The Diversity and Inclusion Parent Table - My Child Said What?
Where: Chinook High School
When: 4:30-6 p.m., June 14, 2023
Purpose: To review the Student Forum data and to gather parent perspective on their child’s experiences related to inclusion and wellness and to facilitate discussion and learning.
The Story: How did we get here?
On Oct. 22, 2019 a group of 30 parents and 10 Administrative reps gathered at Winston Churchill High School Learning Commons to “Just Listen” to parent perspectives around Diversity and Inclusion in Lethbridge School Division. Three questions were posed to this parent group. These questions were:
1. What is your perception of diversity in your child’s school setting?
2. What does inclusion mean to you why is it important?
3. What topics related to diversity and inclusion would you like to explore throughout the year?
The parent group represented many different perspectives and opinions within the Lethbridge School Division parent body. We genuinely appreciated the open, respectful, and transparent conversations that took place. The topics raised for our system to explore:
- Continuing work on effective and supportive transitions for students from grade 5/6 and grade 8/9 recognizing that these transition times present as challenging for students and families- Continuing to provide EA training in response to the ongoing turnover of staff, new hires and the need to continually build capacity (i.e. SIVA, Literacy for Complex Needs, Meeting the needs of student with Complexities)- Enhancing a deeper understanding of EA roles and responsibilities through the lens of fostering student independence- Working on website and ensuring there is sufficient information (i.e. cultural calendar) for parents on the topic of inclusion and diversity- Hosting two more evening events this year- one on Jan. 21 with Shelley Moore addressing “What is UDL” as this was a question that came from the parent body, a second evening will be hosted in the spring with a “Diversity and Inclusion Student Panel” for Parents- Exploring the potential of building parent support and connection with Indigenous ancestry
As we continued through time from 2019-2023 other initiatives have happened because of this feedback,including:
- Shelley Moore working in our schools on Universal Design for learning.- self-regulation initiatives and professional learning, wellness grants were started
- The Administrator Anti-racism/Anti-Oppression(ARAO) Committee was struck in 2020- The Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression Policy was released in September 2022
- Multi-Faith/Cultural Calendar was posted on Lethbridge website June 2022
- The Student Forum- Inclusion and Wellness was hosted in February 2023 and the ARAO Committee is starting work on procedure development for this policy by way of a survey
- Positive Spaces revised and updated the Division Procedure document Attending to Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sexual Orientation in Our Schools, September 2022
- Spring 2023 all School Administrative Teams have been tasked to review the data received from the Student Forum and identify three areas of focus to embed in their school plans over the next year that are informed by the data generated from the Student Forum.
The Student Forum generated such positive feedback that we recognize the importance of connecting with and informing our Diversity and Inclusion Parent Table and we wish to share this student feedback with this group and hear the parent perspectives on their children’s lived experiences in school.
Nine of the parents who participated in the last DIPT event would like to continue to participate. To facilitate conversation and connection, we will open this event up to 25 new parents on a first come first served basis. If you are interested, please email Christina Peters, Executive Assistant at email@example.com