Committees

Our PTSA Committees need parent volunteer support! Please consider volunteering to chair or join the following committees:

2021 Seniors Celebration Planning Committee

Planning all things celebratory for our 2021 seniors! All are welcome to help us create a fun end of the year for our graduates, however we can, given pandemic precautions. Please contact Heather Epstein at hrepstein@yahoo.com or Cheryl Katz at cherylrk2010@aol.com, join our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/400331084404252/ or join us on our online seniors parents/guardians forum at Seniorparents+subscribe@WCHSparents.groups.io.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Chair: Carla Morris, cammfl@icloud.com

Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA)

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee

WHO WE ARE

The MCCPTA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee was created in summer 2020 after hundreds of Montgomery County Public Schools students publicly shared their experiences of negative and discriminatory experiences due to their race, gender, religion, disabilities or sexual orientation.    MCCPTA leadership responded by launching the DEI Committee.  The DEI Committee seeks to ensure that equity is a critical part of the foundation of all MCPS and MCCPTA programs, activities, policies, and priorities.  

We recognize the power of education to transform lives. We recognize the beauty and value that diverse individuals and families bring to MCPS. We also recognize the need to address the broad range of student needs across our system to ensure that MCPS meets its core purpose to prepare all students to thrive in their futures.  As a student-centered community group, MCCPTA shares this commitment to achieving educational equity and academic excellence, with its mission “to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.”  To do this, we have built a broad coalition of parents and organizations and will leverage our position, data, research, as well as the voices and lived experiences of our students to advocate for an equitable and sufficient allocation of resources by MCPS to meet student academic and social-emotional needs, and track and evaluate school effectiveness.  The DEI Committee will work with MCPS and others to ensure accountability, transparency, and continuous improvement related to diversity, equity and inclusion policies, initiatives, procedures, and programs.  

In line with the National PTA’s objectives, MCCPTA values diversity and inclusion. Diversity encompasses a wide range of people based on, but not limited to, race, sexual orientation, age, culture, economic status, education, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, legal status, marital status, mental ability, national origin, organizational position, parental or guardian status, physical ability, political philosophy, religion, and work experience.

Inclusion is the intention for and action of including all people, regardless of their circumstance, abilities, or needs.  Everyone in our community has the right to be respected and appreciated as a valuable member of our community.  Within MCPS, an inclusive education is about making sure our schools, classrooms, programs, and policies are designed in a way that allow all students to actively participate, learn, and thrive.

WHAT IS EDUCATIONAL EQUITY?

Equity in education requires putting systems and practices in place to make sure every child has an equal chance for success, regardless of their identity. Identity includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, socio-economic status, age, national origin, native language and cognitive and physical abilities.

For any educational initiative, we should ask ourselves: How can we best engage our students, families and communities? How will proposed changes affect all learners?  Are there negative impacts for any student group? How do we avoid negative impacts caused by school policies and programs? How do we monitor our work to make sure there are positive outcomes for all students? What changes need to be made to achieve this?

Ensuring equitable access and inclusion requires that we carefully examine data, policies, and practices that serve as barriers to certain students. For example, what causes over-representation of certain groups in special education and an under-representation of that same group in gifted or honors courses?

Equitable treatment for all students requires acceptance, respect, support, and safety.  It requires an understanding that inequitable treatment also compounds other negative conditions that some groups of students already face.

Equitable treatment in MCPS will require the system to provide consistent standards and resources.  It means providing information to all students, parents, and guardians from a wide diversity of backgrounds so that they can be engaged and advocate for themselves.  It also means ensuring that MCPS provides standards for differentiated instruction to teachers and administrators.

Educational equity is not solely defined by equal access and opportunity, or simply a focus on anti-racism or anti-bias.  It is not a one-time action or a simple focus on race, gender, or identity.  It is about measuring achievement, fairness, and opportunity in education to make sure some students are not facing barriers that others do.  It requires looking at these issues from a system-level and from an individual student perspective.

OUR GOALS

The goals of educational equity include achieving positive outcomes for all students, ensuring access and inclusion, ensuring equitable resource distribution and academic support, creating multiple opportunities to learn, ensuring shared responsibility and ensuring accountability.   

Our goal is to support MCPS as it addresses disproportionality at all levels; systematically support student needs and examine policies and practices for identification and selection of those supports, including advocating for: 

  • Equity in the MCPS online school for Fall 2020 (online learning, transportation, technology and language access, meals access, inclusion for all learners)
  • Annual unconscious bias and antiracist training for all MCPS staff, students, and MCCPTA/PT(S)A leaders
  • African American history as a graduation requirement
  • Parent Academy courses to offer expanded diversity-related topics and an incorporation of diverse voices into curriculum throughout the grades
  • PTA-wide liaison role: a DEI liaison/committee at all MCPS schools, with resources and toolkits provided
  • Membership/Diversity: A representative from each cluster on the MCCPTA DEI committee
  • Programming: Develop joint programs, sponsor forums and workshops with MCPS action groups and other stakeholders, particularly ensuring student voice as the center of our work and including restorative practices and restorative justice strategies to address disproportionality in discipline.

