DEI Newsletter

The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) has launched a monthly newsletter to keep the school community informed of our goals and what we are currently working on. There will be updates, highlights, books to read along to, and ways to be involved. We hope you enjoy it.

June Newsletter

Download pdf DEI June Newsletter 


The Equity Profile Dashboard provides current data about performance and trends in the following categories: Student Demographics, Student Success, College & Career Readiness, Student Well-Being, School Climate and Engaged Workforce. Using this data as a benchmark, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) will monitor these areas to ensure that gaps in achievement, opportunity, access, and attainment are addressed. Please note that this inaugural dashboard does not include Student Well-Being, School Climate and Engaged Workforce data but will do soon future dashboards. The equity profile will be updated annually. Equity Profile Dashboard

Interested in a community conversation on the dashboard?

Tentative dates:
Wed., Sept. 21, 2022 at 7-8 pm
Wed., Oct. 19, 2022 at 7-8 pm
Wed., Nov. 16, 2022 at 7-8 pm


June is pride month. The flag was carefully thought out, it was made so that every color represents something. Red represents life, orange represents healing, yellow represents sunshine, green represents nature, blue represents harmony and purple represents spirit.
“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity. ” George Takei

2022 Graduations

June 8 Shriver 1:00 p.m.
June 13 New Directions 10:00 a.m.
June 14 Arlington Career Center 6:00 p.m.
June 15 H-B Woodlawn 6:15 p.m.
June 16 Washington-Liberty 10:00 a.m.
June 16 Yorktown 3:00 p.m.
June 16 Wakefield 7:30 p.m.
June 17 Arlington Community HS 9:30 a.m.
June 17 Langton 1:00 p.m.
Let’s celebrate the graduates of 2022. We have worked hard this school year, survived a pandemic, and it’s time to celebrate!

Around Town
June site visits to Fairfax and Alexandria City Public Schools to discuss an overview of the equity programs and initiatives. School based equity leaders discuss what is done at the school level and brainstorm DEI professional training opportunities collectively for all staff across districts. The local counties are gathering to develop a plan of action for future learning opportunities for all.

Professional Development
“Courage to Care” professional development sessions took place for Equity Influencers and Equity and Excellence Coordinators on June 9th from 10 – 12 pm and on June 13th from 4 – 6 pm. Discussed “What Makes Up Your Identity?” “What dimensions have I been born with?” “How does my diversity shape my decision-making process?” “How does it influence my professional identity?” “How does my diversity shape how I see the world?”

Minority Student Achievement Network(MSAN)Intersectional Social Justice Collaborative invites students from middle and high school to meet monthly to participate in an integrated social justice youth leadership development experience, culminating in a network-wide social justice action research fair at the end of the program.A student from each middle and high school in APS participated in this collaborative.
APS Student Collaborative Equity Action Plan


May 2022 Newsletter

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The stigma around mental health and treatment has been around for a very long time. Although this is starting to change, people still hesitate to seek treatment or talk to others due to fear of judgement. If our physical body is hurt, we may seek treatment to get better. However, many do not seek help or treatment for depression, stress, anxiety, and/or mental illness. Many self medicate. Monitor yourself for disrupted sleep, excessive fatigue, irritability, and marked anxiety. Seek professional help if symptoms persist. Reach out to family, friends, and community groups to maintain social connections. Exercise helps too. Consider walking, biking, yoga, playing catch, etc. A short walk is better than nothing at all. Also, ask for support, assess the situation, make necessary changes, and move forward with a plan.

“If we start being honest about our pain, our anger, and our shortcomings instead of pretending they don’t exist, then maybe we’ll leave the world a better place than we found it.” -Russell Wilson

In Uvalde, Texas 19 children and 2 teachers died after a school shooting in an elementary school. Students, teachers, administrators, and staff should not fear for their lives daily. In Buffalo, New York 10 shoppers and workers at a supermarket were killed by a gunman. People shopping and doing every day tasks should not fear for their lives either. Many mass shootings have taken place in our nation in recent years. Seeing the faces of the victims is very difficult. They had hopes, dreams, and loved ones that will miss them dearly.

