FHSD Seeks to Increase Equity and Cultural Proficiency

Posted on 11/17/2017
FHSD Seeks to Increase Equity and Cultural Proficiency

The student population of FHSD continues to become more diverse, and the percentage of minority students in the District has doubled over the past decade to almost 20 percent. As the demographics of the student population continue to change, so does the professional learning for FHSD employees.

John Krownapple presents during a professional development day at Francis Howell School District.This semester, FHSD has worked with noted inclusion and equity expert John Krownapple to create training for District and building administrators. Krownapple is the author of “Guiding Teams to Excellence with Equity,” which provides guidance for organizations seeking to sustain transformative change. The book outlines a seven-step process to guide facilitation of cultural proficiency. Director of Adult Learning Dr. Connie Buckman says the training will benefit the entire District. “Krownapple did an excellent job providing foundational learning to our administrators. Some principals are now at a point in which they are starting to share their learning with groups of teacher leaders. Some of our secondary sites are even starting to pull in student leadership groups to be part of the process.”    

“This work helps us view our own procedures and practices through a new lens,” said Central Elementary Principal Stacey King. “It isn’t easy; you must be open to challenging yourself and learning from new points of view. This work is timely and important.”

Krownapple was in the District for three days of training in September, focusing on foundational concepts and in-depth learning for administrators from every school in the District. This professional learning process helped participants develop as culturally proficient facilitators, and equipped them with the skills, tools, and techniques necessary to help bring about systemic equity transformations. “You have to understand and recognize the need for this training as our jobs are evolving,” said Independence Elementary Principal Emily Pavia. “It helps people to really see all students as individuals and accept them where they are in their lives.”

The overall learning outcomes include:

  • Support with addressing common challenges, principles, and solutions
  • A focus on mental models for managing group energy
  • Guidance to create systems models for personal and organizational transformation
  • A range of tools for planning culturally proficient learning experiences

Participants also learned how to facilitate a group's journey from awareness to commitment to action in support of inclusion and equity. Administrators learned foundational knowledge of Cultural Proficiency as an approach to excellence with equity in education, and developed “shared language” to frame planning for and responding to issues that emerge from diversity.

FHSD staff members who took part in the training will also have the opportunity to participate in two different follow-up webinars. The District will continue its efforts to create a learning environment that is safe, nurturing, and inclusive for all students and staff. 

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