The Total Child

2018 National Conference on Education: Equitable Access to a High Quality Education

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AASA's Children’s Programs Department’s 2018 NCE Thought Leader, concurrent sessions and events provided educators space to delve into issues of equitable access to a high quality education. Below are excerpts from five articles penned on these efforts by Rebecca Shaw for Conference Daily Online. 

“Lead with Love, Says Superintendent Trio, in a Courageous Conversation on Equity” 

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(Pictured L-R)  Superintendents Shawn Joseph, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (TN) and Sharon Contreras, Guilford County Schools (NC), 2017 National Superintendent of the Year Matthew Utterback, North Clackamas School District (Ore.) and Sharon Adams-Taylor, associate executive director, AASA.

Every student is entitled to the opportunity to reach his or her potential. Yet, too often, educational outcomes can be predicted based on race or demographics. The standing room only Thought Leader Session on Thursday, “Equity and Justice in Education: Access, Inclusiveness and Opportunity”, explored the personal philosophy and advice of three veteran superintendents who champion equity. These superintendents were Shawn Joseph, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Tenn., the 2017 National Superintendent of the Year Matthew Utterback, North Clackamas School District, Ore., and Superintendent Sharon Contreras, Guilford County Schools, N.C.. Sharon Adams-Taylor moderated. For the full article go to  http://nce.aasa.org/lead-with-love-says-superintendent-trio-in-a-courageous-conversation-on-equity/ 

“Combat Hostile School Environments and Inequities,” AASA Equity Luncheon Attendees Told

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(Pictured L-R) Catherine Lhamon, Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Dan Domenech, Executive Director of AASA, and Sharon Adams-Taylor, associate executive director of AASA.

Catherine Lhamon, Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, shared insight on efforts to move our nation to true educational equity during her keynote address at the annual Dr. Effie H. Jones Memorial Luncheon on Friday. Championing equity in educational leadership honors the legacy of Effie H. Jones, former associate executive director of AASA. Currently, the commission is documenting hate incidents in school districts. “We need to let all students know they are valued in our schools. There needs to be effective strategies in schools to deal with these issues. Those strategies are doable with the right leadership,” said Lhamon. For the full article go to:  http://nce.aasa.org/combat-hostile-school-environments-and-inequities-effie-jones-lunch-attendees-told/ 

“Districts Detail Training to Remedy Discipline Disparities”

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Sito Narcisse, Metro Nashville Public Schools (TN)

A disproportionate number of students are suspended and even expelled in many school districts. The vast majority of these suspensions are for minor and discretionary infractions in the classrooms, hallways and cafeterias for behaviors such as disrupting class, talking back to administrators, tardiness and violating the dress code. As a result of these practices, these students fall behind in class, resulting in negative academic outcomes, including decreased graduation rates. Superintendents Sybil Knight-Burney, of Harrisburg School District, Pa., and Sito Narcisse, of Metro Nashville Public Schools, Tenn., shared how their respective districts have addressed equity by reforming the district’s student discipline practices. For the full article go to:http://nce.aasa.org/districts-detail-training-to-remedy-discipline-disparities/

 “The Middle School Kindness Challenge”

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Sharon Contreras, superintendent of Guilford County, N.C., Schools accepted the Middle School Kindness Challenge earlier this year for her district. She said, 25 percent of middle school students in the United States are bullied in classrooms, hallways and the cafeteria and 1.2 million middle school students are chronically absent because they are bullied in schools. “This is a program that focuses on teacher behavior and helps students learn about kindness.” AASA is a lead partner with the Middle School Kindness Challenge, spearheaded by Stand for Children.
For details about the Middle School Kindness Challenge go to: https://kindnesschallenge.com/, and for the full article go to: http://nce.aasa.org/the-middle-school-kindness-challenge/

"Health Advocates Share Practical Leads on Creating Inclusive Learning Environments for LGBTQ Youth”  

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 What does inclusivity of LGBTQ youth in health education and services mean? For the school administrators participating in this session, it meant ensuring that LGBTQ youth are represented in sexual health education curriculum in their schools. According to Suzanna Mackey, senior policy analyst at the School-Based Health Alliance, risks for LGBTQ youth include substance use before sexual encounters, dating violence and having multiple partners. Brittany McBride, senior program manager of sexuality education at the nonprofit organization Advocates for Youth, shared a free curriculum resource, titled “Rights, Respect and Responsibility: A K-12 Sexuality Curriculum”, to help administrators in implementing school-based sexual health education.
For curriculum information go to: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/3rs-curriculum, and for the full article go to: http://nce.aasa.org/health-advocates-share-practical-leads-on-creating-inclusive-learning-environments-for-lgbtq-youth/


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