Dear ACEs Community:
I'm wondering if anyone has worked ACEs-related language into a School Council School Improvement Plan? I'm on the School Council for a charter school and we're looking at improving parent engagement., in general, and as part of that I'm trying to introduce two topics:
1) ACEs and 2)Race, Class & Parent Involvement
We have kids from 30 different communities and 1/3 of the students are Haitian. The other 2/3 are mostly but not entirely Caucasian. Anyhow, some kids take a bus, many are driven to/from by parents. The income and race of communities from sending towns varies widely and so, as a school, there's a lot of income disparity as well and differences in adverse community experiences in and out of the school. We know that all kids and families are all dealing with ACEs (the presence or absence and the challenges or protections that offers). I want to address each of these issues ACEs and the ways race/class (or race/class bias) impact parent involvement. The entire school council Principal, teachers, assistant principals, parents, and are all white, with the exception of one of the students, who is Asian (and my kid).
To complicate matters, as someone with a high ACE score myself, I've not always been a joiner and not always willing to do the work to help a system change. I've more been the one who eye rolls, thinks the system doesn't get it, and just doesn't engage. But I have a kid in the school and schools transformed my childhood in powerful and positive ways. I know schools can be sanctuaries for kids, all kids, even when they are imperfect. I also know race issues can make school hard for kids, as can class and other issues. Anyhow, part of being part of this ACEs community has taught me that those of us who have ever felt marginalized, or not represented, whether we still do or not, are actually essential, required, and have input that is valuable - not only in speaking for ourselves but in speaking to why other people won't and don't engage for reasons that are not only lack of interest, passion or caring.
But I'm kind of green to how schools and school councils work and in being a team player (working on it every day). I know I'll have better success if I can share some success and examples of things done well at other places, or at least being explored. Has anyone some success in this arena or any ideas or resources or experiences to share in comments or privately?
Here, I'm asking as Cissy who is a mother and part of a local school community in MA more than as an ACEs staff person. But, since I work here too I'll share back all I learn in a later post. I appreciate any feedback and will ask in the Parenting with ACEs and ACEs in Education Communities as well for others who might be in a similar role.
I know others have worked with schools on other issues, regarding I.E.P's and inclusive classrooms for all learners, as parents, students, counselors, teachers etc. and I welcome all experience and expertise or ideas/suggestions.
@Melissa Sadin @Emily Read Daniels @Drew Schwartz@Lara Kain (ACEs Connection Staff) @Karen Clemmer (ACEs Connection Staff) and anyone/everyone who knows about school, ACEs, inclusion, diversity and ways of making change that include parents and School Councils, please share.