DEI participates in a book study or documentary every 6 weeks to deepen our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We encourage you to discuss along with us. Reading: I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai

Teachers and staff will explore strategies and practices to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging into schools and classrooms. This optional day will include panels, breakout, and general sessions throughout the day to provide guidance and thought leadership. An integral opportunity for all staff to identify where they are on the journey towards inclusive excellence and ways to contribute to the district’s vision to be an inclusive community. Please register in Frontline: DEI2023 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Symposium (Secondary)DEI2023 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Symposium (Elementary

The Dress for Success Event at the Arlington Career Center (ACC) took place on May 11, 2022 from 3:30 – 7 p.m. Male students were taught etiquette while eating dinner, dressed in suits donated by staff, parents and ACC community, and taught how to tie their ties by men from Arlington Public School staff and community. This was an enriching experience for everyone involved. See pictures from the event here.

Summer Opportunities for Students


Be aware that many summer programs, especially the more competitive ones, have application deadlines as early as February.

Summer Programs at George Washington University:                        

Summer programs at Catholic for rising juniors and seniors: in Architecture, Engineering, and Drama.

Leadership Arlington Youth Program: The Leadership Arlington Youth Program is designed to enhance leadership skills and awareness of the need for community service, civic participation, and philanthropy in rising 11th or 12th grade students.   Two weeks in summer.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center High School Internships:  Many different opportunities available – see website.  Must be 16 by June, minimum GPA 3.0

Georgetown University Summer Programs: Various programs in forensics, international relations, college prep, performing arts, and much more!

Virginia Hispanic College Institute:  Four days at Virginia Tech. Students participate in workshops stressing academic achievement, career choices, community service, and leadership.

Arlington Arts Center: Art Field Trips & Courses for Middle & High School Students – study photography, painting, drawing, etc. Also, volunteer opportunities for high school students to work with younger kids.

Carnegie Melon: Various opportunities in Music, Drama, Digital Game Development, Math and Science, and more!

Summer Legal Institute at a local law school:  D.C.-area high school students will meet with volunteer attorneys and members of the judiciary, visit the courts, participate in a mock trial, practice negotiations skills, attend workshops on college readiness and business networking, and present oral arguments for competition.

George Mason University Summer Camps: Classes in Forensics, Radio, Acting, Game Design, etc.

Howard University School of Business Summer Enrichment Program: One week programs focused on accounting, computer information systems or actuary science University Health Sciences Summer Program: The HSSESA is a six-week residential summer enrichment science academy for rising 11th and 12th grade high school students. High School students who demonstrate an interest in the sciences, a career in pharmacy or other health professions will be selected.

University of Maryland Young Scholars Program:  The Young Scholars Program is offered to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors with exceptional ability and promise to pursue academic interests and earn three college credits.  University of Maryland also offers summer programs in different majors, such as architecture, engineering and business.  Search their website at

Hispanic National Bar Foundation: Future Latino Leaders Law Camp:  This camp is designed to provide Hispanic high school students with the opportunity to learn more about the legal profession. All participants will stay on a college campus in DC for a week.  Free

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Internship:  PAID!  For current 9-11 grade students interested in science or cultural studies.

Bank of America Student Leaders Internship – PAID!  Student Leaders® are awarded paid summer internships with local nonprofit organizations and participate in a Student Leadership Summit held in Washington, D.C.

Princeton Summer Journalism Program: Princeton offers this 10-day seminar of journalism to juniors with financial need.  The program is FREE, including transportation.  Must have interest in journalism and at least a 3.5 GPA.

Document Arlington Project:  DAP is a six-week television production PAID apprenticeship program open to APS high school students.  Interns create two 15 minute documentaries.  Great opportunity for anyone interested in tv production, film making, script writing, etc.

American University’s Discover the World of Communication:  You will learn to build a digital portfolio, script, shoot and edit a film, write a news story like a pro, speak with confidence, persuade, inform, educate and entertain. Our professional, hands-on workshops- open to students entering grades 9 through 12.

Emerging Leaders Program: ELP I is a FREE 12 session workshop series offered to youth in grades 9-12.  Workshops focus on developing professional skills and building confidence to become a leader.

Camp Heat – Arlington County Fire Department Fire Camp for Young Women: Girls aged 15-19 can attend a free 4 day overnight camp at Marymount University to learn about firefighting and emergency medical care.  Spend time with Arlington Fire Fighters / EMTs and learn about nutrition, medical care, firefighting, etc.

Lead Summer Program:  Explore the field of business, engineering or computer science through a fun and challenging LEAD Summer Institute 3-4 weeks, highly competitive.