COLLABORATIONS

The DEI Committee is deeply committed to working closely with the MCPS Equity Unit and linking numerous county and community-led entities together toward the common purpose of advancing a high level of educational excellence and equity for all students.  Those entities include other MCCPTA Committees and its Board, as well as organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Identity, the Black and Brown Coalition, the LGBTQ Alliance, Special Education Services families, disability rights organizations, No Place for Hate advocates, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) anti-bias group, the LGBTQ Student Advocacy Group; the African American Student Achievement Action Group, the Asian Pacific Student Achievement Action Group; the Latino Student Achievement Action Group; ESOL groups, and MCPS’ Family Engagement Committee, among others. 

The DEI Committee also seeks to partner with a wide array of stakeholders within and outside of the school system to offer programs that amplify and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion within all MCPS schools in positive, respectful ways.  MCPS’ stated objectives are: to ensure every student has the academic, creative problem solving, and social emotional skills to be successful in college, career and community, regardless of background.  While many of our students achieve at the highest levels, not all have had the opportunities, support and resources needed to meet their full potential. MCPS is committed to addressing disparities in student outcomes by closing gaps in opportunity and achievement for all students, in all classrooms, in all of our schools. 

References

“The Challenge of Seeing, Part II – Shaping the Sixth Generation of Civil Rights and Educational Equity,” by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, November-December 2013

“Assuring Civil Rights Protection with State ESEA Flexibility Waivers”, by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, May 2013

“Building a Civil Rights Juggernaut Using the Common Core Standards,” by Bradley Scott, Ph.D. IDRA Newsletter, February 2013

“The Challenge of Seeing – Shaping the Sixth Generation of Civil Rights and Educational Equity,” by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, September 2012

“A Guide for School Board Members to Assess District Effectiveness,” by Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D., & Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, June-July 2010

“Tyranny of Old Ideas About School Board Responsibilities,” by Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D., and Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., June-July 2010

“The Role of School Governance Efficacy in Building an Equity Context for School Reform,” by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, June-July 2009

“Equalizing Funding of Texas School Facilities – A Long-Standing, Long-Neglected Need,” by Albert Cortez, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, February 2007

“Expanding Children’s Access to Science,” by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, April 2003

“We Should Not Kid Ourselves: Excellence Requires Equity,” by Bradley Scott, M.A., IDRA Newsletter, February 2000

“Equity Principles and School Reform: What it Takes to Ensure that ‘All Means All,’” by Adela Solís, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, February 2000

“From ‘DAC’ to ‘EAC’ – The Expanding Role of the Equity Assistance Center,” by Bradley Scott, M.A., IDRA Newsletter, February 1999

Calendar and resources for religious and cultural holidays

Essays from MCPS Students and Staff” — A series of short essays written by Montgomery County students and staff about their identity. These are great conversation starters to engage colleagues or students.

 Resources to Talk to Your Children about Race and Culture

EIU recommendations for books, TV shows and movies

Culturally Responsive Family Engagement — Tools for creating more effective parent engagement strategies and events

Understanding LGBTQ+

Change the Discourse: Tools for leading and addressing challenging conversations in class and meetings

Dr. Joan’s Gems simple, specific resources (articles, strategies, videos, techniques, activators) that can be used at meetings, in planning, and in the classroom

“I’ve Got a Podcast for That” — Each month we highlight different podcasts to help bring a different lens to our understanding of equity.

Leading for Equity

Immigration — Resources to understand the changing immigration policies and the impact on MCPS families. Also resources to support families.

An Educator’s Guide to This Moment, a publication by the MCPS Equity Initiative

https://spark.adobe.com/page/3p4pM1Tq9aj5u/

MCPS – Curriculum Review

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P_OKATir3l4gzjr4r2npy0U271d2iV4ykj9vwXUQM9c/edit

Parent-Principal Coffee Conversations

Chair: Dominic Benford, dominic.benford@gmail.com
This committee coordinates informal gatherings throughout the fall and winter. Open discussions will be held with parents about topics of interest, and we may hear from students, department leads, the principal and administrators.  We expect to hold numerous Zoom meetings this year to support our families with Town Hall style virtual meetings.

Special Education 

Chair: Sharon Field, sharonfield19@gmail.com and Bo Saulsbury, bosaulsbury@gmail.com.
This committee supports the needs of 504, IEP, Bridge and Autism students at Churchill and works closely with the Special Needs department. Please reach out to Sharon or Bo if you have questions, ideas or concerns. Both of these amazing parents have wonderful resources to share and suggest.  We will plan to hold Zoom meetings with parents as needed this year. The first one will be August 6 at 7:00 pm.

Reflections National Art Contest

Chair:  Stefie Heideman, artescapades@gmail.com
The 2020 theme for this annual national PTA art contest is “I Matter Because” and is interpreted in the six areas of film, dance, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.  Our students create highly creative works of art each year, and we hope this year will be no different.  Please reach out with any questions you have, and we hope to have a good showing at Reflections this year! http://www.mccpta.org/reflections.html

Safe Technology Committee

Chair: Open
Created by a group of parents interested in “the smart and safe use of technology at our schools, its impact on students’ physical and mental health, digital privacy and evolving safety guidelines. We read the latest science and studies and relay trends and concerns to MCPS and our Board of Education.” See http://www.mccpta.org/safe-tech-about-us.html for more. There is also a subcommittee formed from the online Churchill parents forum.

