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Addressing Issues of Educational Equity: 2018 Professional Development Day

Every year, the Public Schools of Brookline hosts a Professional Development Day for educators across the district. While schools are closed during PD day and students have a day off, our  staff will be refining their own instructional methods and practices through various school-based activities.

But PD Day doesn’t only help our staff become better educators - it is an opportunity for our teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals to restore and rebuild the relationships that are the fabric of our strong school community. It is a time for educators to connect and collaborate with each other. Most importantly, it is a time to reflect on our ongoing mission to unlock the unique gifts within each of our students.

With support and feedback from our educators and district administrators, our school leaders have developed workshops, seminars, and panels that address issues of educational equity. Here is a sampling of just a few of the work sessions happening today for our PreK-8 educators:

  • Everyday Anti-Racism: Knowing Students as Individuals (Coolidge Corner School)
  • Learning About Restorative Justice Circles (Runkle School)
  • DataWise: Digging Into Data (Pierce School)
  • Beginning Courageous Conversations About Race (Baker School)
  • Student Panel: Listening to Student Voices on Race, Stereotypes, Income and LGBTQ Issues (Lincoln School)
  • Examining our Classroom Libraries and Materials for Missing Perspectives (Pierce School)
  • Restorative Circles (Heath School)
  • Closing Outcome Gaps by Focusing on Tier I Instruction in Literacy and Math to Ensure
  • Differentiated Instruction for All Learners (Lawrence School)
  • Using RTI to Benefit High Needs Students (Brookline Early Education Program)
  • 7 Norms of Collaborative Conversations (Driscoll School)
  • Hidden Brookline Tour (Coolidge Corner School)
  • Hidden Curriculums: How Does Your Bias Impact Your Decisions? (Heath School)
  • The Reggio Emelia Approach: Student Centered and Experiential Learning for Preschool Students (Brookline Early Education Program)
  • Using Restorative Practice Circles to Process and Understand Student Experiences (Lincoln School)

At Brookline High School, the staff will continue their work around Difficult Conversations with input from a BHS student and parent panel. These questions will guide the discussion with the following panelists:

  • What is the value for you in BHS educators engaging deeply and actively in anti-bias and anti-racism work?
  • What does that work look like, day-to-day, in your mind?
  • What is your experience with “Hot” moments (unanticipated bias incidents that
  • happen in our community and culture on a daily basis) at BHS? Do you have any memories or awareness of times when they were handled in helpful ways or not so helpful ways?
  • What was the impact on you of those responses?
  • What are your thoughts on how our community – students, faculty, and families – can come together to be better in this important work of speaking up, being allies to one another, educating and support each other?

We greatly value this time set aside for educators to share, to think and to work together to improve our collective practices.