Harriton High School's POWER Scholars and Lower Merion High School's Becton Scholars recently participated in a pair of workshops led by Dr. Tara Doaty and members of her Sage Wellness Group where students had the opportunity to engage in discussions about equity in education and restorative practices, as well as ways that Lower Merion School District can help support an atmosphere of inclusion.
In the Restorative Practices Session, students worked through several activities that allowed them to share information and insights about themselves with the group in order to paint a more complete picture of who they are beyond what is seen in the classroom or on a daily basis. Students also had the opportunity to both express some things that they wish their teachers knew about them and to offer suggestions to the principal about actions they felt that Harriton, Lower Merion and the District could take to improve student experience and inclusive practices.
Next up was the Equity Session of the program which began with an activity where students were encouraged to describe traits that they attributed to men and women before discussing characteristics they would use to describe themselves. Students compared and contrasted their lists in small groups before a larger group discussion took place. With this in mind, students were then asked to list traits they felt were attributed to them as students of color, which led to a discussion about stereotypes and their effects on those in attendance, including their impact on academic and social behaviors. The Harriton and Lower Merion students were ultimately encouraged to explore their intellectual and cultural identities as well as to view themselves as resilient scholars who are capable of achieving anything.
Slideshow from the POWER Scholars' Workshop
Slideshow from the Becton Scholars' Workshop
LMSD's Strategic Plan, "All Forward," provides a framework for a collective, intentional and positive approach to change. Its five aspirational pathways guide us toward continual innovation and transformation to further educational excellence for every student. This program serves as an example of Strategic Pathway #2: Transformative Curriculum. To learn more about #LMSDAllForward and the Strategic Pathways, click here.