Caminos al Futuro Pre-College Program: Caminos al Futuro is a fully-funded summer scholarship program that engages high-achieving Hispanic juniors (rising seniors) from U.S. high schools in a residential academic leadership development program at the George Washington University.

Science and Engineering at MITMITES: A six-week science/engineering program at MIT for rising high school seniors E2: A one-week science/engineering program at MIT for rising high school seniors

AgDiscovery – internship with US Dept of Agriculture: Explore careers in plant and animal science, wildlife management and agribusiness.  FREE at various universities around the country, including Uof Maryland and Delaware State.  2-4 weeks, 14-17 year olds eligible.  Visit

University of Virginia Summer Enrichment: High achieving students currently in grades 4-10 spend 12 days engaged in learning experiences designed to foster critical thinking, creative thinking, and inquiry processes.  Scholarships available to cover costs.

Programs at Virginia Tech:  Various programs through the College of Engineering at VTech.

VAG Scholarships for Summer Programs:  Virginia Association for the Gifted offers summer scholarships designed for students identified as gifted and talented to attend academic or artistic programs in the summer.  Scholarships range from $100 – 500.  Deadline March 14

List of Free Summer Enrichment Programs for high school students:

April 2022 Newsletter

Download as PDF.


Equality and Equity are inherently different but are bound together. In order to have true equality, equity is needed to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Equality: Providing the same opportunities and resources, regardless of background or circumstances
Equity: Reducing inequities between groups and advancing equal opportunity and well-being for all groups
See pdf for illustration.

Distinction between Equality and Equity: When we think of math, equality uses the same strategies, lesson plans and books for all students. Equity develops the skills to understand the individual math needs of students through individualized lesson plans and advocating for individual students who need tailored educational math resources or opportunities.


What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a time of fasting for the Islamic people. Each day during this month, Muslims all over the world abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, as well as participating in anything that is ill-natured or excessive; from dawn until the sun sets. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of the Islam religion, and one of the main types of Islamic worship. Read more here.


DEI participates in a book study or documentary every 6weeks to deepen our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We encourage you to discuss along with us.
Now watching the documentary: 13th by Ava DuVernay (approx. 90 min. documentary)
Reading Next: I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai


Check out this video during the “Strengthening Community: Confronting Hate Speech by Building Understanding & Empathy” event presented on March 28, 2022 by the DEI Office.
Are you careful with your word choices and allow others to feel accepted? After watching the video, what will you do to ensure that your space is an inclusive environment for others?

The Carlin Springs equity team consists of 13 members of the school community including social worker, counselor, teachers, coaches, family liaison, community coordinator, extended day, AP, etc. They were able to work on implicit bias collectively as a staff in a safe way by developing a cultural-based Bingo activity(with incentives), and then an interactive gallery wall where they jotted down students’ names they knew that fall under each cultural category. Talking about implicit bias as a staff can raise a lot of defensive walls and received an overwhelming list of positive feedback from the reflection form.
Here are some pictures from the event! Bingo Warm-Up Activity and School Diversity Infographic


March 2022 Newsletter

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DEI Definitions

It is necessary to have common definitions around the work and goals that we are working towards as a system. DEI has adopted definitions for diversity, educational equity, and inclusion that we will be using as we move forward. Click here to read the full definitions.

Art & Women’s History Month

Nearby at the National Mall the Smithsonian is honoring female scientist with the #IfThenSheCan exhibit featuring 120 3D printed bright orange statues. Learn more here.As we celebrate Women’s History Month, check out these women in STEM role model posters free and available in 7 languages!If you would like to learn more about how you can support this historic month (volunteer, donate, find resources, etc.), click here.

Inclusion Starts With I

Check out this short video about inclusion created by AccentureBe the one! The one to listen, to accept, to learn, to reach out, to include, to care, to act. After watching the video, what will you do to ensure that your classroom or your space is an inclusive environment for our students?

Highlights From Our Schools

Barrett Elementary is looking forward to an author visit from Rajani LaRocca. You can purchase one of her books through READ who will be hosting book fairs at many of our schools.Rajani LaRocca also cohosts the STEM Women in KidLit Podcast.

What We’re Reading

DEI participates in a book study every 6 weeks to deepen our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We encourage you to read along with us.Now reading: The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Biasby Dolly ChughReading Next: Gender: Your Guide by Lee Airton, Ph.D.


