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DEI May Newsletter

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Jordan Hickman is a rising senior at Wakefield High School. He was among students recognized by the School Board this year as Models of Excellence during Black History Month due to his academic excellence and his significant contribution and commitment to school programs and activities. Jordan maintains a high level of academic achievement while challenging himself by taking the most rigorous courses offered. In addition, he serves as a leader in a number of school activities. Jordan was a captain of the varsity football team, serves as a member of the Wakefield Athletic Leadership Council, as club president of Brothers Stick Together peer mentoring program and as a member of the Cohort program. Jordan will work to get ahead in his academics by taking online summer school courses. He will also take time to prepare himself mentally and physically for his final year of high school football. He is looking forward to his senior year and hopes to cement a legacy at Wakefield for future generations. Jordan lives by the quote, “You have power over your mind-not outside events. Realize this and you will find your strength.” ~ Marcus Aurelius.

When Aniya Roy joined Gunston Middle School in the 2020-2021 school year, she immediately impressed the Gunston teachers and staff with her keen interest in social justice and equity and her strong leadership skills. The winter of her 8th grade year, Aniya approached staff members to start an after school group for herself and her classmates. She is now a proud founding member and the main facilitator of the student-led Gunston Black Student Union (GBSU). The group began meeting weekly in January to sit in affinity with one another, build community and consider how they can support one another as they pursue opportunities and navigate academic, social and societal pressures. Aniya has plans for GBSU students in their remaining meetings this year to create vision boards for their future and tour Bowie State University – an HBCU in Maryland. Recently, Aniya invited members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s Divine 9 from George Mason University and Gunston to present at 6th, 7th, and 8th grade assemblies. The members of Black Greek organizations joined each grade level to share about their experiences, their commitment to service and scholarship, and to showcase strolling – an organized dance to show unity and strength. Aniya is excited to bring her academic excellence and passions to Wakefield next year as a Warrior.

Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

Jewish American Heritage Month
May is Jewish American Heritage Month, a great opportunity to celebrate the important contributions Jewish Americans have made to America since the first group of Jews arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654.The United States has many heritage months that celebrate the various communities that form the mosaic of our country, including Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and more. By celebrating heritage months, we learn about one another, we honor the richness of our diverse nation, and we strengthen the fabric of American society. – American Jewish Committee

Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, For more information and resources, visit: https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Awareness-Month

In the Classroom
Culturally Responsive Teaching and Equitable Practices
Indicator 6:
Uses communication strategies that are inclusive of the language, dialects, cultural, social and literacy needs of all students (including gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities).

Teacher Practice

  • Consistently uses a method of language translation to communicate with families who speak a language besides English (such as Language Line or an adult interpreter).
  • Mindful of using acronyms or education jargon without explaining it.

Student Practice

  • Students engage each other and the teacher(s) in a variety of methods.
  • Students demonstrate an awareness of and appreciation for communication methods of their classmates.
  • Students utilize appropriate pronouns when engaging classmates and teacher(s).

What We’re Reading
Please use this link to share your thoughts on what we’re reading and offer suggestions to expand our library and collective knowledge.

The Leaders Guide to Implicit Bias: How to Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connections, and Create High-Performing teams Paula Fuller, Mark Murphy, and Anne Chow

Our office’s professional library of resources – click here to access.

Term of the Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI): The term encompasses a diverse group of identities, including people with a heritage rooted in all Pacific Islands and all parts of Asia, including South and Southwest Asia. The term Asian American refers to a US citizen or resident of Asian birth or descent.

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School Board Elects Mary Kadera as Chair

The Arlington School Board held its annual organizational meeting for the 2024-25 school year and elected Mary Kadera as Chair and Bethany Zecher Sutton as Vice Chair.