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Positive Greetings at the Door

Positive Greetings at the Door

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Image by Leah Dusterhoft

Positive Greetings at the Door (PGD) is a three-step intentional practice to increase student academic engagement and prevent student misbehavior.

1.  Teacher greets each student individually with a positive verbal or nonverbal greeting as they enter the learning environment to create a sense of connection and belonging.

2.  Teacher makes a preplanned, pre-corrective statement to remind the entire class of student behavior or engagement expectations.

3.  Teacher offers behavior-specific praise or makes a pre-corrective statement to specific students who have struggled with behavior or engagement in the past.

The goals of PGD are to 1) maximize instructional time by getting students learning as quickly as possible and limiting off-task behaviors and 2) foster connection and social belonging in students. Continue reading “Positive Greetings at the Door”

Understanding the School-to-Prison Nexus

Understanding the School-to-Prison Nexus

Reading Time: 4 minutes

At West Wind, we are examining a relatively new concept: the “school to prison nexus.”

Mass incarceration has been widely researched, with well-known analysts (Alexander, 2010) and documentarians (Duvernay, 2016) identifying ways that both formal and informal structures have contributed to an explosion of prisons and prisoners in the US.  The Sentencing Project finds that, “[t]here are 2.2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails—a 500% increase over the last 40 years. Changes in law and policy, not changes in crime rates, explain most of this increase.”  The Sentencing Project further finds that communities of color have borne the brunt of this explosion. “Today, people of color make up 37% of the U.S. population but 67% of the prison population. Overall, African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences. Black men are six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men and Hispanic men are more than twice as likely to be incarcerated as non-Hispanic white men.” Continue reading “Understanding the School-to-Prison Nexus”

Working with Educators to Address Implicit Bias

Working with Educators to Address Implicit Bias

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Implicit Bias is more than just a hot topic that surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign. Implicit bias is real and it negatively impacts the lives of marginalized individuals every day across our country. The Kirwan Institute at The Ohio State University defines implicit bias as ”[T]he attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.”[i]  Some of the key characteristics of implicit bias include that everyone has them; they are generally not an indication of our beliefs or our values; and they are malleable. Continue reading “Working with Educators to Address Implicit Bias”

Some Tips on Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

Some Tips on Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

Reading Time: < 1 minute

One of the things I love about being at West Wind is that we support each other to be healthy. We do our best work and feel our best when we eat well and exercise, so I am happy to share some tips with you.

With all of the rich foods tempting us during the upcoming holidays I want to share this tip I found from Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield about including nutrient-rich pumpkin in  your holiday menus. Our family loves pumpkin smoothies made with frozen yogurt, pumpkin, and low-fat milk.  Another favorite is pumpkin cheesecake made with Greek cream cheese which has more protein, less fat and carbs than regular cream cheese.  And don’t forget the pumpkin pie spice to give your recipes the rich pumpkin pie flavor!  Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has wonderful recipes to add this nutrient-rich vegetable to your favorite recipes.

For more information visit Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Equity in Personalized Learning

Equity in Personalized Learning

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This summer the International Association for Online Learning (iNACOL) and CompetencyWorks invited me to the 2017 National Summit on K-12 Competency-based Education to explore personalized learning and CBE. The Summit brought together experts and leaders from across the country to focus on 4 key areas: 1) quality, 2) equity, 3) meeting students where they are, and 4) systems and policies. Continue reading “Equity in Personalized Learning”

Check out the Dream Center’s Summer Leadership Camp

Check out the Dream Center’s Summer Leadership Camp

Reading Time: < 1 minute

DreamCenterlogoCheck out the awesome work of our partners at the Dream Center during their Summer Leadership Camp 2017. Congratulations to the team and nice job to the participants!

Enjoy their video HERE.

To learn more about the Dream Center visit them online HERE or on Facebook.

Note: this post was updated in May 2020 to correctly link to the Dream Center’s new pages, Dream City IA.

We’re Back!

We’re Back!

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Welcome BackWe took a hiatus from blogging as we re-doubled our efforts to build our racial equity programming and our work on personalized learning and equity. As the 2018-19 school year is about to commence, we are excited to be back on our blog!

Watch this blog for new posts and follow the Creative Corridor Center for Equity’s Facebook page for important articles and happenings around eastern Iowa.

Thanks to All Who Attended the West Wind Open House

Thanks to All Who Attended the West Wind Open House

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The West Wind Open House was a success! We enjoyed catching up with long-time friends, colleagues, family, and connecting with new faces. We especially appreciate the Dream Divas who rocked Eastdale Plaza!

If you’re less familiar with the Dream Divas, this is a team of young ladies, ages 4-23, who are sponsored by the Dream Center and perform at venues around Iowa. One of the larger performances from this year happened in January when the girls performed at the 17th Annual I’ll Make Me a World conference in Des Moines, IA. Each year, I’ll Make Me a World celebrates African-American arts, culture, and contributions. The Dream Divas were part of a cohort of dance teams that highlighted the performance arts. Continue reading “Thanks to All Who Attended the West Wind Open House”

West Wind Open House March 2nd, Join Us!

West Wind Open House March 2nd, Join Us!

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The annual Open House for West Wind Education Policy Inc. is March 2nd from 4-6 p.m. We look forward to your visit and are excited to announce the Dream Divas dance team, sponsored by the Dream Center, will entertain with a short performance around 5 o’clock. Come enjoy light refreshments, great conversation with friends and colleagues, and hear about some of our new work, including our collaboration in the Creative Corridor Center for Equity (C3E).

Our office is on the second floor of Eastdale Plaza, 1700 S. First Ave. We hope to see you Monday! Don’t forget to send your RSVP to westwind@westwinded.com.

Kind regards from the staff of West Wind Education Policy Inc.,

Circe, Alecia, Bonnie, Kathy, Mandi, Sally, and Tina

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