Equity in Education

July 13, July 14, July 20, July 21
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Ballard Road Conference Center, WSWHE BOCES 
$125 per person, per session/$400 for the series

The WSWHE BOCES in partnership with CASDA and Common Thread Consulting, are pleased to offer a 4-part series focusing on Equity in Education.  Four broad topics are included in the series.  Participants can choose to attend the complete series, or individual sessions.  Through a series of 4 full-day workshops, Common Thread Consulting will provide support, resources, and research to support the equity efforts of WSWHE BOCES districts.  Throughout the process, we will draw upon research written by BIPOC authors addressing issues of race and poverty in schools and utilize the NYSED Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework to explore how this work can be realized. 


Districts should consider their entry point into the work surrounding Equity in Education, but each session will be relevant to practitioners at all points in implementing equity work and will provide actionable steps to advance their efforts.  These sessions are developed to include District Leadership, Building Leadership, and Teacher Leaders.  Consideration should be made in all realms of the educational structure in your district to include additional appropriate stakeholders - including but not limited to Curriculum and Instruction experts, Counseling providers, classroom teachers etc.

Session 1 – July 13, 2021

Intro to Equity and Anti-Racism

Anti-Racism in education cannot be realized without first having a grounding in what racism is and what it looks like in education. This day will be dedicated to unpacking racism and exploring what Whiteness is and how it is entrenched throughout society, including in education. We will provide clear definitions, vocabulary and examples to help participants develop the language necessary to begin engaging in deeper conversations around race and equity. Participants will have the opportunity to explore their racial identity formation and understand how their biases and beliefs impact their work as educators. Facilitators will highlight the intersections of race and poverty and explore why anti-racism is especially important in predominantly white schools. 


Session 2 – July 14, 2021

Antiracism and Equity in the Classroom Community

Using the classroom as a case study, we will explore how we can begin to use methods like Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education, reviewing the principles of Decolonizing the Curriculum, Equitable Practices, Restorative Practices, and building and sustaining community to move towards anti-racist systems. We will look at NYSED’s Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education framework and engage in inquiry about the conditions and leadership support necessary to empower teachers and students to realize the document’s vision. Participants will learn how traditional instructional and classroom management practices can alienate BIPOC students and how more responsive alternatives allow educators to develop authentic relationships and support greater engagement. We will also explore strategies to leverage the “funds of knowledge” in students’ backgrounds, heritage and interests as means to empower students to co-construct curriculum and learning opportunities. 


Session 3 – July 20, 2021 

Applying Anti-Racism and Equity at the Building Level

We will explore how racism functions differently depending on what level we’re examining and will look closely at how a building operates through an anti-racist lens. The session will cover how building-level systems, routines, procedures and structures center and perpetuate white, middle and affluent-class norms. Facilitators will lead an analysis of practices such as restrictions of movement, exclusionary discipline and dress codes to uncover the power and privilege dynamics that they uphold and then contemplate more equitable, emancipatory alternatives. Participants will also learn how seemingly benign decision making in processes like master scheduling and teacher assignments can either promote or inhibit equity. 


Session 4 – July 21, 2021

Anti-Racism and Equity in School-Community Relationships

We will explore how racism functions through interactions between schools and the community and how institutional perceptions of the community inform classroom, building, and district level policies and decisions. Unpacking these beliefs and perceptions will help district leaders understand the impact of their decisions on students, families and community members. Building on Session 3, we will examine strategies to rebuild trust between the school and communities of color they serve to facilitate meaningful collaboration between educators and families to establish anti-racist communication practices, student discipline policies, dress codes, etc. Drawing on facilitators’ deep experience and recent research, participants will learn about processes that remove traditional hierarchies that are barriers to true collaboration between schools and communities and explore how educators, students, families and community members can co-construct anti-racist, equitable school environments.