As the new school year begins, we are excited to kick off our first Culture of Belonging cohort! This work came about out of a need that district leaders have expressed over the past few years. Educators are seeing that the divides and misperceptions expressed in their communities are also showing up in the schools and classrooms where they teach. Using human-centered design strategies (see image right), these educators have discussed the need for more resources and strategies in order to create a more welcoming environment for each and every one of their students each and every day.
Because of these conversations, we decided to find out more about the real needs administrators were expressing, and began by bringing together a small group to determine what the focus of a future cohort might be. The initial group discussed and shared their varied district cultures, some specific issues they were having in their schools, and how these issues were negatively affecting some students.
Using feedback from the initial group, our first official cohort will focus on the ecosystem of creating a sense of belonging; specifically looking at educator mindset, professional development needs, and practical resources. We intend for this cohort to become a supportive network of educators committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all of their students. We are extremely excited to lead this work and will share updates as the school year progresses.