Diverse-by-design school model
How does VCS bring our diverse-by-design model to life in a meaningful way?
One of Valley Charter’s foundational design elements outlines our commitment to a diverse-by design school model:
A key part of bringing this design element to life is driven by our Anti-Bias Collective - teachers and leaders who plan and facilitate professional learning for our staff. The broad goals of this work at VCS are to:
- Foster a sense of belonging for all of our community members
- Promote equity of opportunity and outcomes for all of our students
Our framework: VCS is committed to creating equitable spaces in three key areas:
- Teaching and learning- this area focuses on curriculum and instruction in the classroom.
- Family engagement- this area focuses on communications and opportunities for family involvement.
- Organizational practices- this area focuses on policies related to human resources, such as recruitment, selection, retention, and promotions.
We examine each of these areas through the lens of access, critical thinking, representation, and social justice.
The work this year is focused primarily on teaching and learning; we are reflecting on our units of study by asking ourselves these key questions:
- Access: How will all students access the curriculum?
- Critical thinking: Does this unit require students to think critically about relevant topics?
- Representation: Are the lives of a diverse group of students represented in this material?
- Social Justice: Does this unit empower students to act against prejudice?
Not all units of study lend themselves to all four questions, but as we reflect on each unit with this lens, it helps to strengthen our understanding of how to embed this work in an age-appropriate manner into our students’ experiences K-8.
Equity Spotlight: Read more about the important work around equity being done at Valley Charter School on our blog.
Several times a year, we shine an Equity Spotlight on a practice that supports this work. Please check the amazing work our teachers are doing with students!
February 2021 Equity Spotlight- Exploring Design Element 5: We are committed to building intentionally diverse schools.
October 2021 Equity Spotlight- VCMS Mastery Grading in Math - This month we highlight how the VCMS practice of mastery grading in math increases equity in the classroom by allowing students multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency with a standard. Click on the link above to see examples of student work and to hear from the teachers who are implementing this form of grading.
December 2021 Equity Spotlight- Valley Charter Elementary School 5th grade Social Studies Project: Indigenous People of Northern Europe.
March 2022 Equity Spotlight- Valley Charter Middle School 6th grade Writing Workshop.
April 2022 Equity Spotlight- Valley Charter Elementary School: "Who am I" Kindergarten unit.