Social Justice
and equity News

Here's where you'll find the latest news, notes, and activities related to social justice initiatives at The Children's School.

 

TCS Equity Initiative

As a community, we are currently focusing on improving ethnic and racial equity in our educational environment. Our community chose the following definition of equity to guide our work:

 

"In an equitable community, each person is seen and valued with
acknowledgment of historical inequities and their impacts."

We are also mindful of other equity matters, and have not set them aside - such as issues of gender identity, sexual orientation, differing abilities, and other concerns. We welcome input and action on those points as well. Focusing on ethnic and racial issues primarily at this time is so that we can take action steps that make tangible improvements in those areas more swiftly. Such action will hopefully inform us on how to address other equity issues more effectively as well.

We invite everyone in our TCS community - faculty, parents, students, board, alumni, and staff -- to choose whichever meetings, events, committees, or lanes of interest appeal you, and to jump in or jump out whenever you wish. Please know that we welcome you to get involved at whatever level of depth, and whatever amount of time suits your interest and schedule - even if it's just briefly or a little bit, or even just sitting in on one meeting to see what we're up to. 

We've put in place a five-lane approach to our action on equity, so that everyone can pick an that interests them. You are welcome to participate in more than one area, or jump in and jump out of a lane whenever you like. Here are our five lanes of activity:

 

  1. Equity Programming for TCS Families
    We envision parent/guardian-led group organizing equity programming through events/outings that families attend together. We’ll take advantage of the plethora of cultural and arts events available in the Chicagoland area, as opposed to creating our own events in-house. This allows us to seek out rich, authentic cultural experiences and support and make connections with groups doing that work.
     

  2. Informational Programming at TCS for our Local Community
    We want an administration-led group, supported by parents/guardians with connections to universities and cultural institutions and other experts. We’ll create workshops/talks/events around equity issues. We can position TCS as a public forum where experts come to talk about equity issues
     

  3. Student Activism/Leadership 
    We'd like a middle-level student-led group, with the help of parent and faculty advisors to bring forth student-initiated ideas and programming on equity.
     

  4. Hiring for Greater Equity
    Our administration/faculty group will continue to work on attracting, hiring, and retaining non-white teachers to achieve more diverse representation on our faculty/staff.
     

  5. Structural Changes to Promote Equity
    We'd like an administration/faculty-led group to consider possible structural changes to achieve greater equity. We’ll work with proposals such as an earlier start time to the school day to better support working parents/guardians, or making our meetings more accessible to parents with young children.
     

  6. Teacher Training, Support, Initiatives
    A faculty-driven working group to create support, professional development opportunities and initiatives around equity in an educational environment.
     

  7. Curriculum
    Re-examining our curriculum, our social justice curricular goals, and identifying ways to improve it in terms of equity. 

We are also not wedded to this structure. If anyone has great ideas for more lanes of interest, or another term besides "lanes," or if we modify our definitions and goals as we grow on our equity journey -- that's great!

UPCOMING TCS EQUITY EVENTS

We're working to set up virtual events and meetings to continue our TCS Equity Relaunch. Stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for more info.

Join our TCS Parent/Teacher Anti-Racism Discussion Group.  Contact cmartin@tcsconnect.org for details.

Virtual Equity in
Education Fair

Originally planned as an event in our Gym, this 8th Grade Capstone Project went virtual with the advent of Covid-19 social distancing. Here is a recording of the event, featuring guest speakers Ms. Ilana Walden, Mr. Billy Brooks, Mr. Simon Nosek, and
Ms. Madihah Sharif

TCS CURRICULUM to COmmunity

Connections: 


Things for Families to check out, local events, etc.

Help us add links to online learning resources (during this time of social distancing) that are social justice and equity focused, and appropriate for students and their families!

We will post links here!

Justice Cards!

Our 3rd graders from both the Hurricane Huskies and the Fahrenheit Forest classrooms finished their new set of "Justice Cards." This popular project features student-created cards with social justice heroes modeled after Pokemon and other game cards. 

IMG_0910 (1).jpg

Where we are now in our equity work would not be possible without years of foundation laid by our "JUST DREAM" committee. One of the projects they completed is the following tool kit, which provides comprehensive resources and links to a variety of equity-related topics.

Anti-Racism Video Playlist

e learning

7th-Graders Make

Masks While Learning About Local Issues

Our project-based learning and social justice curriculum continues during our remote learning program. Our 7th-grade class has decided on a service project to make masks for residents of the Little Village area of Chicago.

While Illinois stayed home, a demolition project unleashed a horrendous dust cloud in the neighborhood, which was already plagued with a high level of industrial pollution. This combination might make residents of the area more susceptible to serious complications if they contract the coronavirus.

Students and their teacher, Ms. Melissa Barone, have been using videoconferencing to discuss the environmental and health problems the demolition caused Little Village. They've also worked on how to safely gather materials, as well as how to make and safely deliver the masks to community groups in the affected area.

The project helps students learn about local current events and how communities must balance the interests of industry, business, and residents. It also gives students a way to move beyond fear and helplessness during Covid-19, and instead choose positive action and engagement through helping others.

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”  John Dewey

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© 2018 The Children's School - 200 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302  |  708-484-8033

website by Tracy Litsey at Practicespecialty.com | photographs by Lindsay Schumaier Photography,  Eileen Moloney Photography, and Laura Donoghue