Welcome!

Written by and for educators in the Minority Student Achievement Network.

MSAN districts are the heart of the Network News. Each e-newsletter highlights shared challenges experienced across MSAN districts and how our teachers, leaders, and students are working together to close opportunity gaps and raise achievement levels for every student in our schools.

MSAN’s website provides educational resources for classroom teachers, building leaders, district administrators, and student support staff.  Updated regularly, you’ll find online articles of interest, research studies, common book reads, TED talks, and more. Visit often to stay current on topics that influence your practice: 

Mathematics Resourcesstudent teacher relationshipsLiteracy ResourcesConversations about Race

4 New Resource Areas Coming Soon!
Cultural Competence | Equity Focused Workforce | Discipline Disparities | Family-School Relationships

In this edition of the Network News:

…check out the incredible resources shared at the 2015 MSAN Institute on Equity Leadership & Cultural Competence.
…Save-The-Date for the 2015 MSAN Student Conference - October 7-10, 2015. Hosted by Verona Area Public Schools.
…read about unconscious bias... how we all have it and what we can do about it!


MSAN Institute2015 MSAN Institute

The annual MSAN Institute was held April 27-28, 2015 on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The MSAN Institute is an intensive professional development opportunity dedicated to the latest research and promising practices regarding how school districts develop equity-focused leadership and ensure cultural competence. Attended by 160 educators from 24 districts across the United States, the Institute provided an opportunity to share current research and best practices with local and national experts, including Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings and Ms. Lorena Mancilla.

Many thanks to our colleagues at the WIDA Consortium for supporting the MSAN Institute this year.  Two WIDA specialists provided MSAN educators with research-based strategies for supporting language learners and their families. Ms. Lorena Mancilla set the stage for our collective learning with her keynote session titled It’s like Opening Pandora’s Box: Lessons Learned From Families of ELLs, and Dr. Jessica Costa brought us full circle at the end of the Institute with her engaging breakout session titled Data Informed Action for ELLs: Practices, Perceptions, and Shared Responsibility.

Visit the MSAN Institute website to learn more about other breakout sessions, including:

For videos, PowerPoint presentations, and handouts used in the keynote and breakout sessions, please visit the 2015 MSAN Institute materials website.

We would also like to thank our two Institute sponsors, Shmoop and Ventris Learning.
student teacher relationships
student teacher relationships

Shmoop is an online content provider currently working with Evanston High School and Oak Park and River Forest High School in various ways to improve student achievement.  To learn more about it, please visit their website.

Ventris Learning has supplemental language development programs to equip teachers with the instructional tools and know-how necessary to meet these students’ unmet language needs. In order to close the reading achievement gap we have to first close this language gap.  For more information on Ventris Learning, please visit their website.


2015 Student ConferenceSAVE-THE-DATE!
2015 MSAN Student Conference

Many of our member districts will send a team of students and chaperones to the annual MSAN student conference being held in Madison, WI October 7-10, 2015.  This year’s student conference will be hosted by Verona Area School District in Verona, WI. 

Over the course of three days, students will engage in learning and action planning around issues of race, achievement, high expectations, post-secondary aspirations, structural inequities, and educational opportunity. 

Please look for more information and updates on the MSAN student conference website!


The Role of Unconscious Bias as it Relates to Family Engagement

Cheryl Robinson is the Supervisor of Minority Achievement in Arlington Public Schools.  Read her article on the topic of “Discovering Unconscious Bias: Engaging All Families” here. It contains strategies including:

Other Helpful Culturally Responsive Parent Engagement Resources:


Documentary VideoMSAN Student Receives Award in Race Relations

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations recognizes young people who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the cause of positive race relations and who have worked to increase understanding and respect among all races. Tatianna Sims, a senior at Princeton High School and district president of her MSAN club, created and directed the mini-documentary "The Quest: Equalizing Achievement," which featured interviews with minority students at her high school.

Watch the documentary here.

Lenora KeelLong-time MSAN Chaperone Receives Award

Lenora Keel, Princeton High School social worker and long-time MSAN Student Conference chaperone, has been awarded the 2015 Ethnic Minority Affairs & Leadership Image Award by the NJEA Minority Leadership and Recruitment Committee. 

The award is in recognition of individuals who have made a significant difference in education and the achievement of equal opportunity for those facing discrimination due to their ethnicity.  Congratulations Lenora!

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