Part of Sacajawea’s school mission is to “compassionately educate for human greatness as an inclusive community.” However, racism is a far-reaching problem that requires continual and active work to uproot.
During the 2015-16 school year, several racist incidents occurred among Sacajawea students. It was an upsetting reminder that the Sacajawea community was not protected from exposure to racism and negative narratives about people of color. Part of the school’s response was to create the Racial Equity Team to help the staff and community gain the expertise needed to address racism within Sacajawea.
The Racial Equity Team was formed in hopes of creating awareness in the community about how racism affects the daily lives of students as well as their families. Its goal is to eliminate or greatly decrease incidents of racism at school as well as in the community at large.
School / Educator Initiatives
Seattle Public Schools has a set of district-wide initiatives aimed at improving equity and closing the achievement gap in schools. These initiatives include My Brother’s Keeper, a mentorship program; RULER, a social-emotional curriculum; Everyday Matters, an attendance program; and the Equity Toolkit, a set of questions to help analyze the racial equity impact of policies and programs.
The educator-led Equity Team has taken on the task of finding ways to provide teachers with concrete tools and actions for improving equity at Sacajawea:
Culturally responsive teaching
Leading important conversations about race
Teacher trainings/diversity in the curriculum
Consultants, workshops and webinars
Anti-bullying initiatives, Zero Tolerance Policy
Using SPS-provided materials
Black Lives Matter lessons plans
RULER curriculum (includes Mood Meters)
Finding ways to support immigrant families at Sacajawea
Looking at restorative justice and flexible discipline policies
Book wish lists
The parent-led Equity Team has focused on bringing an equity perspective to Sacajawea events and activities, and providing opportunities for community engagement in equity issues:
Working with PTA to host events and provide materials with a cultural focus for Sacajawea events
Highlighting information about cultural experiences and resources inside and outside Sacajawea
Hosting and supporting student and community workshops that directly address issues of equity
Organizing community actions
Providing additional educator support
Equity and anti-bias books for the library and the “River of Books” travelling library
Consultation on guest artists and continental display for the Continental Focus
Family and community member classroom cultural presentations
Equity around enrichment opportunities, working with the grants committee to secure scholarships
Other Resources from The School District
The Racial Equity Team needs your help and involvement to achieve its many goals. Parent meetings are held on the first or second Wednesday of the month at 6pm in the Library.