Skip To ContentSkip To Content

    Recommendations for the African American Male Scholars Initiative

    9/10/15 Draft


    I. The African American Male Think Tank will work in partnership with SPS to facilitate conversations among families, community partners and other stakeholders to vet, edit and implement the five-year Action Plan for Accelerating the Achievement for African American Males.

    II. That Seattle Public Schools will establish an African American Male Scholars Achievement Department, similar to that of the Oakland Unified School District. This department shall be an independent entity that reports directly to the superintendent.

    III. Seattle Public Schools will provide professional development addressing racism and implicit bias, trauma, social justice, equity, and culturally responsive pedagogy. This must include foundational training for all district employees and targeted training designed to meet the needs of each school community.

    IV. Seattle Public Schools implements a moratorium on non-violent suspensions and expulsions from K -12, and supply appropriate supports, services, and resources to school administrators, with a focus on loss of instructional time, growing students’ habits of success, and teacher professional development.

    V. Immediately, any consultant hired to support the completion of the Superintendent’s Action Plan be instructed to work closely with the African American Male Scholars Think Tank and/or Advisory Think Tank throughout the duration of the contract to support the development of the plan and it’s budget.

    VI. In order to engage with African American families and students, Seattle Public Schools will reference the 10 principles of authentic community engagement.

    1. The five year Action Plan that guides this work must include strategies to:
      • Collect quantitative and qualitative data that is disaggregated by home language and gender.
      • Create goals for the success of African American Males, with standardized measures of progress
        overtime, not to be dependent on the percentage of African American males in each school.
        • At least two annual goals related to African American male scholars per year, to include
          academic and social-emotional well-being measures.
        • The strategies used to achieve these goals should be at the discretion of school
          communities, with District level support.
      • Develop a transparent communication plan with both internal and external considerations.
      • Leverage the work of national level initiatives.
      • Adequately resource the Action Plan in order to support goal achievement. This includes, and is
        not limited to, human and monetary capital and consistent ongoing PD, at all levels of the SPS
      • Ensure that this Action Plan is implemented with fidelity, across all departments.

    2. The African American Male Scholars Department must include:
      • Specific lead for this work (No additional responsibilities)
        • The African American Male Scholars Think Tank will be involved in the hiring
          process for this position.
      • Adequate human and monetary capital allocated to sustain this department.
      • Partial Scope of Work:
        • Support and monitor implementation of the five-year Action Plan.
        • Meet with deputy superintendent on a weekly basis.
        • Meet with and support school principals.
        • Plan and implement ongoing authentic community engagement.
          • Share data and plan progress with the community.
          • Work with Community Based Organizations that have successfully engaged
            students and partner with schools.
          • Convene a committee of African American parents to be an advisory to this
            department. They should be supported by the staff and will be an advisory
            board that works in alignment to the Parent Advisory Committee to the
        • Report data and plan progress to deputy superintendent and executive cabinet.
        • Culturally responsive identity driven programming be researched and implemented.
        • Create and recommend new systems of measurement e.g., soft Skills, Strength Finding,
          Development Assets etc.

    3. Professional Development must be implemented throughout the district with a focus on the impact
      of racism on African American male scholars, and also work to shift all staffs’ core beliefs to non-deficit
      learning. This must also include:
      • Sufficient resources to support ongoing and consistent implementation of professional
        development, recognizing the existence of implicit bias and racist practices, with strategies for
        reconditioning said behavior and beliefs, as to disrupt such practices.
        • Clock hours, paid time, presenters, partnerships, etc.
        • Orientation for new staff.
        • Ongoing for current and experienced staff.
      • Developed and implemented in partnership with principals and teacher leaders in order to take
        into account the needs of school sites and successful school strategies (i.e., Motivational
        Framework, Restorative Justice, RULER, etc.)
      • Utilize effective measurement tools for school and teacher evaluation, i.e., Danielson (Criterion
        1, 3, 5 and 8), Motivational Framework (Rigor, Relevance, Relationships and Results plus Data in
        A Day), etc.
      • Focused attention to developing the pipeline that generates future educators: Work with preservice
        teacher and administrator programs to include curriculum that addresses these issues.

    4. Thinking and planning around the moratorium on non-violent suspensions must include strategies
      beyond the traditional solutions, and assess the narrow cultural purview of the SPS Code of Conduct to
      determine necessary changes.
      • Trauma-informed Practice (harm-reduction; self-care).
      • Restorative Justice practices: Healing Circles.
        • Teacher/Student Mediation
        • Peer Mediation
      • Habits of success curriculum for students
      • Service Learning: Opportunities that supports student engagement with school and community.

    5. In an effort to establish and maintain a trusting relationship with the district, work most efficiently,
      avoid redundancy, and break down silos, any consultant regarding this work will partner with the African
      American Male Scholars Think Tank.

    6. Seattle Public schools will establish intentional collaboration between the African American Male
      Scholars Department, School and Family Partnerships, Race and Equity Department
      and the district’s Communications Department in order to address culturally responsive and authentic
      community engagement that:
      • Reference the Ten Principals of Community Engagement (see attachment).