District/ESD/CC Group Discussion

Elena Kelley's picture
Elena Kelley

Our Teammates: Elena Kelley, Salem-Keizer; Marty Gary - Douglas ESD; Tori Lopez - Portland Public; Christopher Scott - Portland Public; Chau Le - PISA & Portland Public; Sara Hastings - Chemeketa CC; Mayra Gomez - West Linn/Wilsonville; Pernnell Booth - McLaren; Samantha Piers-Vanderploeg - Mt. Hood CC Adult Diploma; Majalise Tolan - Lincoln County; Iris Torres - Portland Public

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Elena Kelley's picture
Elena Kelley

Discussion Topic #1: What does attendance look like for each of us? ¯ Highly variable attendance, issues with childcare & work
¯ Students want to be there, but sometimes it’s logistically difficult (childcare & work); State allows portfolios for 1/2 credit/class in specific standards (e.g., Health credit for having a child and documenting learning through doctor visits)
¯ So travel can impact attendance
¯ Alt ed is online, so they struggle with attendance because of things like connectivity (living up river in a tent), reading skills & academic language
¯ Some districts provide elective credits or CTE credits for work experience
¯ Exploring what the barriers are to getting kids to school; big part of role is to develop relationships and encourage students to attend
¯ Alt ed has to “repair relationship with the system”
¯ Mental health and desire to attend are big issues

Other Discussion Points: - Students that aren’t often successful (statistically) often fall into demographic groups such as Black and Latinx
- One district has formed a team that includes Grad Coach from each building, Indian Ed Coordinators, and will add ELD Coordinator
-Some schools see lack of engagement in classrooms, lack of culturally competent curriculum implemented
-We have expectations for kids that may not be developmentally (or humanly) appropriate - such as sitting and listening to lectures for long periods of time
-One area is very White and has a lot of poverty (46%); have begun work in poverty research by learning about Eric Jensen’s work; trauma & resilience are at the heart of many issues students face; trained several teachers in Jensen’s work; used ‘Brain Game’
- Historical experience and epigenetics resulting from trauma (Tori does trainings in trauma); systems need to become trauma-informed to include students, not expect them to assimilate to dominant cultural norms
- Implicit Bias test from Harvard - can help reveal how we cumulatively impact (Mt. Hood CC had 50-60 folks took test)

Questions to Explore Further: -How do we ingrain support and training to build skills of educators in ways that help to mitigate our implicit biases?
-How do we get policy to back up practice (can’t just train around trauma and then say, “We did that,” and not revisit it)?
-How do we push our high achieving high schools forward?
-How do we share anecdotal data?
Example (focus group data from HS seniors):
○ Recorded it (video and audio) and printed quotes around the room
○ Teachers cried
○ Then nothing happened