Belonging and Sociocultural Identities in Schools: BASIS
"School belongingness is a sense of being accepted, valued, and encouraged by others and or feeling included in the life and activity of the class or school."
(Goodenow, 1993 ctd. In Bouchard and Berg, 2017)
- Equity Leadership Teams
- Family Resources
- Learning Opportunities
- School Board Presentations
- Student Centered
- Welcoming Schools
- Ukraine Resources
The School District of Haverford Township has developed district-wide Equity Leadership Teams. The teams are responsible for developing ideas and strategies to submit to the SDHT administration and board of school directors around antiracism and equity. The Equity Leadership Teams place focus on examining student data and opportunity indicators (e.g., achievement, attendance, discipline) and valuing diversity, and practicing cultural awareness in all school settings.
Haverford High School:
The Haverford High School Equity Team has participated in discussions that include implicit bias, stereotypes, and equity for all students in school. Students participated in the Rise Above virtual conference at the University of Pennsylvania. Over 400 students in the region logged on for a day of learning about the importance of standing up for others, embracing their individuality, and using their voices to create a positive impact. On February 8th, the entire high school participated in a No Place for Hate Zoom assembly. Some of our Equity Team students will be a part of the CoSaTIDE Initiative (Council of Students Advocating for Transparency, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity). The coalition looks to empower high school students of the Main Line area to partake in discussions of equality, inclusion, racism, and bias within their schools. CoSaTIDE is an organization that comprises students from five high schools: Lower Merion, Conestoga, Radnor, Haverford, and Marple Newtown. Through discussions and cross-school meetings, our council aims to enhance strategies around transparency, advocacy, conflict resolution, and communication amongst schools.
Haverford Middle School:
The school community at Haverford Middle School has been active this school year in developing equitable and inclusive opportunities, relationships, understanding, engagement, connectedness, and support with and for each other. We continue to
grow and evolve – seeking appreciation and understanding our role to recognize and respect
Our School Equity Team meets regularly to focus on supporting our staff, students, and families, develop school-wide initiatives to highlight the value of all of our school community, and providing leadership to ensure that all of our staff and students are valued and respected.
Students at Haverford Middle School welcome opportunities to lead and have their voice heard and lifted up. Our students were actively involved in several student centered and directed leadership groups this school year. Students from all grades participated in our Social Justice Leadership Team, Student Council, Social Justice Club, and were instrumental in developing and piloting the Delaware County Middle School Student Forum which will begin meeting in the 2021-2022 school year. All of the student clubs provided opportunities for students to important to them and engaged in activities compassionate and empathetic.
Our amazing staff and students collaborated this school year to bring awareness and educational opportunities to the school community during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Black History Month, PRIDE Month, Women’s History Month, and Autism Awareness Month.
We are grateful that our school community embraces, recognizes, supports, and values individuals who make up our school community.
Chestnutwold’s Equity Team continues to promote a positive learning environment where all students, caregivers, and staff experience a sense of belonging and community. The team, and the school as a whole, have been working to promote learning opportunities and exposure to diverse sociocultural identities. These learning experiences and exposure are a proven approach to reducing stereotypes while increasing empathy, understanding, and belonging.
At Chestnutwold, over 25 staff members have participated in a culturally responsive teaching book club, centering discussion around supporting culturally and linguistically diverse students (Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain by Zaretta Hammond, 2015). Morning announcements have simultaneously commenced with our return to five days of in-person instruction. Students and staff have had the opportunity to share and shine by participating in our daily announcements. They are invited to record a short segment that showcases their talents and interests, shares a fun fact, or other positive demonstration for the school community. The school counselors at Chestnutwold publish a monthly newsletter that highlights a character trait of the month as well as a cultural learning opportunity for our families.
In addition to whole-school opportunities, individual classrooms are continuing to provide additional engagement for their students. One example is the district elementary developmental guidance program, which has been in place since 1989. The program continues to provide developmentally appropriate social-emotional learning and understanding related to interpersonal and intrapersonal differences.
