By Executive Director Jeremy Chiappetta
In order to successfully realize the mission and vision of getting all of our scholars on a path to success, we believe that:
1. Our schools must be diverse, and
2. We must actively use our diversity to support and engage all members of our community.
In July, BVP made national news when it was named a founding member of the National Coalition of Diverse Charter Schools. Our schools were also featured in The New York Times, The Century Foundation blog, ASCD’s Education Leadership publication, and Education Sector, to name a few. Although these highlights show how hard we have been working to do this well, we are only at the beginning of the journey.
LEVERAGING INTENTIONAL DIVERSITY AT BVP
In order to get recently hired staff members engaged in the conversation, BVP kicked off its summer professional development this year by hosting a panel discussion on diversity with featured guest Halley Potter, a Fellow at The Century Foundation, BVP Parent and Central Falls Councilwoman Tammi Johnson, RI-CAN Executive Director Christine Lopes and the Former Central Falls School District Deputy Superintendent Victor Capellan, who recently joined the team at Mass Insight. You can watch the full panel discussion here.
Before school started, we hosted an optional working lunch session for all staff to engage in discussion related to the occurrences in Ferguson. Below are also links to blog reflections from some of our team and community members:
Guest Blogger: Ferguson is About All of Us, by Tracey Dann
Another Reflection on Ferguson from Team BVP, by Nick Mosher
One BVP Team Member's Struggle to Find the Words, by Jen LoPiccolo
On Ferguson, by Jeremy Chiappetta
Reflections on Ferguson, BVP, and Our Path to the Mountaintop, by Jonathon Acosta
All of this is only a small part of an ongoing and much larger conversation, a conversation that we are looking for you to join. We truly need a variety of voices in order to make the discussion about diversity valuable, authentic and dynamic.
JOIN US FOR A TALK WITH DR. HOWARD FULLER
If you’re struggling with knowing how to make your voice heard, want to learn more, or don’t even know where to start, I invite you to join us on September 11 from 6:00-7:30PM for a book talk with Dr. Howard Fuller, a professor of education and Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University. You can read more about him here.
Dr. Fuller is a strong voice today around issues of diversity, race, and education reform, and his events usually sell out. Expect this book discussion to get you thinking and - more importantly - talking about these very important topics. Spots are limited, so be sure to reserve your spot before tickets sell out. RSVP is required.
Copies of Dr. Fuller’s book, No Struggle, No Progress, will be for sale at the event, and Dr. Fuller will be available for a book signing immediately following the talk.
*If you read his book before then, shoot us a note to let us know your thoughts. We may even post your review as a blog, much like our pre-post from 2012 about Michael Petrilli’s book, The Diverse Schools Dilemma. If you’re itching to read more on these topics, below are attachments to some of BVP’s very own required readings that staff completed over the summer (some are links to videos):
- “Every Kid Needs a Champion,” Rita F. Pierson
- “The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Adichie
- “The Widening Income Achievement Gap,” Sean Reardon
- “Rhode Island Holds the Key for Educating Diverse Students,” John Morton and Pablo Rodriguez