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April 4th, 2022 - Meeting Minutes

ACSD Advisory Committee NOTES - April 4, 2022
6:30pm-8pm ACSD Facility Building, 208 Charles Ave, Middlebury

WELCOME
Brief welcome and logistical review/reminders: Translation and language and communication inclusive practices. Reminder on group agreements and consent to use them.

 

Schedule update: Last meeting will be Monday, June 6th 6:30-8pm for recommendation discussion. Then Emma will assist the committee in drafting a report and all are asked to give feedback via email (ideally) by June 17th. August 27th board + advisory committee meeting (Saturday) to pass off recommendations. Board will then have a strategy planning meeting (goals and theory of action) in September. Community meetings Sept/Oct. Action Teams Oct-Dec. Advisory Committee members are invited to participate after August 27th but the committee’s piece of the work will be considered completed at that point. 

 

Google folder two updates: 1) reminder that a google folder is established with all committee resources. An English and Spanish version. 2) we have two open forms gathering information from the community - one is to record results of meetings with student groups, staff and school community meetings being led by Emily. The second is an open form for use by the entire school community to offer more feedback and thoughts on the district’s strategic plan work. We ask the committee to review these resources a few times to incorporate ideas into our committee discussions and recommendations. 

 

We updated the equity definition to clean up some grammatical errors. It now reads: Educational equity means that students’ identities do not determine their educational experience in our district. This includes a student’s emotional, social and academic outcomes so the student can succeed. Educational equity means believing the experience shared by a member of our school community. This also includes listening to and engaging with families, students and staff. Educational equity also means committing to removing barriers that negatively impact minoritized individuals and communities.

Emily provided an update on school community meetings held since our last meeting. This included a meeting with ELL teachers, a meeting with the Student Coalition on Human Rights, a meeting with MUHS school counselors, and a meeting with the Department of Children and Families. Alejandra led a meeting with ACSD families who are also members of the migrant farm worker community and will report more later in this meeting. Future meetings in works with Title 1 schools, staff, and some other student groups. The Hanover Group will have a dashboard up mid April with survey analysis.

 

STAFF PERCEPTIONS DISCUSSION 

The small group assigned “staff perceptions/feedback” from the survey framework presented their observations and lead a discussion on the topic. The group included: Justin (staff), Esther (community), Peter (admin), Christina (staff)

 

-Vague vocabulary and who is defining terms. Hard to survey people on terms with different understandings of terms. Need to know what district is hearing and seeing to be able to move forward. 

-When looking at survey results; there is work to do based on staff feedback.

-Observed issues of culture, issues of trust and how to shift things. 

 

Group discussion: 

Q2:  How do we build shared trust to do the equity work that we believe needs to happen? 

  • Starts with those with the most perceived status to come out and say where the holes are and can we own it. Teachers feel like they can’t own it. Hesitancy to take ownership, need to be able to do that and take ownership. Once leaders can say that first, we can move forward
  • Most transformative conversations have been in studyhalls with frustrated learners
  • How can students be involved in rethinking the learning process with the teachers. 
  • Students should be asked how they’re learning and what would help them learn. Can’t recall a time when students were asked: how do you learn, what could we do to help you learn better? 
  • The way we build trust is directly seeking student input
  • Trust is build when they empower, seek feedback that is sincere and is motivated based on how to change based on their feedback. 
  • Need to build trust between teachers to feel free enough to engage in those conversation and they need to feel like the trust is behind us 
  • Building in regular surveys from all of these groups
  • Communication out also needs to be clear with three kids in 3 schools (there are so many points that parents can miss the relationships where they could have connected more. 
  • Is there a possibility for each school to have a liaison to the board. 
  • There are structural things like a late bus that would build trust because it would help people be seen. 
  • Thinking about staff and building a space for this work: for us to heal as a community - if we could follow the agreements listed here today, would be powerful and would allow us to do this work and be listened more and be changed more by eachother. To address the equity issues we have to do it together not in isolated groups. 
  • Yes we can do it together, but not everyone in the room can have the freedom to be vulnerable/speak their truth. If leaders can take the first step to build the trust, 
  • Physical relationship builds trust - it’s very hard to understand relationship on paper when you don’t have the context of the sender. Best ops for connection are when multilingual families are able to have a face to face. 
  • The reality is that for multilingual families, it’s not just the pandemic
  • Parent teacher conferences at MUMS could be a place to start - hard to make the choice of who to connect with 
  • Importance for voice - students shaping the curriculum,



