Educators Family Engagement Race & Racism

Questions We Can Ask to Ensure #RepresentationMatters

Over the past several months, Black Families met in our Northside Black Families group to discuss ways to make our schools safe welcoming and supportive for Black children and families. After several conversations we agreed to team up, and meet directly with principals in our childrens’ schools. We also let our area superintendent know we expected his support. We had great results (read about them here.)

Here’s what we asked:

Black Families Expect More: How are your ensuring Black culture and history are celebrated and taught in our schools?

  • How are you systematically ensuring ALL students read books by black authors?
  • How are you systemically ensuring all students learn about African-American contributions to American history and culture?
  • How are you ensuring all students celebrate Black culture this month, during Black History Month? (not just for a day, not just in some classes…)

Black Families Expect More: How are you ensuring black families feel welcome to participate in our school?

  • How are you supporting, encouraging Black families to get involved in decision-making at the school?
  • How do you involve working families or single-parent families who can’t easily volunteer or attend meetings?
  • How are your supporting Black families when they report discrimination or microagressive behavior from other students of families?

Black Families Expect More: What is your plan for supporting homeless/transitional youth from all backgrounds?

  • Do you have a way of identifying their needs?
  • Do they have necessary school supplies?
  • How are staff educated to better meet their needs?

Black Families Expect More: What is your plan to enhance two-way communication between school staff and families?

  • What systemic expectations do you set for staff in involving families with school safety or discipline issues?
  • What proactive steps are you taking to reach out to ‘hard to reach’ families?
  • How are you working with staff to unpack their own implicit bias?

What are your thoughts? Does any of this resonate with you?

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