We are on a multi-month journey of supporting student learning from a distance across the nation. While school and district leaders have learned many takeaways during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is nothing more poignant than the bright light shone on the historical, insidious, and abundant inequities in the U.S. educational system. The impact of common problems existing in the brick-and-mortar milieu including high flight from schools and districts with high numbers of linguistically and culturally diverse students to schools with less diversity and more resources has exacerbated the impact on students in this distance learning context. Students living in urban and rural America are dramatically affected by variance access and opportunity.
While there are many reasons for inequities, including school funding protocols, inequitable access to the internet, and disproportionate distribution of technology devices, school and district leaders are in a position to learn from this experience and take intentional steps to eliminate many of these disparities. Although educational research is replete with benefits of equitable leadership, school transformation and educational policy to combat the impact of conditions of poverty, the system is clearly falling short of meeting the needs of all students. Join this session to learn how the Tools of Cultural Proficiency may be used as a framework for leveling the learning field for all students regardless of zip code, home language, and ethnic or racial backgrounds. Dr. Stacie Stanley, Associate Superintendent of Eden Prairie Schools (MN) and co-author of Leading While Female: A Culturally Proficient Response for Gender Equity, will discuss intentional steps to addressing many disparities. Eden Lake Elementary School Principal, Tim Beekman, and Associate Principal, Valora Unowsky, will share application aspects of the Tools of Cultural Proficiency inside the schoolhouse gates.
Essential questions for discussion include:
What can school leaders learn from the pandemic experience that will make sure intentional steps are taken to eliminate disparities?
How can schools transform to combat the impact of conditions of poverty and meet the needs of ALL students?
How can Tools of Cultural Proficiency frame action steps for leaders at all levels?
Participants will learn about strategies to address systemic disparities and inequities in order to benefit all students. This presentation will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.