The West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education will interview three superintendent search firms at its Feb. 13, 2016, meeting.
District elementary school students in the El Cerrito area held their fourth annual “Boot Classic” kickball tournament recently. View video highlights.
Students in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) who wish to attend a school other than their school of residence can apply for a transfer during the Open Enrollment period which runs from Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 to Friday, Feb. 12, 2016.
The highly anticipated Richmond Promise Scholarship Program – which will provide all students residing in Richmond and unincorporated North Richmond with up to $1,500 per year for college – began accepting applications this week as seniors from Kennedy High School were the first to fill out the forms online.
Richmond Promise community workshops for students planning to attend college will be held Wednesday, January 27, 2016 and Thursday, February 11, 2016. Up to $1,500 is available for Richmond scholars. Click to learn more and apply!
Kindergarten registration in the West Contra Costa Unified School District is underway for children who are five years old on or before September 1 of this year.
A newly formed academic support collaborative aims to address the achievement gap between African-American high school students and their peers in Richmond—and For Richmond is proud to be a part of it.
The District has unveiled a marketing campaign that supports the college-going culture that has taken hold at all of its schools. The So Can You campaign features students from the Class of 2015 who are attending college. The featured students represent the 63 percent of the Class of 2015 who said they would attend a two- or four-year college after graduation.
The WCCUSD Board of Education recently approved the Visual and Performing Arts master plan. Visit the VAPA department for full details and upcoming events.
Were you issued a certificate of completion in 2006 or later? Did you meet all graduation requirements but did not pass either one or both sections of the CAHSEE? Based on the Senate Bill SB 172 signed by Governor Brown on Oct. 7, 2015, you may be eligible to receive a high school diploma. If you believe you now qualify for a high school diploma under the new law, you can fill out our online form to verify your eligibility.
Month (February each year) is typically a time in our schools when we focus on
the many and varied contributions of African Americans in our county. We recognize leaders like Martin Luther King,
Jr., Andrew Young, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Colin Powell, Carol Mosely
Bruan, Ralph Bunche, and many others.
Writers like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison
and Alice Walker are highlighted. We
also teach about the accomplishments of African American artists, civil rights
leaders, scientists & inventors, scholars & educators, actors and
It’s a time
when we put up posters with themes like “From Slavery to Freedom,” “A Tribute to Black Fraternal Social and Civic
Institutions” or “Gallantry, Courage, & Heroism.” Schools may also spend time looking into what
has happened in American schools since the Supreme Court decision in the Brown
v. Board of Education case. In some
classes and schools, we probe a little deeper and find out about African
American business leaders and entrepreneurs like Don Barden, William Washington
Browne, Emma Chappell, Elizabeth Keckley, Thomy Lafon, Vera Moore, Russell
Simmons, Madame C.J. Walker and one whom everyone knows, Oprah Winfrey.
Because we designate one month of the
year as Black or African American History month, we highlight and learn about
contributions of African Americans – what some call the ‘heroes and holidays’
approach to diversity in our society.
Teaching about ‘heroes and holidays’ does not ensure any discussion of
oppression, social inequity, and struggles with racism and poverty. Some writers on multi-cultural education
assert that the contributions approach tends to reinforce the American
bootstrap myth: “If you work hard enough you can make it”. The implication is that if you don’t ‘make it’
you must not be trying hard enough.
In his book Critical Race Theory, Richard Delgado contends that when we focus
on contributions, we take these individuals out of their cultural and historical
context and view our African American heroes as success stories from the
perspective of the dominant culture.
Delgado maintains that this approach leads to the reinforcement and perpetuation
of the stereotypes by presenting a superficial and trivial understanding of the
culture and experience of African Americans.
recommending that we stop celebrating Black History Month. I am suggesting that we may be able to broaden
the scope from recognizing the contributions of African Americans to what James
Banks calls a ‘decision-making and social action’ approach. In a decision-making and social action
approach curriculum, students develop and implement strategies to eradicate
racism, or any other form of oppression in their schools, communities, and
personal lives. Students could build
upon their knowledge of African American history to explore how racism,
stereotypes, and detrimental policies continue to operate in our society and in
their own environments by using self-reports, interviews, and other data to
provide multiple perspectives on the topic. Then students could analyze their own values
and beliefs, apply their new knowledge, identify alternative courses of action
and decide what, if any, steps they will take to address these issues in their
school or community. The major goal of
this approach is to teach students thinking and decision making skills, to help
them acquire a sense of efficacy.
The past 18
months has been a time of reawakening for Americans from the dominant
culture. The deaths of African Americans
while in police custody like Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray and the shootings of
unarmed young black men led to protests and the emergence of the Black Lives
Matter movement. While the focus has
been on police, the disproportionality of negative outcomes among people of
color and African Americans in particular is at the heart of the struggle. Our students need to spend time this month
especially in thoughtful conversations about the impact of race in their
communities and schools.
So let’s celebrate the contributions of African Americans this month but let’s also take time to recommit to the idea that reducing racial inequalities is a critical part of our mission. Let’s support the efforts of school and community groups to work on issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. Let’s take some time for a self-examination of how race impacts our lives and lives of others in our communities. Let’s recommit to improving our own cultural competence in working with diverse groups.