Virtual School Meanderings

January 15, 2022

Thank You, Educators

An item from a US-based K-12 blended learning organization.

Starting 2022 with Gratitude

 

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Join the conversation as we partner with communities to design and implement school-based change.

In This Week’s Issue

  • Starting 2022 with Gratitude
  • Registration Now Open for Looking at Data with an Equity Lens
  • Celebrating Our Year-End Fundraising Campaign
  • Attend Our Upcoming Workshops at #DCSC2022
  • Writing Contest from #MakeNoiseToday for High School Students

Starting 2022 with Gratitude

We are holding the quote above from Desmond Tutu (1931-2021) front of mind as we come to the end of another challenging school week. The start of 2022 has been incredibly overwhelming for educators, the frontline workers supporting our children and families on a daily basis. We see you and we appreciate you for all of your efforts. Your actions bring light, hope, and joy to our communities and we must continue working toward solutions that honor your contributions. Thank you.

5-Part Workshop Series in Partnership with MassCUE

Fresh off their Datapalooza breakout sessions, the dynamic duo of Karina Rodriguez and Christina Corser is once again partnering with MassCUE for an exciting professional learning opportunity!

Launching January 25, “Looking at Data with an Equity Lens”, is a 5-part virtual workshop series for educators. During this experience, our facilitators will guide participants through data analysis centered around student identities and cultures for a fuller picture of how they are doing academically and socially-emotionally in schools and classrooms. This is a low-cost, virtual experience for a small cohort of educators who will have access to the 5 90-minute Zoom sessions and asynchronous resources, with eligibility for graduate credit through Worcester State University.

Registration closes on January 18th, so sign up soon! Learn more about prerequisites and the syllabus at the link below.

Celebrating Our Year-End Fundraising Campaign

We are tremendously grateful to our network for the outpouring of support throughout our year-end fundraising campaign. With your donations, awareness-building, and generous testimonials, we made it 73% of the way toward our ambitious fundraising goal of $10,000. Thank you so much to the contributors listed below who helped us raise a combined total of $7,305:

Attend Our Upcoming Workshops at #DCSC2022

We’re presenting! Register for the 2022 Annual Diverse Charter Schools Coalition Convening and join us for two dynamic workshops. The theme of this year’s virtual event is Care, Courage, Commitment. Schools are experiencing unprecedented times alongside historical patterns of inequality and injustice. The DCSC 2022 Annual Convening will provide space for attendees to reflect on how to center collective care in intentionally integrated schools during our current moment. We will courageously confront persisting racism and disparities in educational access. And, together, we will reinvigorate our commitment to the mission of educational justice. Join us at #DCSC2022 as we continue to build the diverse-by-design movement.

Our workshop is Centering on Instructional Equity: An Overview of the CRSP Framework, presented by Malika Ali, which we’ll be offering twice over the course of the event:

  • Thursday, January 27, 2022 from 1:30-2:45PM
  • Friday, January 28, 2022 from 1:15-2:30PM

From Other Organizations

Writing Contest for High Schoolers

The #MakeNoiseToday initiative is hosting the “Letters To…” Collective, a correspondence project for high school students to share their stories. Participating students nationwide can write letters to themselves, family, teachers, mentors, peers, bullies, future children, etc., on the subject of race, ethnicity, and identity.
The letters allow people to put their thoughts and feelings into words that might typically be tough to express. They can also share words of gratitude, hope, and their personal journey and learnings that they’d like to share. Judges will review all entries, with winners receiving scholarships ranging from $1,000-$5,000. Submissions are due by February 28, 2022.

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January 8, 2022

Looking at Data with an Equity Lens

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An item from a US-based K-12 blended learning organization.

Register now for a spot in our new workshop series with MassCUE

 

No images? Click here

Join the conversation as we partner with communities to design and implement school-based change.

In This Week’s Issue

  • Register today for our Looking at Data with an Equity Lens workshop series in partnership with MassCUE
  • We’re Hiring a Data Analyst! Help us spread the word
  • Free ASSISTments training opportunity for Eureka Math

5-Part Workshop Series in Partnership with MassCUE

Fresh off their Datapalooza breakout sessions, the dynamic duo of Karina Rodriguez and Christina Corser is once again partnering with MassCUE for an exciting professional learning opportunity!

