Changing Lives and Communities

High school students at the Early College School at Delaware State University in Dover, DE, can be found taking classes alongside college students in university classrooms. Head of School Dr. Evelyn Edney says the school, which draws students from across the state, “changes the lives and communities of Black and Brown folks who might not have these opportunities otherwise.” The results are impressive: The school has a graduation rate of over 92%, and its students attend top colleges around the country.

Promoting Excellence and Equity

Changing a school’s grading system is a major undertaking, but doing so has brought a renewed focus on excellence and equity—and not a letter on a report card—to The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) in Malaysia. Principal Jeff Farrington outlines some of the successes from that change at his school:

  • Parents understand their children won’t be disadvantaged in things like college admissions and will receive more valuable academic feedback.
  • Teachers appreciate a system that gives students of all abilities multiple opportunities to show what they’ve learned.
  • Students have an increased sense of confidence in their learning and self-esteem.

Turning Words Into Action

A commitment to DEI requires more than just words; it requires action. In a roundtable discussion, three school leaders share how they help ensure that everyone feels welcomed, supported, and cared for in their school communities. These leaders include Michael C. Brown, the principal of Winters Mill High School in Westminster, MD, and the president-elect of the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals; Dan Richards, assistant principal of Manchester Essex Regional High School in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, and a member of NASSP’s Board of Directors; and Dr. Karen Ritter, the principal of Niles West High School in Skokie, IL.

Listening to Student Voices

Assistant Principal Philip Rossetti at Windham High School in Windham, ME, shares what he learned by valuing student voice and bringing the school community together for some tough conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Among the goals the school and the district have set:

  • Ensuring that every member of the school community feels safe and valued in a learning environment that encourages diverse perspectives.
  • Developing a collective understanding of practices that embody equity and inclusion.
  • Creating teaching and learning conditions that serve to build safe spaces for all.