In the Middle School…
·On Dec. 11, Akailah M. came to talk with Ellen Krich’s 6th grade English students about Jim Crow laws in conjunction with their reading of “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry”. They looked at examples of household items from the Jim Crow Era in order to grapple with the idea of how such practices became normal. They asked great questions and had wonderful ideas!
·On Dec. 7, Middle School GSA met with Upper School GSA in order to talk through ways that they can continue to work together. One specific initiative that the group continues to push forward on is a gender-neutral bathroom at RPCS. The initiative has been approved and a sign will be placed on the bathroom near the Sinex that states “All Genders”.
·On Dec. 4, Middle School Diversity Club played a great interactive game about different hair types created by 8th grader Erin Hoskins! There were conversations about products and tools used for different hair types, and discussions about what hair has looked like through different eras.
·On Dec. 10, middle School faculty members had their 2nd professional development session with Akailah M. on Monday, Dec 10. The session was on “Teaching Black Girls”, and faculty was presented with data about Black students in particular and discussed practices that we can all use to be more inclusive. They also all got a copy of the book “Blindspot” to read and reflect about the biases that we all hold.
·Mrs. Allen’s 6th grade French students recently completed a study of Francophone countries and regions around the world. Francophone countries are countries where French is the official language of the country. These countries represent people from a variety of backgrounds, complexions, etc.
· In Ancient History, Mrs. Hoffman’s 8th graders recently completed a unit on Judaism and the Israelites. The essential question for this unit was “How did early Jews develop and maintain a distinct cultural identity?”. Students discussed the monotheistic nature of Judaism versus the polytheistic religions of Egyptians and Mesopotamians. Over the course of the unit, students learned about the unique beginnings of Judaism and the early hardships they faced that shaped their course in history. In conjunction with this unit, we assigned an article of the week entitled, “The word Jew was not a common insult when I was in school…it is now.”