News from the School Reform Initiative – February 1, 2018

San Antonio Facilitator Retreat – Registration Closes February 9th

This year, we are hosting four facilitator retreats around the country, to make it as easy as possible for facilitators to find a location and time that fits their scheduled. This professional development opportunity will bring together facilitators to learn with and from one another, with a specific focus on facilitating through an equity lens. As part of our mission, we are working to support facilitators grow both in their understanding of how to utilize the tools and resources, but also how to keep an equity focus and support collaboration and reflection in service of the students we serve.

The San Antonio retreat is filling up, and we will be closing registration on February 9th (or when we hit our capacity). Please register ASAP if you are hoping to join us in San Antonio.

The other locations include Tucson, AZ in March; Boston, MA in April; and Miami, FL in April. Click here to register and learn more.

Disruptive Equity Education Workshop – Boston Area March & April 2018

Dr. Darnisa Amante from the Disruptive Equity Education (DEEP) and Gene Thompson-Grove from the School Reform Initiative (SRI) are partnering to take up these questions:

  • What does it mean to be an educational leader who supports students of color?
  • How can educators create and support the conditions for educational equity and racial justice in our schools?
  • How do issues related to race, gender and implicit bias impact our perceptions of students of color?

During the four-day seminar, we will explore the adaptive and complex challenges of leading for racial equity through the use of Dr. Darnisa Amante’s DEEP (Disruptive Equity Education Project) Framework and SRI’s tools and protocols. Participants can expect to reconnect to their purposes for doing educational equity and racial justice work – consider the personal assumptions, biases and immunities that keep them from fully realizing their commitment to this work – and engage in deep discussions of critical race theories as they create plans to bring the work back to their contexts.

Click here to register and  learn more.

Moving from Diversity Towards Equity: One School’s Journey

In this blog post from Teri Shrader, former chair of the SRI Board of Directors and current head of Watkinson School, learn how their school has taken up their equity mission with more intentionality.

Three years ago, I stopped attending SRI’s Winter Meeting. The decision was not an easy one, but rather one that was at once complex and simple.

I was in my first year as Head of my “new school”, and deeply engaged in conversations with my colleague, the director of diversity at the time, about how to support our school in deepening and expanding our already strong commitment to equity and justice. We talked at length about the dilemmas inherent in “doing diversity” work in schools and realized soon that we shared a vision of our school as a place where conversations about race and privilege, about access and experience were not limited to certain “special” days on the calendar. We agreed, for example, that the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday should be meaningfully acknowledged in our school, but not as a once-a-year call to consciousness. It should be an extension of our daily lives, punctuated by memorable and significant experiences. As that first fall proceeded, it became clear to me where I needed to be over the MLK Day; it was here, at my school, with my colleagues and students. Though it was my final year as SRI Board President and I knew that missing Winter Meeting would be difficult, it became impossible to imagine being away from school for MLK Day.

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Do you have news to share? Interesting things happening in your area? Please let us know so we can share with our community! Email Chris Jones,

Thank you,
Kari Thierer, Heidi Vosekas, Chris Jones, and Beth I Graham
On behalf of School Reform Initiative

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