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.

Tuesday, April 7th 5 - 7:00 p.m.

VIRTUAL "Equity in Education Fair"

The TCS community is invited to attend an online "Equity in Education Fair."

Come learn about the past and contemporary inequities in the education system and what we can do to encourage equity and equitable narratives in schools.

Speakers will include: 

  • Dr. Anne Gottlieb of the Austin Career Education Center

  • Mr. Billy Brooks of the Living History Project

  • Ms. Ilana Walden of the Chicago Student Success Initiative at Chicago Public Schools 

  • Mr. Simon Nosek, TCS alumnus and member of Oak Park and River Forest High School's "A Place for All" club.

 

The community beyond TCS is also invited and encouraged to attend. Check our TCS calendar and Facebook page for the virtual event link
No RSVP needed.

Thursday, April 16th 7- 8:30 p.m.

VIRTUAL: TCS Equity Action Meeting

Everyone is invited!

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. 

JUST DREAM COMMITTEE 
TOOLKIT

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.

JUST DREAM Tool Kit

Equity Resources for Adults and Older Students:

Books for learning about Equity for
Younger Students and Family story time:

 

OTher SOcial Justice News at TCS

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

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