Happy Spring! In this month's MSAN Minute: resources for learning more about how we can support refugee students and families as they confront systemic racism and classism in their new communities; about how school dress codes can perpetuate institutional sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression; about how a group of Black scholars is advocating for the rights of gifted students of color, and about one student leader who spoke truth to power--and the city that responded.


Resettled Refugees Traversing Education in Search of a Future
How can schools better align newcomer students’ in-school experiences with the realities they will face as they enter adulthood? A new study by international education policy expert Sarah Dryden-Peterson and doctoral student Celia Reddick offers several specific strategies:

  • College and career planning
  • Mentorship
  • Exploring systemic inequality
  • Connections to diverse peers

Read the full study here, and check out this summary of the study, posted at the Harvard Usable Knowledge Database. MSAN member district Harrisonburg (VA) City Public Schools is doing exciting work in this area! Check out their newcomer programming, part of a continuum of services for English language learners, which includes detailed protocols for working with students as well as with families.


ETHS Dress Code Updated to Work Against Targeting of Marginalized Students
Evanston Township High School District 202 is the original home of MSAN, and was the host district for this year’s MSAN site visit--at which 53 visiting administrators and board members from 18 MSAN member districts across 8 states learned about ETHS equity initiatives like the new ETHS dress code. The district describes the new code--which allows hats, hoodies, leggings, spaghetti straps, and other articles of clothing that had been prohibited by previous codes--as one that “is written in a manner that does not reinforce stereotypes and that does not reinforce or increase marginalization or oppression of any group based on race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income or body type/size.” Read more in these articles from The Chicago Tribune and The Daily Northwestern. You can access the text of the dress code here.


The SERP Institute: Bridging Research, Practice, and Design
Check out these Summer Institute trainings from our partners at the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP). Word Generation and STARI are high-quality, affordable, research-based programs that support struggling readers to meet 21st century standards.

  • Word Generation: July 30 & 31
  • STARI: Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention August 1-3
  • WordGen Coaching: August 1

From the archives: SERP's work focuses on math, too! Take a look at Algebra by Example, a free instructional resource developed through an MSAN-SERP research partnership which launched in 2006. Download Algebra by Example for free here!


Leading Black Scholars Release “Bill Of Rights For Gifted Students Of Color”
The list of authors for the recently released Culturally Responsive Equity-Based Bill of Rights for Gifted Students of Color reads like a veritable “who’s who” of experts in the field; in it, Donna Y. Ford, Kenneth T. Dickson, Joy Lawson Davis, Michelle Troutman Scott, and Tarek C. Grantham issue a call to “do what is necessary to desegregate gifted education and advanced learner programs to support and advocate for students of color”. The document addresses eight areas--advocacy, access, program evaluation, testing and assessment, educator training, curriculum, social and emotional development, and family and community empowerment. Download a copy of the Bill of Rights document here, and check out this exclusive Q&A with the document’s authors at @DrMikeRobinson’s website. Special note: Dr. Donna Y. Ford will be delivering a keynote address at the MSAN Institute! See you there!


Student Leader: Alex Hosey 
We are excited to highlight the leadership of high school student Alex Hosey in this month’s Leadership Spotlight! Alex recently wrote a piece titled “Why I Sit,”which has jump-started community discussions on racism in his home of East Lansing, Michigan. In his essay Alex, who is a student athlete, explains that he does not stand for the National Anthem in acknowledgement of his family’s and community’s experiences with racism in East Lansing. He then issues two invitations, one to his school district to “teach the history and effects of redlining of people of color,” and one to the Mayor of East Lansing to “issue a public acknowledgement and apology to blacks and other people of color for the city’s role in redlining, mistreatment and discrimination.” In response to Alex’s piece, city officials recently passed a resolution that included a public apology and plans for a community conversation on “annual community forum to educate and raise awareness about the history of, the present incidents of, and future policies that may be required regarding racism in East Lansing.” Starting this spring, city officials will meet with Alex and others to plan the first forum. Read Alex’s essay here. Alex, the MSAN network salutes you! You are an inspiration!


The 2018 MSAN Institute will be held April 26-27 in Madison, Wisconsin.
The registration deadline for this event has been extended for a few more days! Visit the Institute website and register today. The MSAN Institute is MSAN’s annual conference on ending the effects of racism on schools. Open to MSAN members as well as to the wider community, the MSAN Institute highlights practices for classroom teachers, building- or district-level decision makers, and family engagement leaders. Keynote and breakout sessions outline current initiatives, as well as inform future research. Hope to see you there!


©2014 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System