Launching January 25, “Looking at Data with an Equity Lens”, is a 5-part virtual workshop series for educators. During this experience, our facilitators will guide participants through data analysis centered around student identities and cultures for a fuller picture of how they are doing academically and socially-emotionally in schools and classrooms. This is a low-cost, virtual experience for a small cohort of educators who will have access to the 5 90-minute Zoom sessions and asynchronous resources, with eligibility for graduate credit through Worcester State University.

Registration closes on January 18th, so sign up soon! Learn more about prerequisites and the syllabus at the link below.

Data Analyst Job Opening

Our search continues! Highlander Institute is seeking a Data Analyst to join our Impact Team, led by Karina Rodriguez, Director of Research and Analytics. Please help us spread the word by sharing the job posting with friends and colleagues in your network.

Learn more about the role, responsibilities, and additional information through the full job description here. Please send resume and cover letter to the Director of Talent at hiring@highlanderinstitute.org. Applications that do not include a cover letter will not be considered.

From Other Organizations

Free Training Opportunity for Eureka Math

Do you need a quick and easy way to assign problems and view data from Eureka Math?  ASSISTments offers all of the Eureka Math (EngageNY) curricula problems for grades 1-12, available to assign for FREE. Teachers can assign practice problems, exit tickets, unit assessments (and more) seamlessly with Google Classroom or Canvas. Students get immediate feedback and multiple attempts so they can learn as they go and teachers get daily actionable data needed for data-driven instruction and intervention. Check out these opportunities to learn more about incorporating ASSISTments into your classroom routine:

  • Webinar on Tuesday, 1/11 at 6pm ET – Foundations for Success: Using ASSISTments with Eureka Math (EngageNY) Grades 3-12 Teachers
  • Webinar on Tuesday, 1/18 at 6PM ET – Data-Driven Instruction: Using ASSISTments with Eureka Math (EngageNY) Grades 3-12 Teachers
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January 1, 2022

Happy New Year from TLA!

The final season greeting for today…

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Happy New Year!

As we forge a path forward into 2022, we would like to applaud the tireless work of educators, leaders, and families as they strive to support students and make learning possible under any circumstances.

Your dedicated efforts have brought about innovation, impact, and meaningful progress, helping to ensure that students receive the equitable, effective, and engaging education they deserve.

In 2022, we will continue our work alongside schools, systems, partners, and experts in the field to help educators and leaders transform K-12 education.

Thank you for all that you do.

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Tell us what’s on your mind as we head into 2022 on social media,

and keep up with our work on the TLA Blog.

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The Learning Accelerator | 103 Roaring Brook RoadPortland, ME 04103

December 29, 2021

It’s Not Too Late to Support Highlander Institute’s Year-End Fundraising Campaign

An item from a US-based K-12 blended learning organization.

Support our mission to partner with communities to imagine and create more equitable, relevant, and effective schools.

Dear valued partners and supporters,

We hope this message finds you safe and healthy through another challenging year.

2021 continues to be an exceptionally difficult year for schools. The ongoing pandemic, educator exhaustion, rising mental health needs, and our divisive political climate all loom large in the face of increasing performance gaps. This has made it more challenging for schools to generate equitable outcomes for all students: “higher percentages of students of color, differently-abled students, multilingual learners, and students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch are behind in reading and math, compared to their White peers” (RIDE LEAP Task Force Report, 2021).

Yet Highlander Institute partner schools continue to showcase what is possible. One long-term  partner — Greystone Elementary School in North Providence, RI — has implemented practices from our frameworks with impressive results. On 2021 state RICAS tests, Greystone students outperformed both district and state averages by 17+ percentage points in ELA and 10+ percentage points in math. Greystone Principal, Stefanie Lafleur, credits our collaboration:

“Highlander Institute’s partnership forces you to really reflect on the student learning experience, which results in a call to action and urgency to meet the needs of your most marginalized groups of students.”

The biggest threats to our progress are not coming from COVID fallout. They are coming from the misinformation surrounding Critical Race Theory fearmongering. Angry people, fueled by racist ideologies and the desire to undermine any work related to equity, have censored libraries, pushed out Black school and district leaders, intimidated school board members, and created legislation preventing teachers from teaching historical realities. For the first time in our organization’s history, hate mail, social media smears, and bully tactics have been directed at Highlander Institute team members, attacking us as individuals, alongside our values and beliefs.

