Black and Brown Town Hall. Questions and Answers* (If questions were answered during live session, they are not noted below)
For marginalized families where remote learning is not working, what effort is being made to bring those children back into the classroom?
We are closely following the King County Health Guidelines. When it is safe to bring students back in ways that are safe, we will make decisions about what happens next. This conversation is happening with District Stakeholder teams. In the meantime, we encourage families to let teachers know if instruction is not meeting your child’s needs.
How can we get data or information on the existing inequities within our district? There is such a disconnect in our community especially in some of the more insulated and affluent pockets. People hear the phrase equity but have no concept of what the inequities in our district really look like.
General data about the school district can be found at https://washingtonstatereportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/ReportCard/ViewSchoolOrDistrict/100236
Can you tell us more about the role of equity leads in each school? What's their role/tasks/job?
Currently, are there any female mentorship programs available to high school-age girls in Shoreline?
I would suggest checking in with our college and career specialists at each high school.
marianne.stephens@ssd412 Shorewood HS
Specific examples of how equity manifests in Shoreline School District?
Race and Equity Policy, Ethnic Studies Resolution, Culturally Responsive Instruction Training for all staff, adoption of more diverse books for schools, Racial Equity Book Studies, Equitable Family Engagement Program… lots more work to do, but lots of work being done as well
Will Shoreline school district implement" Since Time Immemorial" curriculum that teaches about the tribes of WA?
Some of our classes are already teaching components of STI and there will be wider training available to staff this year.
Thank you for this town hall, and for this amazing work and effort. It sounds truly transformative. Can you say more about how and what you are hearing from students, about their experiences, and what impact it is having? How are students doing right now? Follow up to that is: how is this known, besides surveys? Thanks again!
Student Affinity groups will be happening to gather feedback and suggestions directly from students.
How are teachers being held accountable to ensuring that all students are being heard. How are you going to be intentional with engaging with Black families. Especially, at this time in our country when Black students will need more support.
We are very aware of how the events of this year have impacted Black students. Intentional work is happening with our leadership group around what it means to center Black students and staff as we examine our systems and practices..
You mentioned the district provided internet. How else did the district address digital disparity?
All students have access to a device and hotspots and the state will be offering an internet service contract for qualifying families.
How are you going to ensure diversity within the PTA if that’s going to be your main source of connection to families. Most PTA members are white families so how will Black families be engaged?
Our family engagement focuses primarily on families who have not felt that schools have best served them or welcomed them. Please review our mission and vision. We also work with Cafecitos and Natural Leader groups. https://www.shorelineschools.org/Page/1957
Question from a student:
How are you being intentional with ensuring Black students are centered as were in the middle of a racial uprising? We’re not being heard
Please email email@example.com and we will make time to listen
Do you work with the mainly white teacher body around white supremacy culture?
There is training that addresses this in our district as well as staff book studies, What Does It Mean to Be White, White Fragility etc. But that is ongoing work.
How do you or do you collaborate with BLM Shoreline?
We have collaborated with leaders of BLM Shoreline in various ways (HBCU Night, Black Hair Care Drive etc.)
What work is being done to bridge the significant gap between the Black/African-American families and African families and the differences between those identities?
This is a complicated, generational and cultural concern. Let’s talk more in the community about this.
What kind of recruitment effort is ongoing or beginning regarding hiring mirrors for our BIPOC families?
Hiring is happening, retention is important. How do we keep staff of color in Shoreline where they can valued for their full selves? That is a cultural aspect of our system that we need to continue to examine.
How can parents and community members help in tangible ways to meet the needs of those most marginalized within our district?
Be in authentic community with families at your school and check in with them and ask that question. Then follow their lead.
Join us on Wednesday, May 13 from 10:45-11:45 am for a virtual discussion on "Equity in the Midst of COVID-19" with Equity and Family Engagement Director Dr. Tanisha Brandon-Felder. This discussion will focus on equity challenges that have arisen or been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, how our district is working to address these issues and ask your own questions.
The session will be available on Zoom using the link and password (required) below. It will also be recorded on and posted to our website for those who are not able to attend live. Meeting details, link and password to join are below.
When: May 13, 2020 10:45 AM Pacific Time
Topic: Spotlight on Equity: An Informal Q&A with Dr. Tanisha Brandon-Felder