MIGRANT FAMILIES MEETING SHARE AND DISCUSSION 

Alejandra led a community meeting with families who are part of the ACSD community and the migrant farm worker community. Fernanda offered translation. Ale shared the following observations and feedback from these families:

  • Ale organized a lunch with 7 families
  • Families shared that what went well in the first year, there was someone communicating with them about their children, after that, it was all paper 
  • Families shared stories of bullying, feelings of discomfort, things that are said, sharing that students feel disrespected. Shared stories from the community uncomfortable, racially motivated
  • Conversation shifted to so many people want to support but don’t know how, so hard to know how to help with the language barrier. 
  • Focus is on connection: phone can give you info but not the best way to connection. 
  • Paper communications are hard to manage
  • Need to have face to face connection in the beginning to get started and know who to go to. 
  • Is there an opportunity to get together with community members who would be supportive but they don’t know how to support
  • What could it look like to have students involved. 
  • Would like to know the process for what is considered insignificant or significant. Want to better understand the process
  • Recognition of the density of communication, it’s hard to navigate, 
  • Important to connect the parent to the teacher, 
  • Deep need for physical contact,  that will give trust - the teacher knowing 
  • What would be the best way for schools to reach out to parents - families would come if it was organized? 
  • Ale would like to continue these conversations, would love a connection that is ongoing. 
  • Most important to have a relationship with families and district and this is lacking now.
  • Systematically - this is a recognition that there are breakdowns in our systems to support
  • For dairy workers, everything they are provided with (home, internet, etc) are provided 

 

COMMUNITY OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT DISCUSSION

The small group assigned “community outreach and engagement” from the survey framework presented their observations and led a discussion on the topic. The group included: Abigail (student), Claire (staff), Michael (parent)

 

  • Met, talked about the survey - noted the lack of connection between their school and the family
  • Noted role and the responsibility that is on the kid. The family and school need to be better connected so student does not need to be main connection. 
  • How can teachers involve parents sooner - especially for things like IEPs. 
  • How to reduce the barriers of information - especially 
  • Need to hear - what all different facets of the community are doing. Know that the students are working toward.  Could the goals be communicated to parents more clearly
  • No one is feeling like there is enough communication going back and forth. 
  • Hard to communicate with people when they’re not communicating back. Only some groups are comfortable communicating back. We need more opportunities for open ended talks. Build the relationships 
  • From elementary, to middle, to high school there is decreasing relationships. We should try to find ways to increase the conversation as students 
  • Could there be opportunities for students to increase their communication with parents. Rarely times when students are being checked in on, building relationships/trust
  • How to resolve the conflict of written communication (too much), but also being told we’re not communicating enough. 
  • The thing that matters the most 
  • Feedback and direction - help point us in the direction 
  • Information and connection in an open house style - allows parents and teachers to connect. Then a request for conferences based on where students and families are at
  • Increase connections for food and fun - teachers hosting games, fun, learning
  • Need to lean in and dig deeper and understand the problem more deeply before hoping to solutions and trying to fix it now
  • Parents and students and teachers want more in person, open ended op to be able to talk and get to know each other
  • More upfront, open ended, in person
  • Equity work in the fall will figure out how to fund, organize, do PD, big 



CLOSING & REMINDERS
-Continue to review the back end feedback from community and meetings. 

-Next meeting: May 2: academic environment and May 16: social environment. June 6 is the recommendations meeting.

-April/May community engagement opportunities (please share with networks)

-Share out emails from Emily to your networks (regular updates)



Group A (Social Enviro)

Amanda (student)

Ruth (parent)

Jessie (community)

 

Group B (Academic)

Nicole (admin)

Addison (student)

Christal (parent)

Liam (staff)

 

Group C (Staff)

Justin (staff)

Esther (community)

Peter (admin)
Christina (staff)

Group D (Engagement)

Alejandra (parent) + Fernanda

Abigail (student)
Claire (staff)
Michael (parent)