Leading With Access And Equity

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community,

On Thursday, October 24th, I had the privilege of attending DESE’s 2nd Annual Leading with Access and Equity Conference with Margaret Maher and Collin MacDonald.  We joined over 90 other school districts and half of the DESE staff for an engaging and informational day.  The day was filled with workshops designed to push our thinking towards creating inclusive environments for all students.  With over 30 breakout sessions to chose from, my only regret was only being able to attend two of them!

The keynote speaker was Dr. Kim Parker.  She spoke about the importance of ensuring that all students are provided with equally engaging curriculum with high teacher expectations for all students.  She dazzled the audience with her stories of student successes.  Her stories depicted students who could easily have been overlooked, but their ability to persevere, along the dedication and love of their teachers, led to success across all domains.  She truly reminded me of why I became an educator in the first place.

For my first breakout session, I saw Jessica Minahan present on reducing anxiety and increasing engagement in the classroom.  I have been fortunate enough to see Jessica speak on several occasions, and she never disappoints.  Her book, The Behavior Code, is an all-time favorite of mine, and has a permanent spot on my bookcase.  Jessica has a knack for providing real classroom scenarios, and developing strategies and interventions that are relatable and easily implemented in order to ensure all students have equal access.

I ended my day with a workshop on Promoting Culturally Responsive Classrooms.  This was put on by members of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  During this session, there was an activity where participants worked collaboratively after being given specific teacher statements, and they were expected to determine levels of cultural proficiency of the speaker.  All participants couldn’t help but relate each statement to a specific co-worker or colleague, making this an activity that truly hit home.

Providing inclusive programming and equal opportunities for all students is at the heart of the work being done at Georgetown Public Schools.  I couldn’t be prouder of the work we are doing, and the efforts of our staff to help this come to fruition.

Enjoy the following pictures!

 

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Jack Tiano

Director of Student Services