Schools Committee Welcomes New Teachers and Staff to SOMSD

The Schools Committee was again invited to address teachers at the district’s New Teacher Orientation. They have been a part of the orientation for new teachers and administrators in the school district since 2006 at which they share  the mission of the Coalition and the community’s commitment to racial integration, true inclusion, and equitable schools.

This year, there are nearly 80 staff members joining the district. Co-chairs Carol Barry-Austin and Sue Willis told them about the Coalition and the Schools Committee–from their workshops that provide teachers with professional development to their efforts to close the achievement gap. To give the new staff a feeling for the vibrancy and variety of the towns, they played the Two Towns–One Great Community video tour.

Executive Director Nancy Gagnier then emphasized the Coalition’s commitment to fully integrated schools and classrooms and shared the district’s history of efforts to adjust school zones and programs to reach those goals. She also noted that the Coalition’s Demographics Report has more information on school and staff diversity, as well information on the demographics of the two towns.

Sue Willis ended the hour by asking the staff to take a moment to imagine what a successful experience would be for them in their teaching roles after six months. A number of the teachers shared that they envision student-led classrooms, with students feeling empowered and engaged in learning. They were then invited to ask questions about the Coalition.  Most were about resources offered by the Schools Committee for teachers–especially the professional development hours and anti-bias and cultural competency strategies. All were invited to sign up to hear about upcoming events and to use the the reading materials shared here on the Coalition website.

Many thanks to Elizabeth Aaron for introducing the Coalition and for Dr. Rando for extending the conversation about classroom equity!

 

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