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Marin County: Professional Development for Educators: Ending Social Isolati...

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Marin County Office of Education

111 Las Gallinas Ave

San Rafael, CA 94913

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The 2017 Beyond Differences' Professional Development for Culturally Responsive and Inclusive Schools


Overview:

In partnership with Dominican University, this professional development is designed to support administrators, teachers, counselors, social workers, and ancillary staff identify best practices and strategies for creating culturally inclusive environments in their schools and classrooms.

You will work to collaboratively to incorporate these strategies into core content by accessing key elements of cultural inclusiveness through the Beyond Differences’ Know Your Classmates Positive Prevention Initiative. Educators will explore tools to facilitate Know Your Classmates’ activities which foster student leadership and empower students to promote classroom and school-wide culturally-inclusive environments.

Beyond Differences’ mission is to inspire students at all middle schools to end social isolation and create a culture of belonging for everyone. We believe that social isolation is the precursor to teasing, violence and bullying among adolescents. This is one of the most insidious and prevailing concerns today facing educators, counselors and families.

Course Objectives:

  • Educators will be able to describe and evaluate/assess the cultural inclusive “quotient” of their current work/school environment.
  • Educators will be able to describe and evaluate the effects of social isolation on students’ academic performance, physical and mental health.
  • Educators will be able to collaborate and identify best practices and strategies which provide an inclusive and culturally responsive learning environment while empowering students to take responsibility for their campus culture.
  • Educators will be able to access and participate in Know Your Classmates activities, record key take aways, and work collaboratively to integrate core content into their schools.

Course Requirements:

  • Review and discuss articles of current research on the effects of social isolation
  • Participate in class discussion, collaborate about key takeaways, reflect on personal practice, and integrate into core curriculum.
  • Provide artifacts which document culturally inclusive activities i.e. student work samples, evidence of student leadership and clubs, evidence of student lead Know Your Classmates Day.

PD Outcomes:

  • Describe and evaluate/assess the cultural inclusive “quotient” of their current work/school environment.
  • Describe and evaluate the effects of social isolation on students’ academic performance, physical and mental health.
  • Collaborate and identify best practices and strategies which provide an inclusive and culturally responsive learning environment while empowering students to take responsibility for their campus culture.
  • Access and participate in Know Your Classmates activities, record key take-aways, and work collaboratively to integrate core content into their schools.
  • Understand post-work requirements.

Speakers and Facilitators:

Dr. Ruth Mathis Bissell, Upper School Head

Ruth is a Richmond, CA native who received her BA from University of California, Santa Cruz and a MA in education from University of California, Berkeley. She then received her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts. At the University of Massachusetts she collaborated on the archaeological analysis project focusing on the African Burial Ground Project in New York—particularly interested in issues of race and class. Ruth is the current Upper School Head of the San Francisco Day School.

Laura Talmus, Executive Director and Co-Founder

Laura Talmus founded Beyond Differences along with her husband, Averell “Ace” Smith, following the unexpected death of their daughter Lili Rachel Smith in October 2009. Laura has run the day-to-day operations of Beyond Differences as a volunteer since its founding and was hired by the Board of Directors as its first Executive Director in August 2015. With over thirty-five years experience in running and consulting to non- profit organizations, she is passionate about bringing awareness to the issue of adolescent social isolation. Ace and Laura have a 25-year old son, Abram. They live in Marin County. Contact Laura at lauratalmus@gmail.com.

Laura Talmus founded Beyond Differences along with her husband, Averell “Ace” Smith, following the unexpected death of their daughter Lili Rachel Smith in October 2009. Laura has run the day-to-day operations of Beyond Differences as a volunteer since its founding and was hired by the Board of Directors as its first Executive Director in August 2015. With over thirty-five years experience in running and consulting to non- profit organizations, she is passionate about bringing awareness to the issue of adolescent social isolation. Ace and Laura have a 25-year old son, Abram. They live in Marin County. Contact Laura at lauratalmus@gmail.com.

Air Gallegos, Director of Student Programs and Curriculum

Air Gallegos began her career as a middle school English teacher at Strive Preparatory Schools in Denver, Colorado. She lived in Denver for five years and served as a member of a curriculum design team and as a cultural responsive teaching lead, where she dedicated her energy to bringing culturally responsive teaching methods into classrooms. In 2014, she transitioned to Smart High School where she continued teaching literature to 9th-11th grade students as well as serving her school as an instructional coach and professional development lead. She is trained in non-violent communication and stress resilience and has worked as a social justice advocate within education for the last ten years.

Air is extremely honored to have the opportunity to work for Beyond Differences. She is deeply passionate about Beyond Difference’s mission to end social isolation. As a middle school and high school teacher, as well as on a personal level, she has seen the intense and unnecessary effects of social isolation. Air enjoys connecting with students and believes strongly in students developing their own voices and learning to advocate for themselves and their community. Contact Air at airgallegos@beyonddifferences.org.

Dr. Louise Malandra, Oakland Regional Student Program Consultant

Dr. Malandra brings over 30 years of experience in the field of education as a teacher, school and program administrator. She is nationally recognized as a consultant with a reputation for inspiring educators to foster the potential of children and young adults. She has spent most of her career working with parents, teachers, school and district administrators to promote and support rigorous, and transformational learning environments that recognize the negative effects of student isolation incorporates the diversity of student learning styles, promotes cultural competency, student advocacy, and collaborative learning communities. Dr. Malandra has both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and an EdD degree specializing in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of San Francisco. She lives in Oakland with her husband Lewis and son Darian. She is honored to be a part of the Beyond Differences community and will focus her work with the Oakland Unified School District. Contact Louise at louise@beyonddifferences.org.

Attire:

No need to wear your best suit or cocktail dress - we want you to be comfortable! Business casual is all you need.

Food:

Coffee and light breakfast will be provided. Please bring lunch, or feel free to get lunch nearby.

Cost:

Beyond Differences' is offering this Professional Development free of charge. If you would like CEU credit, there is a $55 processing fee from Dominican University.

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Marin County Office of Education

111 Las Gallinas Ave

San Rafael, CA 94913

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