing History and Ourselves. During this workshop, we were challenged to look at our own educational experiences and face the educational disparities that have shaped our educational system to answer these essential questions:
1. How do we effectively reach all students regardless of their race, culture or social-economic backgrounds?
2. What do we need to be mindful of when teaching in a community where students are suffering from generational poverty and inequity?
3. How do we frame an understanding of equity and justice versus mere equality?
4. Why is it important to place the racial achievement gap in a historical context?
It was difficult but important work that we are excited to bring it to our classrooms and students.
2019: Museum of Tolerance
Our entire staff attended a customized training with the Museum of Tolerance, where we worked on deepening our understanding in working with students on diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
A few of our teachers participated in an Anti-Bias Institute professional development to learn a unique pedagogical approach that integrates identity, diversity, justice and action into instructional planning and delivery. The goals of this PD were to:
- Define the goals of anti-bias education and explain how the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards support a continuum of engagement in diversity, equity and inclusion work in schools.
- Identify anti-bias practices and strategies for social studies and language arts instruction at the elementary, middle and high school level.
- Apply the goals of anti-bias education to a variety of instructional scenarios and consider the impact on pedagogy and practice.
- Create at least one anti-bias lesson aligned to academic and social justice standards to use tomorrow.
Parent and Community Workshops
We offer parent workshops and public events that encourage our whole community to come together and dedicate themselves to creating the social justice change we needed in our world.
Resources for Families
—Article: “How to Talk to Your Children About Protests”
—Don’t Say Nothing
—Why Teaching Black Lives Matter Matters Pt. 1
—Bring Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom Pt.2
—A District Profile | Black Lives Matter at School
—Let’s Talk: Facilitating Critical Conversations With Students
—Black Lives Matter Teaching Lessons
—31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance
—A Kids Book About Racism (read aloud on YouTube)