February 2022 Newsletter

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Exploring Windows and Mirrors in our Classrooms

There has been an increase in the number of incidences regarding student micro-aggressions around identity and biases nationwide. Our office values each child and wants all students in APS to leave with a strong sense of identity. Several strategies can be used for discussing identity and biases with students. Providing a safe environment for children to explore their differences in a positive way, and using books are effective strategies to provide the concept of “windows” and “mirrors.” This will help students engage in a world where they see themselves and others for the value and perspectives that they bring to our community. Read more in this article

Mental Health is Essential to Well-Being

As we all deal with the challenges of teaching and working during a pandemic, it is essential that we take care of our mental and physical health. Arlington Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has many helpful resources and ideas to support staff. Check out some of the great things they have to offer here.

Children Can Change the World

The fight for civil rights didn’t just include adults. Kids like 7 year old, Ayanna Najuma braved harsh consequences to make their communities more inclusive. Watch this video to learn more about Ayanna and other brave students who changed history. For more resources from Scholastic about Black pioneers for Black History Month, visit:

Celebrating Black History Month in our Schools

Join us as we celebrate Black History throughout APS. Many of our schools have wonderful celebrations planned! Here are just a few of the events that our students are participating in.Follow along on Twitter @DEI_APS and tag us in your posts so we can celebrate along with you. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #APS4ALL

What We’re Reading

DEI participates in a book study every 6 weeks to deepen our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We encourage you to read along with us.Now reading: The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly ChughReading Next: Gender: Your Guide by Lee Airton, Ph.D.

January 2022 Newsletter

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DEI Strategy

In addition to the vision and mission statements, DEI has created a strategy statement to ensure actionable measures. DEI Strategy: Through strategic initiatives and partnerships, policy review and stewardship, our efforts are championed to ensure we support an educational organization where our growth is reflected in our staff, students, and community members.

SEL Welcoming Activities

Welcoming activities are an interactive and engaging way to build community in your classroom or in your meetings. Here are a few activities for you to utilize in your practice.Your challenge: Try one, share one.

What We’re Reading: DEI participates in a book study every 6 weeks to deepen our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We encourage you to read along with us.

  • Now reading: My Time to Speak by Ilia Calderón
  • Reading Next: The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh

Blind Spots: Challenge Assumptions

Watch this short video about blind spots created by Price Waterhouse Coopers.Blind spots exist, what are your blind spots? Our brains are wired to make assumptions, which can sometimes be off base. We think it’s an honest mistake, science calls it a blind spot. After watching the video, what will you do to challenge your own blind spots?

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Please take a moment to read the message about the MLK holiday from Dr. Ottley.

Arlington County has multiple ways to get involved in Volunteer Arlington’s MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 17, 2022. We hope you will make it a “day on” in service of our local community. Tune in:

December 2021 Newsletter

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DEI Vision: The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion aspires to help create and sustain a district-wide culture that acts to ensure equal access to (diversity), equitable outcomes (equity)  and culturally responsive teaching (inclusion) which is essential to academic and operational excellence in Arlington Public Schools.

Social Identity Wheel: Self-reflection is necessary for growth in equity. Try this social identity activity and reflect on your responses. Our students, staff, and families’ identities should be valued assets to our school community. It is essential to understand our own identity and how it impacts our experiences and to in- turn reflect on how others’ identities impact the way in which they experience our school system.

1) Go through the five questions on the handout:

  1. What identities do you think about most often?
  2. What identities do you think about least often?
  3. What identities would you like to learn more about?
  4. What identities have the strongest effect on how you perceive yourself?
  5. What identities have the greatest effect on how others perceive you?

2) Why is it important to critically reflect on our identities?

3) What is the value in completing activities like this in your class?

This activity can be done for your own personal growth, it can also be done with students. More information.

The Social Identity Wheel worksheet is an activity that encourages students to identify social identities and reflect on the various ways those identities become visible or more keenly felt at different times, and how those identities impact the ways others perceive or treat them. The worksheet prompts students to fill in various social identities (such as race, gender, sex, ability disability, sexual orientation, etc.) and further categorize those identities based on which matter most in their self-perception and which matter most in others’ perception of them. The Social Identity Wheel can be used in conjunction with the Personal Identity Wheel to encourage students to reflect on the relationships and dissonances between their personal and social identities. The wheels can be used as a prompt for small or large group discussion or reflective writing on identity by using the Spectrum Activity, Questions of Identity.

What We’re Reading: DEI participates in a book study every 6 weeks to deepen our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We encourage you to read along with us.