Counseling Advisory Committee

Chair: Stacy Ganz Kahn@chknnoodle@aol.com
Volunteers are requested for the Counseling Advisory Committee. The CAC facilitates and supports open dialogue between students, counselors, teachers, staff, administration and parents in an interactive group setting; provides an opportunity to discuss student mental health and other school culture experiences, needs and wish lists; addresses student and community questions, challenges, and creates opportunities; advocates for students needs and recommends and helps implement resources to assist students, such as arranging for guest speakers, offering books, movies and more; online contests; locates and coordinates parent volunteers to assist counselors for several projects, including Maryland College Night; provides coverage to answer the counseling phone line; compiles college packs for students; sponsors coat drives; and a variety of other projects, as needed, to support students and counselors. This committee expects to be active this year during our virtual classroom experiences.

Traffic Safety Initiative

Chairs: Heather Epstein, hrepstein@yahoo.com
This committee ensures that vehicles and pedestrians mix safely on the campus, and that the neighboring community needs are kept in mind. The committee helps plan for future needs of the school’s traffic flow with school administration, as well as senior parking space allotment.

Senior Breakfast

Chairs: Sharon McGuire, sharonmcguire@incceoproject.com
Event Date: will be held only if we can  hold in-person events in the spring. Please contact Sharon to assist with this special event! We will need volunteers to help organize, set up tables, decorate and arrange breakfast dishes in the cafeteria that morning. Stay tuned for a Signup Genius for this event!

Asian American Festivals

Chair: Professor Lee and student-led

(Only if we can hold in-person events in the winter and spring) The Lunar New Year staff breakfast is typically held in January or February.  The festive evening celebration of Asian culture in the spring is typically held in May, complete with professional dancers, musicians, henna painting, calligraphy and of course foods from throughout Asian culture. Professor Lee coordinates with the students. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to support the students by providing food and decor donations for both events!

Substance Use Programming

Chair: Mitra Ahadpour, fbfb@bellsouth.net
This committee arranges for discussions, speakers and programs on the dangers of underage vaping, smoking and taking drugs; underage drinking; and drinking/texting and driving. It identifies best practices in other schools that have successfully reduced student substance abuse. Volunteers are welcome! Also includes collaboration with S.A.D.D. Club (Students Against Destructive Decisions).

May Staff Appreciation Week

Chair: Sue Shankman, rabbisue@yahoo.com
Event Date: May
Many events will be scheduled throughout this week, including a staff luncheon.  Please volunteer to help Sue with these festivities! (Will only be held if we can be in-person this spring).

After Prom Events Programming

Chairs: Virginia Horton and Carla Rush, at virginia.horton6@gmail.com and carlarush301@gmail.com
Event Date: May, if we can hold in-person celebrations this spring

There is a county organization that planners need to join in order to be allowed to coordinate After Prom events for their schools: http://www.mcprojectprom.org/Meetings.aspx#nextmeetin
The MCProjectProm mission is “to support the efforts of volunteer parents in Montgomery County, Maryland who coordinate alcohol-free and drug-free After-Prom and After-Graduation events.
History and Goals: Montgomery County Project Prom/Graduation (MCPP/G) was founded in March, 1992. It is a coalition of volunteer parents from Montgomery County, Maryland, who coordinate alcohol-free and drug-free all-night after-prom/after-graduation celebrations. MCPP/G was organized to assist volunteers, to share information and resources, and to solicit regional support for their programs.”

Staff Holiday Thank you Lunch

Chairs: Teri Stanish, Greta Hando teristanish@yahoo.com, ghando@verizon.net
Event Date:  Every year we thank our wonderful staff with just before the winter holiday break.  We are open to virtual ways to celebrate our staff this year.

Membership Database & Directory Support

Chair: Xinrong Chen, xinrong_chen@hotmail.com
This committee supports all PTSA membership drive activities, particularly reaching out at parent night events and Back to School Night, and proofing directories from A to Z for parents distribution, etc. This committee works closely with PTSA Board Member, VP of Membership. Promotes Harris Teeter, Amazon, Target and other community store donation programs.

Staff Welcome Back to School 

Chairs: PTSA Board
Event Date: Last week of August
This event has traditionally been a community feast of homemade cooked and baked goods.  We welcome ideas about ways to create a virtual welcome to our staff back to school.

New Student Welcome 

Chairs: PTSA Board
Event Date: last week of August
This committee organizes new student welcome events.

Staff Thank-You 

Chairs: PTSA Board
Event Date: First week in September
This event is a traditional thank the teachers and staff for staying late the prior night at Back to School Night. 

Brag Bricks

Chair: Felisa (Sally) Lewis, felisa.lewis@verizon.net, Dominic Benford, dominic.benford@gmail.com
Research the cost of inscribing names of retiring Churchill staff members on outdoor paving bricks, to honor their service to the school.