Now more than ever, Highlander Institute needs your support. Support us because you believe in teaching truth. Support us because you believe in our ability to level persistent opportunity gaps. Support us because you believe in the power of our equitable approach to education. Or support us because you believe in the ability of our highly reputable, talented team to pursue solutions that center students and value teachers. Whatever the reason, show your support in 2021.

A 5th grader in one of our partner schools recently shared this insight as part of a project reflection: “…we can no longer be victims, we can impact social change.” Let these words call us all to action in our ongoing pursuit of equity, empowerment, and engagement across schools.

Best wishes to you for a Happy 2022.

Sincerely,

Shawn Rubin
Executive Director

John Muggeridge
Board Chair

Highlander Institute school projects are rooted in instructional equity and
center the whole child. This work is powerful, urgent, and deeply necessary — supporting growth across a range of outcomes including academic mindset, engagement, social and emotional wellbeing, and achievement for all students.

December 18, 2021

Exciting Leadership News to Celebrate

An item from a US-based K-12 blended learning organization.

Join us in recognizing two incredible leadership promotions

 

No images? Click here

Join the conversation as we partner with communities to design and implement school-based change.

In This Week’s Issue

  • Highlander Institute announces two leadership promotions
  • We’re almost halfway to our $10,000 year-end fundraising goal!
  • Apply now for our Data Analyst position
  • Our friends at Diversity Talks are hiring

Highlander Institute Announces Two Leadership Promotions

We are thrilled to celebrate the news that Malika Ali has been named our Chief Innovation Officer and Karina Rodriguez has been named Director of Research and Analytics. We are deeply fortunate to have these two incredible leaders at the helm of our Program and Impact work. Please help us in extending warmest congratulations and gratitude to our remarkable colleagues. And we encourage you all to read the blog posts linked below where they’ve shared their personal stories and visions for the work they’ll be leading in their new roles.

Visioning for Justice by Malika Ali

It has been said that our beliefs create reality, that our actions are shaped by our vision of the future, and that our words create worlds.

From my parents I have learned that the most historically oppressed people are often the greatest dreamers and visionaries. It is only because my parents dared to envision a path of liberation through education that I am alive. As East African refugees in search of peace and opportunity, each fled their small village with little more than the power of their respective visions.

Building a Liberatory Data Model by Karina Rodriguez 

From a young age, my parents — 1980s immigrants from the Dominican Republic to New York City — instilled in me the notion that education is the greatest equalizer. I believed this narrative of the “American Dream”, pushing myself through school with the goals of earning a college degree and landing a well paying job to support myself and my family.

When I started my undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago, I immediately realized how inadequately my public school education had prepared me for the academic, mental, and emotional demands of that environment.

Can We Count on Your Support?

We launched our campaign on November 30th, with a goal of raising $10,000. Thank you to all of our generous supporters for your contributions!

Now more than ever, Highlander Institute needs your support. Support us because you believe in teaching truth. Support us because you believe in our ability to level persistent opportunity gaps. Support us because you believe in the power of our equitable approach to education. Or support us because you believe in the ability of our highly reputable, talented team to pursue solutions that center students and value teachers. Whatever the reason, we would greatly appreciate your support during our 2021 year-end campaign.

Seeking: Data Analyst

Highlander Institute is seeking a Data Analyst to join our Impact Team. If you are passionate about empowering students, collaborating with schools and their partners, and helping to highlight the stories and experiences of students who have been marginalized by systemic inequity, then we want you on our team! Learn more about the role, responsibilities, and additional information through the full job description here. Please send resume and cover letter to the Director of Talent at hiring@highlanderinstitute.org. Applications that do not include a cover letter will not be considered.

Diversity Talks is Hiring

Diversity Talks shifts mindsets. We partner with organizations to create unique learning environments where the most marginalized voices are at the forefront. Our mission is to increase cultural competency by fostering a healing space for those in power and those most marginalized to challenge the societal standards upholding white supremacy. We envision an anti-racist society of shared responsibility, with everyone collectively working to create systemic change.

We are currently hiring for 2 open positions: Development & Communications Specialist and Program Coordinator. Learn more about these opportunities through the link below and apply by January 10, 2022.

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