ALERTS:
Search:
Skip Navigation LinksCherry Creek School District > District News > ECS employees “unpack equity” at fall conference
Print this page

ECS employees “unpack equity” at fall conference

499 ECS Conference 3.jpg
“You think you know a little about a subject, but another person's perspective really helps to provoke those deeper thoughts and emotions. Empathy is truly a gift to be shared with our kids.”

A greater sense of empathy was just one of the things Shannon Rhodes, a kindergarten enrichment leader at Timberline Elementary, took away from a daylong professional development conference.

Rhodes was one of more than 200 employees from the CCSD Extended Child Services (ECS) Department who attended the annual ECS fall conference, held Sept. 8 at Laredo Middle School. The theme for this year’s conference was “Unpacking Equity.”

ECS Fall Conference“It is important to ‘unpack’ all of the issues of equity, including race, sexual orientation and behavioral changes for children in the program, as well as adults,” said Sarah Conley, director of Extended Child Services for Cherry Creek Schools. “With breakout sessions about having courageous conversations about race and implicit bias, it gave ECS employees the opportunity to better understand and support the students in our diverse programs.”

Those programs include Kindergarten Enrichment and Before and After School Programs at every elementary school in the district, which serve some 8,000 students.

The conference was guided by the district’s Beyond Diversity training in partnership with the Office of Inclusive Excellence. By design, some of the sessions were challenging and thought-provoking.

ECS Fall Conference“I really didn't know what to expect coming into the conference,” explained Carly Zody, a kindergarten enrichment specialist at High Plains Elementary. “I quickly discovered that we were having uncomfortable conversations about race, sexual orientation and gender.  We talked about each person's own truth and life experience.  Some conversations were difficult to listen to and participate in.”

Zody said the conference affected her deeply.

“Bottom line is that I came out of the experience excited, a little scared and reflective about how I will move forward in my equity journey.  I am so proud to be a part of a school district that is willing to dive into equity this way.  I also feel like I see things with a little more empathy and respect toward students and their personal truth,” Zody said.

ECS Fall ConferenceThat tied in with some of the conference goals, which included giving employees a better understanding of equity and equipping them with new and better ways to support students’ behaviors. By all accounts, those goals were achieved.

“It really was a pleasure to go back on Monday looking at my kids with a much broader perspective, not to mention more tools for solving conflicts when they arise,” Shannon Rhodes added.

“This was one of the most inspiring conferences I’ve ever attended,” said Danny Brown, Before and After School program director at Black Forest Hills Elementary. “I know that my staff and I left with a wealth of knowledge and our kids will benefit from what we’ve learned. All kids need to know they are loved and treated fairly in life.”

Posted 9/18/2018 3:21 PM
Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

You are now leaving the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) portal. Please note that CCSD does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, completeness, or appropriateness of any content contained on web sites and/or pages outside of the official CCSD portal. The information or opinions contained on these web sites and/or pages do not necessarily represent the views of the CCSD.

With access to the internet comes the availability of material that may not be of educational value or appropriate for students. While at school, CCSD has taken precautions to restrict access to inappropriate or harmful web sites. However, on the internet it is impossible to control all materials and limit all access to information that has no educational value. CCSD firmly believes that the valuable information and the interaction available on the internet far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of CCSD.