From the Virtual Desk of Schuba...
Dear Izzi B. Dragons,
Our administrative year is coming to a close this week, and IBCS Leadership is reaching out to you today to provide final thoughts for the year. We fully acknowledge Spring of 2020 is not at all what many of us expected. As we shifted to a new learning experience, our whole school community - parents, teachers, students and staff - rose to the challenge. The tenacity, perseverance and collaboration between home and school makes me so incredibly grateful and proud.
The thought of how to lead implementation of next year's hybrid model for in-person and remote learning seems daunting and quite upsetting, but DPS leadership and schools principals are working overtime this summer to figure out the details of this new operational plan. The District plans to release further details on Monday, June 22, and we plan to host our last IBCS Council Meeting of the year on Thursday, June 25, at 7 p.m., via Zoom.
Our collaborative, IBCS Anti-Racism Statement is powerful, but only words. It is the ACTIONS our educators take in and out of the classroom that give hope to our future. Our beautiful “diverse-by-design” school will take action next fall, and ongoing, to address equity and inclusion for all of our students.
I’d like to take a moment to draw attention to a couple important action steps which are already underway at IBCS. In December 2019, IBCS staff partnered with Dawn Salter, DPS’ regional specialist for culture and equity, to intensify professional development and classroom feedback cycles to focus on Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) practices to address our achievement gaps among black and brown students. Culturally relevant teaching or responsive teaching is a pedagogy grounded in teachers' displaying cultural competence in a cross-cultural or multicultural setting. Teachers use this method to encourage students to relate course content to his/her personal cultural context.
The IBCS Equity Team’s dedication and collaboration last year came up with a clear plan to improve student outcomes and address inequities. Here is a link to their IBCS 4-Year Equity Plan used to guide our instructional feedback with staff.
As we move into our new 2020/2021 school year, we will remain committed to the above and evaluate how we can both do more, and how we can improve our current practices, for what has long been part of our Izzi B. culture and commitment. As your principal, I am dedicated to implementing our new, three-year Innovation Plan.
Lastly, I turn to one of the women I respect the most, Maya Angelou, for these powerful words:
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
Izzi B. can do better, and I am proud to lead us forward, no matter the obstacle.
Below are a few resources which can help students, families and education staff navigate the necessary conversations about race:
Principal Schuba Isabella Bird Community School Administration
Thank You and Welcome
As the school year comes to a close, we're sharing a heartfelt thank you to all departing staff for their time and contributions to Isabella Bird Community School. Farewell to Andy H., Lauren S., Lisa C., Eva H., Morgan C. and Tarah B.
"We are so proud to be a page or chapter in the story of your life. We can't wait to see where you go and know that we always want to hear about your adventures."
A warm welcome to new staff members joining us in the fall: Stephanie L. (3rd grade), Erin M. (Art) , Ardith S. (school social worker), Ginger G. (paraprofessional) and Mary K. (4th grade).
Izzi B. Council Budget Seeking Input on '20-'21
Spring is typically the season when our community comes together to decide how Council dollars could best be spent for next school year. While Council Board is currently working on drafts and proposals for next year's budget, allocation of budget money is delayed until we can gather in person again. In the meantime, Council Board invites you to share your ideas and feedback for allocation of variable funds. Additional information is available through a School Deets post entitled, Izzi B Council Budget - seeking input on '20-'21. Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this important IBCS Council process impacting our entire school. For questions, please contact IBCS Parent and Council Treasurer, Ashley Williams.
20/21 School Supplies
For the 20/21 school year, IBCS will not leverage EduKits for school supplies; instead, grade-level teachers have created supply lists. Lists can be viewed here. All school supplies are communal and will be shared among grade-level students. Students are encouraged to have supplies prior to the first day of school. Please DO NOT write your student's name on any of the supplies; teachers will sort and organize when school resumes in the fall. If you have questions about supplies listed, reach out to the appropriate grade-level team (email addresses are listed within the supply list). Note: ECE does not have a school supply list; teachers will use Mill Levy funds to purchase what is needed.
What's Going on with...
Food Distribution for Those in Need
As we continue to navigate life amid the pandemic, Denver Public Schools (DPS) is committed to providing free meals to students. Visit the District's site for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Families & Students. Additionally, Food Bank of the Rockies is providing emergency food assistance for families. Visit www.foodbankoftherockies.com for detailed information about location specifics, dates and times.
5/7 Coffee & Conversation Notes
Many thanks to IBCS community members who attended and participated in Thursday's Coffee & Conversation. During the meeting, Leadership responded to questions related to DPS summer school and fall learning, Fifth Grade Continuation, and more; many attendees shared feedback, as well. Learn more about the meeting's conversation topics and action items by reviewing the meeting minutes.
May Council Meeting Notes
Many thanks to IBCS Community members who attended the May 21 Council Meeting. If you were unable to attend, please review the meeting slides and notes. A meeting replay is not available at this time. A special summer Council Meeting is planned for Thursday, June 25, 7 p.m., via Zoom. As a reminder, Council Meeting notes are archived at www.ibcscouncil.org > communications > meetings.
Mark Your Calendars...
Thursday, June 25, 7 p.m.: Council Meeting