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    PRESENT: Kathleen Carson, Theresa Hardy, Madeline Mendiola, Thomas Castle, Ursula White-Oliver, Fa’izah Bradford, Emily Lieberman, Mary Murray, Meredith Jacobson, June Park, Eli Zavatsky, Emily Butler-Ginolfi, Elaine Harger

    Emily reported that with the new SEA contract, one RET member needs to be on the Building Leadership Team. At least one SEA member and one community member can be elected or appointed.

    ACTION ITEM: WMS RET needs to find members for this position.

    Readings in social studies: One parent asked about the "traditional" social studies curriculum, what's happening with that, and how can the RET support incorporating different, racial-focused curriculum and communicate the purpose for it to the school community? The curriculum is skills focused. Again, question asked about how to communicate why curriculum has changed to parents, and how readings for the course have been selected. More communication is needed across entire school about how best to bring historical trauma to the table to inform curriculum development. RET must have these conversations.

    Fa’izah reported that the SPS RET reflection tool will be available in early November to assist teams in planning their work. Fa’izah is one of the staff members for SPS’s Dept. of Racial Equity Advancement and as WMS’s liaison to the department supports our work. She noted that of the schools she works with WMS is the only school having separate community meeting. Dept exists to get to outcomes, deal with race gaps, eliminate achievement and disciplinary gaps. She will assist WMS in determining what problems we want to address, how to prioritize them, use a cultural competency framework to address them, move toward action and advocacy, and generally work to institutionalize racial equity in SPS. We need to ask how do we get to outcomes? She can provide support for looking at data etc. At the district level the parent/community advisory committee helped to prioritize district equity goals.

    Goals for WMS in racial equity are articulated in our Continuous School Improvement Plan.

    Theresa noted in her work with WMS students that they say they’ve been learning about race, but then asking what are we going to do about it? How do we bring students into the conversation? Not one student raised hand to say that their teachers cared for them during one session in leadership class. For students in leadership class, how to connect with classrooms. She informed us of the Black Education Strategy Round Table, an organization with a broad K-post secondary focus. They will be holding a conference on bringing social justice work into classrooms via activities, #tags, murals, getting student voice out there.

    • look at readings being used in classes;
    • communications v rumor mill;
    • data visualization;
    • bring community members, POC into classrooms to present to students; assemblies;
    • Erin Jones on Oct. 30;
    • other means to communicate RET meetings;
    • how to be welcoming to people who attend for first time; agendas with times;
    • brainstorm ways to support middle level students; supports for minority HCC students. Don't want to
    miss kids who "sit in the middle" of these discussions; how do we address them, what is current
    environment like at WMS, what are desired outcomes? ;
    • take enthusiasm for what is happening in classrooms outside school for projects;
    • PTSA support too;
    • use Donors Choose too, PTSA will support Donors Choose applications. To support “talking to text” work
    in classrooms, funds will help get a book in each student's hands
    • What do we value? Base outcomes in our values, build strategies around those values.
    • Minority HCC students might need more support, how to give it? How to get that going? We have
    fewer "middle" level students.
    • develop a program of academic excellence outside HCC classes
    • All school reading of So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo. Students reading parts of it in 8th
    grade LA; as a whole school read, the reading and sharing could give us all some perspective.
    • Need to develop a parent community that is more inclusive
    • Equity impact review -- plans, budgets, policies, use equity lens for decision making, requests for funds

    Need to rethink WMS RET vision, need framework

    Can we find out what other schools are doing about racial equity? Integrated schools Seattle 00 organization. What are other school's RETs doing?

    One parent described asking that a parent circle happen at Thurgood-Marshall with sons involved in a racist incident.  Those in the circle talked about racial incident, kids described what happened. An essential step in developing an antiracist school climate. At Thurgood, the RET has a black family support group. Some parents fear that their students will
    be targeted if they speak out. Support is essential.

    Conversation about HCC program. HCC established to develop leaders for the country. Maybe we should work toward getting rid of HCC. That discussion could be a "hot mess." Being an advocate for any "issue" in the school is, but HCC parents know getting rid of HCC is on the table;

    St. Louis school anti-racist, anti-bias training for students first three days of school; "color brave" conversations for parent and community members; marginalized parents don't get same access to PTSAs.

    We can use SPS policy to help revise WMS RET vision and mission, articulate values. SPS Policy 0030, entitled Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity, is what drives equity work in the district. We must share it broadly to inform conversations on RET work and on developing curriculum. Important to use structures that do exist to support our work. The policy can be found here:

    Meeting adjourned 7:47 p.m.
    Notes submitted 10/21/2018
    Elaine Harger