Seattle Schools Shape New Strategy To Support Non-White Students

support and mentorship Seattle Public Schools wants for all of its Black students
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Cleveland High School student Trevon Mitchell counted himself lucky to have his first Black teacher in fifth grade. Then in seventh grade, Mitchell — who is Black — was paired up with a Black male mentor he could always confide in, as part of a Seattle Public Schools program.

“Ever since seventh grade I felt like I always had someone to talk to,” said Mitchell, who is 16. “My teacher would make time after school and before school. I will always remember that teacher.”

That’s the kind of support and mentorship Seattle Public Schools wants for all of its Black students. A new report, released this month, outlines ways to get there.

It comes after the district has committed to improving racial equity in Seattle schools for years, with little success. Now, leaders are shifting their approach by focusing more on student experiences, rather than measuring success solely on test scores. The new approach emphasizes student and family recommendations in an effort to make the education system work for students of color, specifically Black male students.

The report makes four recommendations to meet the needs of Black males and also elevate other students of color: diversify the education workforce, integrate Black education into the curriculum, dismantle anti-Black racism, and center Black student and family voices. Read more.

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