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Self-Awareness: School/District Resources

Topics: School/District Learning | District/School Practices

District/School Learning

Gender Diversity Supports in Schools
The Virginia Department of Education offers a comprehensive collection of resources to support gender diversity in educational spaces.

Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit
This toolkit represents the work and thinking of 15 grassroots organizations with Asian American bases. All of the modules are designed to begin with people’s lived experiences, and to build structural awareness of why those experiences are happening, and how they are tied to the oppression of others. By highlighting the role of people’s resistance both past and present, the toolkit also seeks to build hope and a commitment to political struggle.

Anti-AAPI Racism in the Age of Covid-19
A one-page overview contextualizing anti-AAPI racism. Compiled by students and faculty in Nevada State College's Media, Identity, and Social Attitudes lab.

Addressing Systematic Racism: Creating Safe and Equitable Schools
Webinar from NCSMH addressing systematic racism and moving your system toward an anti-racist multicutural organization

Leading an Equity-Focused Response Through and Beyond COVID-19
From the NYC Leadership Academy, this guide is meant to support principals and school system leaders in leading an equity-focused response to the ripple effect of COVID-19, to ensure they are best equipped to support their students, families, and staff through and beyond this crisis. School district and school leaders may review this tool with the six broad recommendations and questions to consider, through the lens of equity.

Beyond the Binary
This comprehensive toolkit was developed to support gender identity activism in schools. The toolkit was a collaborative project of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Transgender Law Center, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. School districts and individual schools may use this toolkit to understand topics such as: gender identity myths and facts, statistics, changing school policy and staff development.

Avoiding Racial Equity Detours
This article, authored by Dr. Paul Gorski, illustrates the importance of confronting racial inequities in schools. He describes racial equity detours which hinder the progress of systemic change for students of color. These detours include pacing for privilege, the culture of poverty, deficit ideology and celebrating diversity. Subsequently, the article offers five equity principles to consider as a way to avoid the detours. The principles include direct confrontation, redistribution, prioritization, equity ideology, and fix injustice-not kids. Educational leaders may choose to use this article as a starting point for engaging in important conversations to understand how the need to mitigate educational inequities for students of color.

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package
Trauma-Sensitive Training Package- Developed by the National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments through the U.S. Department of Education. This package offers school and district administrators a framework and roadmap for adopting a trauma sensitive approach.

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency School Safety and Security Committee Model Trauma-Informed Approach Plan: Guide
The model trauma-informed approach plan is provided as part of Act 18 updates and required for schools who are applying for PCCD funding. While not required for all school entities, this plan provides supports and guidelines for adopting a trauma sensitive approach and systematically implementing trauma informed approaches.

School Health Assessment and Performance Health Evaluation System (SHAPE)
SHAPE is provided free through a collaboration between the National Center for School Mental Health and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. SHAPE provides districts a data driven focus on mapping comprehensive mental health services and aligning services through a multi-tiered process. Resources are provided as part of the system.

The Compassion Resilience Toolkit for Schools
This tool provides resources and supports on implementing self-care plans and systematically planning for the care of systems and individuals. Self- care for educators is vital during years when schools are "normal." During times of stress self-care is even more important. Ensuring that educators are addressing self-care in a personal and systematic manner to help them individually and make them feel more connected to the school systems.

PDE Bullying Prevention
The Pennsylvania Department of Education's Office for Safe Schools bullying prevention webpage contains resources for parents, educators, and professionals serving children and youth in school and out-of-school settings. The Bullying Prevention Consultation Line is provided, along with other web-based resources related to bullying.

PDE School Climate
School climate refers to the quality and character of school life, and is based on patterns of student, parent, and staff experiences and perceptions of school life. It also reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, according to the National School Climate Center. This item provides resources that were compiled to assist schools with improving school climate, and were organized to be in alignment with a team-driven process that addresses climate as a component of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), or overall school improvement.

Project READY: Reimagining Equity & Access for Diverse Youth – A free online professional development curriculum (
This site hosts a series of free, online professional development modules for school and public youth services librarians, library administrators, and others interested in improving their knowledge about race and racism, racial equity, and culturally sustaining pedagogy. The primary focus of the Project READY curriculum is on improving relationships with, services to, and resources for youth of color and Native youth.

District/School Practices

Culturally Responsive Resource Map Guide
The Wisconsin RTI center developed this guide as a complimentary resource to their operational definition of equity and culturally responsive practice, in the context of Will, Fill and Skill. The purpose of this Resource Map Guide is to connect educators with aligned resources as districts, schools, and individuals start the equity journey. The guide holds articles, research, activities, programs, videos, books, etc. Educators are encouraged to use the resources to begin as a starting off point for learning more about culturally responsive practices.

Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard
As school districts and individual schools evaluate their current practices, the culturally responsive curriculum scorecard is an important tool. According to the developers, "the NYU Metro Center designed this tool to help parents, teachers, students, and community members determine the extent to which their schools' English Language Arts curricula are (or are not) culturally responsive. We hope that this process will provoke thinking about how students should learn, what they should learn, and how curriculum can be transformed to engage students effectively. To create this tool, we drew upon a wide variety of existing resources, including multicultural rubrics, anti-bias rubrics, textbook rubrics, and rubrics aimed at creating cultural standards for educators, determining bias in children books and examining lesson plans." (ADEED, 2012; Aguilar-Valdez, 2015; Grant & Sleeter, 2003; Lindsey et al, 2008; NCCRES, 2006; Rudman, 1984; World View, 2013).

5 questions every team should be asking about racial disproportionality
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a comprehensive framework using systems, data, and practices to obtain positive student outcomes related to behavior, and positive school climate and culture. This article describes the importance of embedding equitable lenses when evaluating disciplinary data to determine disproportionality by race/ethnicity. In addition, it includes a discussion of reflection questions teams can use to effectively problem-solve as well as action plan to build equitable disciplinary practices.

PBIS Cultural Responsiveness Field Guide
This field guide outlines an integrated framework to embed equity efforts into school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS) by aligning culturally responsive practices to the core components of SWPBIS. The goal of using this guide is to make school systems more responsive to the cultures and communities that they serve. This guide is part of a 5-point intervention approach for enhancing equity in student outcomes within a SWPBIS approach.

School Athletic Climate Checklist
The School Athletic Climate Checklist is a 14-item checklist allowing school staff the opportunity to evaluate systemic responsiveness and inclusion of student athletes and coaches who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.

Back to School Guide for LGBT-Inclusive Environments
This one-page quick reference allows educational staff to consider ten ways to ensure inclusive environments for students who identify as LGBTQIA+. Recommendations include setting safe, respectful conditions in the classroom, as well as embedding historical information regarding individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ into curriculum and classroom discussions.

Wake County Public School System - Racial Equity Resources
The purpose of this resource is to provide educators with the tools to face racism, talk to students about racism, and become allies in racial equity spaces. You will notice that the content on this site lives beyond just a list of hyperlinked artifacts. It was important to the Office of Equity Affairs to situate these tools in a broader historical, social, and political context so that educators gain a full understanding of the resource's utility. Please know, talking about race and racism can be a sensitive subject that evokes intense emotions. But don't let that be a reason to walk away from this important national conversation. Instead, readers are urged to consider norms, strong scaffolds, connections to academic content, and deeper national/historical context while planning for courageous conversations about race to help students better understand the world around them.

Let's Talk! Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics with Students
This tool from Teaching Tolerance allows the user to utilize this graphic organizer to think ahead about how to create emotional safety in the classroom. The suggested strategies are general; use your knowledge of yourself, your students and your classroom culture to create a specific and personalized plan.