San Jose, USA
While on the EPOCH Diversity Committee, we worked to understand the biggest challenges for our school district. The students on the committee said that our schools were divided more by ability or perceived ability than culture, class, or gender. They talked about the impact this has on self esteem, connection to other students, and goals. 8 years ago, our school district experienced multiple deaths of students, including two suicides. After this, we worked to develop our SEL practices and have counselors on site. But, there is still a fundamental problem in the design of our classes. What does it do to a 9th grade students self esteem when English classes are divided into Honors and Regular and they must decide their track before even coming to school? How can I help shift the system and culture for students, parents, and teachers?