Spotlight on Equity Education, Issue 8

celebration of diverse cultures in education depicted in 3D image of graduate

Welcome to the eighth issue of Spotlight on Equity Education! In this issue, we’re highlighting Pride Month. We’ll also share information about wrapping up our Culturally Responsive Teaching credentials this year.

June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month!

According to the U.S. Census Bureau:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States… The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

In Albemarle County Public Schools, student-led organizations providing affinity and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ students exist at all secondary schools.* These student organizations have leaned in to help ACPS achieve its strategic goal of “affirming and empowering communities,” including respecting and championing the diversity of life experiences of all students.

Happy Pride Month cake
Photo Credit: Grace Brackett, Henley Middle School

One Henley Middle School student spoke of the importance of their GSA affinity group during their kickoff celebration of Pride Month, saying they enjoy their GSA because, “I get to interact with people that I can relate to, and we get to talk about issues that we can all relate to. These issues are changing everyday.” The student went on to say that they want their teachers to know: “Anyone can come to GSA, and it is important for them to help.”

Our GSA leaders continue to collaborate with educators on the development and implementation of and professional development around the division’s Policy on the Treatment of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students. We encourage you to take time this month to continue learning about how we can provide the best educational experience for LGBTQIA+ students and families, K-12, throughout the year. Below are some suggested resources towards that end.

Inclusive Environments

20 Years of Data Shows What Works for LGBTQ Students (Edutopia): a review of key practices for LGBTQIA inclusive environments based on decades of research

Professional Learning

  • Safe Space Foundations (Workshop, University of Virginia LGBTQ Center): Free workshop for those who are just beginning their understanding of LGBTQ+ identity, those who are hoping to refresh/deepen their commitment to advocacy, and even those who are looking for an opportunity to reflect on their own identities and experiences (UVA’s LGBTQ Center offers additional free workshops as well.)
  • Queer America: LGBTQ History in Public Schools (Podcast, Learning for Justice): Podcast series uplifting LGBTQ history that is often overlooked in schools, including recommendations on how to approach LGBTQ history in public schools
  • Side by Side (organization “dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish”): An ACPS partner organization that offers a great deal of free resources and will be hosting professional learning sessions over the next several months for ACPS staff and leaders

*To learn more about Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) or similar organizations at your school, contact your school counselor. For general information about GSAs division-wide, contact Megan Washburn.

Book Giveaway

Win a copy of The Educators Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion or Pride: An Inspirational History of the LGBTQ+ Movement! Be one of the first three people to email Megan Washburn and share how you are creating inclusive environments for LGBTQIA+ students, and we’ll send you the book of your choice!

CRT Credentialing Calendar

  • June 16 | Results will be sent to Credentialing Candidates who submitted for the 2022-23 school year
  • June 20 | Summer session of Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain Book Study (includes 10 sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 20 – July 27, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.)

Holidays and Observances

  • June is Pride Month
  • June 6 | D-Day
  • June 19 | Juneteenth

ACPS Equity Specialists are available to provide Professional Learning Community (PLC) and school-level support for Culturally Responsive Teaching practices and to assist in helping teachers work through the credentialing process. For support or assistance, please reach out to the specialist(s) assigned to your school or email the full equity specialist team.