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    Seattle Public Schools' Strategy & Partnerships Division Supports Welcoming Environments in Schools 
    Posted on 09/21/2018
    Students and teachers tie dye at school

    Seattle Public Schools' Strategy & Partnerships Division Supports Welcoming Environments in Schools

    Over the summer of 2018, Seattle Public Schools Strategy and Partnerships division partnered with staff from the Early Learning department to offer opportunities for Jump Start schools to focus on creating welcoming environments for historically underserved populations.

    One of the gateway tenets to School Board Policy 0030 (Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity), Welcoming School Environments states that “the district shall ensure that every school creates a welcoming culture and inclusive environment that reflects and supports the diversity of the district’s student population, their families and community.”

    To support that work, eleven schools applied and were granted funds to design and implement creative and inclusive techniques to create welcoming school environments supportive of the diversity of their school communities.

    The schools included: Beacon Hill International, B.F Day, Dearborn Park International, Dunlap, Emerson, Licton Springs K – 8, Lowell, Olympic Hills, Roxhill, Stevens and Van Asselt. Planning teams were asked to include school leaders, staff from the building (counselors, instructional assistants, office professionals, etc.) as well as a diverse group of parents.

    Teams utilized their grant to build community in their schools; sharing appreciation for the wisdom that families bring, celebrating student achievements, and providing opportunities for families to participate in their students’ learning experience. Activities ranged from multi-lingual “meet and greet” opportunities, family classroom tours, and a community tie-dye party.

    In response to feedback for additional engagement opportunities, staff hosted a Family Day event for incoming kindergarten students and families at Dearborn Park International Elementary School. Families were invited into their child’s classroom, where kindergarten students had the opportunity to share what they had been learning in school. Activities included literacy and math games, playdoh, blocks, drawing and more.

    Families at participating schools reported “feeling appreciative of the opportunity to gather together” and “more familiarity with other families as well as an appreciation for our school focus.” One school shared the highlights of their event which included, “great attendance, rich discussions, and families shared ideas and strategies for student learning at home and school.”

    The partnership between Strategy & Partnership staff, school staff and families exemplifies Seattle Public Schools’ commitment to ensuring welcoming learning environments that support educational equity for all students.

    Read more about our work to ensure educational excellence for all students and eliminate opportunity gaps.