Some Indy School Best Practices!

Why re-invent the wheel, when we can grow community by sharing what we do best!

Our schools are lucky to have the insight & creativity that our diverse families bring to the community. RIISE encourages families of color to give voice to their perspectives, gain consensus, and make things happen! Regardless of your role in the school community (engaged parent, parent association, affinity group member, trustee, active student) we see you, hear you, and want to share your best practices with others. Here are a few examples of what parents & schools are doing…

Affinity group newsletter
RCS Parent of Color affinity group Chair & Co-Chair, Gwen Adolph & Tiffany Butts, respectively are doing so much to support the school community and busy parents that they have dedicated a monthly RCS POC Newsletter to keep everyone up to date and engaged.

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Diverse speakers 
Conflict is everywhere. It is in our homes, schools, relationships, our jobs, in our communities and even within ourselves. Here are some more truths about it –  most of us don’t like it, want nothing to do with it and some of us even run from it. For a glimpse at some fearlessness and more click here. Middle School PA rep, Gina Parker Collins invited Conflict Resolution Specialist Lynne Hurdle Price to work with parents to learn how to have fearless conversations with children, peers and educators around difficult topics such as race, class, gender & sexuality. The big take-away for the diverse group of attendees was the power of mindful listening. Next up, Lynne will support other RIISE member schools like Chapin, Horace Mann & others with the art of having that difficult conversation.

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Think Tanks
One of RIISE’ signature workshops offered to member schools is Parent Networking: The Power of the Multicultural Parent Perspective. This fun and hands on networking event gives voice to parent (admitted alongside their children to indy schools) ideas, along with inspiration to be instrumental in helping make our great schools even better. Parents huddle around the important topics and opportunities developing consensus, successful strategies and a roadmap for implementation! Great way to grow community.


Entertainment as Education
Over 225 members of the Horace Mann School community marked the close of Black History Month together at a special screening of the film “Race” on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at the Magic Johnson Theater in New York. The film, about the heroic story and struggles of Jesse Owens, the Olympic track and field gold medalist who was known as “the fastest man on earth” brought parents, children and teachers from HM’s Lower through Upper Divisions for this afternoon gathering.

Organized by the Black Parents Union, co-led by Jennifer Hippolyte-Thomas and Maria Underwood, along with the HM Office of Diversity the program marked the fifth-annual Black History Month gathering of HM families for the showing of a major first-run film release, followed by a discussion of the film’s message. The 2016 post-film-showing discussion featured a talk and Q & A with Keeth Smart, a U.S. sabre fencer who became the first American to gain the sport’s number-one ranking for males.




Cultural Events
On Friday, February 5, 2016 the MOSAIC Committee at Columbia Grammar and Prep School brought families together for an evening of education and pure, simple FUN with Carnival All Over The World.  Carnival is an annual celebration of life found in many countries of the world. Students and their families enjoyed learning about and partaking in the beautiful customs and amazing cuisine associated with Carnival. Families dined on authentic Trinidadian & Latin cuisine.

Carnival is the ancient African tradition of parading and moving in circles through villages in costumes and masks is a very important aspect of carnival celebrations today. Students made their own masks, decorated t-shirts, made beaded accessories and danced to the sounds of an amazing steel pan band. Steel pans are instruments made from used oil drums that have been cut off on one end and then shaped, pounded, and tuned. They are an ingenious design that provided the perfect backdrop of sound for the event.

The Mosaic Committee at Columbia Grammar and Prep School is  co-chaired by Ebony Tyler and Selma Williams.  Photo credits Verta Ayanna, CGPS Parent.
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Thank you parents for sharing best practices that support equity and diversity in our schools.

RIISE will share the important work of our student leaders soon!

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