  • Now reading: My Time to Speak by Ilia Calderón
  • Reading Next: The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh

From the Voices of Students: The LIE, Watch a video (not captioned) of 4th grade elementary students bringing awareness to common biases, misperceptions, and assumptions. After watching this short video, think about ways that you could use information gleaned from this clip in your work if you desire to do so. Thanks for watching!

Virtual 2021 National Council of the Teachers of English Conference: Congratulations to our colleagues at Dorothy Hamm Middle School who presented at the NCTE2021 Conference. Watch the presentation, Empowering Teachers and Students: Action Steps to Anti-racist Teaching

Panel of participants: Ellen Smith – Principal of DHMS, Crystal Moore – Assistant Principal at Drew ES and former Equity and Excellence Coordinator at DHMS, Sally Donnelly – Reading Coach at DHMS, Amy Juengst – ELA 8 teacher at DHMS, Beth Sanderson – ELA 8 teacher at DHMS

You may also access the Padlet of resources being shared with conference participants.

November 2021 Newsletter

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DEI Mission: The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) is committed to a culturally responsive workplace which enables us to build a greater understanding of our students, staff and community. We embrace the challenge of eradicating district and community wide inequities to build and sustain a diverse workforce, champion inclusive curriculum, and implement data driven approaches to close achievement and opportunities gaps for all students and staff. Our efforts are intentional and not limited to assessing and evaluating district policies and practices, but to ensure equitable fiscal accountability in the resources, programs, services and partnerships of our learning community. We instill that equity is not a choice, but our responsibility in creating and sustaining the academic and operational excellence that is Arlington Public Schools.

What we are working on: DEI is working on 3 main goals for this year: Equity Policy, Equity Profile, and Equity Teams. Read on to learn more.

Equity Policy: Following the hiring of a new Superintendent, the CDEIO reengaged the Equity Policy workgroup to review the current policy and prepare for the adoption process. The Equity Policy presented and posted for Information at the July 30th school board meeting and adopted in August 2020. The Equity Policy was adopted as a living document with a charge in the “Monitoring” section of the policy (stating that it will be reviewed annually through a monitoring report to include recommendations for review and revisions, if any, to the policy). The annual review of the policy is ongoing and the board will review edits to the policy by April of 2022.

Equity Profile: The Equity Profile compiles educational data in an objective way for comparison across the entire school division and is intended as a tool to assist external stakeholders (county residents, families, and community) and internal stakeholders (APS) in understanding where inequities exist. In an effort to portray an explicit picture to all stakeholders of ways APS reports and measures district effectiveness and accountability, the Equity Profile will be used as a metric for closing our equity gaps. This profile will also help our organization make data-driven decisions to ultimately improve outcomes for all students and stakeholders in APS.

Equity Teams: As of October 2021 Equity Teams have been established in each of our schools. This team includes staff members of all scales, students, parents/community members. The Equity Teams are led by Equity Team Influencers at the elementary schools and by the Equity & Excellence Coordinators at the secondary level. Equity is one of our core values and in order to move forward we need to have teams in each of the buildings that are action oriented. This year each team will create a SMART goal for their school that focuses on self-reflection and growth for equity, specifically looking at biases and assumptions. Each school will have a different goal that is specific to the needs of their school environment. At the end of the school year each team will be able to share what goal their team worked on and the progress made towards that goal.

DEI’s definition of Educational Equity & Targeted Universalism: The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (APS) defines educational equity as, “The practice of ensuring personalized educational resources for all students to achieve academic success based on their individual needs which eliminates opportunity gaps.” Educational equity bridges the gaps that exist between all students and staff. To operationalize educational equity, our office has adopted Targeted Universalism as a platform to be sure we are equitable and inclusive in all our practices. to learn more, watch this short video: Targeted Universalism

What we are reading: DEI participates in a book study every 6 weeks to deepen our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We encourage you to read along with us.

  • Just read: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Now reading: My Time to Speak by Ilia Calderón

No Place for Hate: In partnership with Student Services, DEI will continue to support staff as they utilize No Place for Hate as a strategy to continue to improve school climate.

List of participating schools.

La Sopa de la Abuela: The Parent Resource Center, Family and Community Engagement, AETV and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion welcome you to register for the Nov. 22, debut of La Sopa de la Abuela/Grandma’s Soup created in collaboration between parents and staff to support families navigate the Special Education process.