Join us on Wednesday, September 30 from 6 to 7:30 for a webinar titled “Why Nurturing Classroom Relationships Matters” with featured presenter Ben Ibale, WEA Equity and Civil Rights Coordinator. This webinar is co-sponsored by the Washougal Association of Educators and the Washougal School District, and will feature a presentation on the work district teachers and staff are doing around creating equitable, inclusive learning environments for all Washougal Students. Dr. Mary Templeton, Superintendent, will welcome participants and introduce Ben Ibale. There will be an opportunity to participate in a Question and Answer session toward the end of the opportunity.Register for Why Nurturing Classroom Relationships Matters
Statement on Equity and Anti-Racism from the Washougal School District Board of Directors, Superintendent Dr. Mary Templeton, and the District’s Leadership Team
WHAT WE BELIEVE:
The Washougal School District believes that we have a responsibility to disrupt unjust educational systems that perpetuate inequitable opportunities and outcomes for students. We recognize that we have work to do to make sure that our commitment in words is actualized into actions that truly reflect change. Our data illustrate that among student learning outcomes, race, ability, language, and socioeconomic status continue to be the most persistent predictors of student performance. Consequently, we have prioritized our efforts and resources toward strategies that eliminate institutional racism and each and every form of oppression that perpetuates inequities in our system.
We believe that our students who have experienced systemic injustice need to hear directly from us that we see them, value them, and are committed to their success. They need to hear from us that we do not tolerate discrimination, hate, or racism within our schools. Our students with disabilities want to know that we value them and have high aspirations for their futures…and we do! Our students who do not speak English as their first language want to know that we value their strengths and unique abilities…and we do! Our LGBTQ students want to know that we support and respect them…and we do! Our students experiencing socioeconomic challenges want to know that we see them as deserving of a bright future….and we do! Our Black students want to know that black lives matter to us…AND THEY DO!
We are committed to engaging in courageous conversations about equity, race, and diversity because we know that our students, families, and staff deserve to learn and live in a community where intolerance, racism, and inequity are not part of our environment. We have high hopes for our school district and know that all of our families, including local communities of color, are counting on us to take a stand against intolerance and continue to foster classrooms where all students are seen, known, nurtured, and valued.
The road we are on is a bumpy one, and we’ve only just started down the path. We are counting on all of us to enter into this work with hope, civility, and determination. Some of us have not been aware that the systems of oppression were causing harm to those furthest from educational justice, while others have been racing ahead, and frustrated that we have not traveled farther more quickly. We need all voices and experiences with us, learning together, to get to a place where we want to be – a school district with every student graduating with the social capital to grasp any opportunity they want, and with equity in the outcomes for all of our students.
And finally, we believe that our teachers are critical in this work and we support our courageous educators as they raise issues with students in respectful, fair, honest dialog, and those who are pushing themselves to learn culturally responsive classroom practices. We believe that through authentic relationships, our teachers can better understand the needs of each student, and find creative ways to make sure that all learners feel welcome, valued, and understood in our community. We know that, without this critical work, every student cannot be truly known, nurtured and challenged. Together, we can continue to rise toward authentic change and guarantee hope and resiliency for each child.