Coopertown Elementary School:
Coopertown's Equity Team has worked on many initiatives this year. First and foremost, we practice Morning Meeting daily to strengthen the community in each classroom and cultivate an atmosphere of belongingness for all. In addition to bringing everyone together in the classrooms, a student council member greets the entire school every morning when say the Pledge of Allegiance together. They also relay certain messages such as during May, they read about different Asian American Pacific Islanders and their contributions to our country. Our monthly equity team meetings focused on researching and suggesting school resources that would help strengthen the presence of diversity in their learning tools. These meetings brought awareness to be more intentional in planning and deliberate about acknowledging all of the many cultures that our classrooms contain. During school-wide faculty meetings, we focused on differentiation to meet the needs of all students. This is an ongoing undertaking to ensure that our instruction is challenging and supportive depending on the child, strengthening our abilities to provide equity in every classroom.
Lynnewood teachers and staff continue to focus on the goal of every student having a sense of belonging at Lynnewood Elementary School. Teachers and staff are learning more about equity, inclusion, racism, and bias through book clubs, resources such as Learning for Justice, and dialogues about race. Time is dedicated during faculty meetings and small group meetings for staff members to reflect and discuss their personal experiences and the experiences of our students. The Lynnewood staff is committed to our serving our students and school community with a focus on equity and inclusivity.
Manoa’s Equity Team has been meeting monthly to discuss proactive ways to ensure that all Manoa scholars feel a sense of belonging and inclusivity. In February, scholars learned and discovered the talents of various African American Leaders. After taking a gallery walk, teachers asked scholars with whom they most identify and why. These important conversations open up a dialogue where all scholars can foster critical thinking and learn about those who positively impact our society.
March 21st: Family Festival Night at Coopertown and Chestnutwold Elementary Schools. Coopertown celebrated its first ever Family Festival. We celebrated Bulgaria, Venezuelan chocolate, raising chickens and butterflies, Dominican food and chess, Ukrainian and Polish egg decorating, Jewish Culture, one family's love of Lego's, and another family's dedication to running races and marathons. Many families walked through the exhibit and experienced these wonderful stories. Thank you to the families that shared and the families that came to learn. There will certainly be another celebration next year!
April is World Autism Month - Learn more here.
April 2: Haverford Middle School "Light it Up Blue" for World Autism Awareness Day"
April 8, 4:00pm-7:00pm: 13th Annual DVCEE Educators of Color Recruitment Fair
April 12: Haverford High School The Day of Silence is being held on April 12. Click on the link for more information on what the Day of Silence represents: https://www.glsen.
Thursday, May 23rd: "EL Family Game Night" at Chatham Park Elementary (time TBD).
HHS BASIS Presentation at the 04/25/19 School Board Meeting.
World Language Week at Haverford High School brings you a greeting from our students!
On The Spectrum: Kalin Bennett visit to Haverford Middle School
Resources for Families:
NNSTOY Social Justice Book List. A series of booklists drawn from recommendations by State and National Teachers of the Year
Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”), it marks the day when federal troops arrived in Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.
History.com - What is Juneteenth?
Teaching Tolerance - Teaching Juneteenth
The Root - This Is Why Juneteenth is Important for America
17 Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth with Kids
African American Museum in Philadelphia - Juneteenth 2020 Virtual Festival
National Archives - The Emancipation Proclamation
In response to current events:
- National Geographic: Talking to Kids About Race
- Parent Toolkit - How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism
- Affirming Black Boys outside the Context of Police Brutality
- 31 Children's books to support conversations on race, racism, and resistance
- Talking to Children About Tragedies & Other News Events
- Discussing Hate and Violence with Children
- Explaining the News to Our Kids
- How to Talk To Children and Teens About Traumatic News Events
- Supporting Marginalized Students in the Context of the 2020 Election: Tips for Parents
- How to Talk to Children About Difficult News
Resources for Teachers: In response to current events:
There are numerous online resources to help support classroom discussions about race: https://www.
Learn more about morning meeting here.
World Language Week showcased the many languages spoken at Haverford. Watch a video from our students here.
• Wellness Days related to Climate/culture, Student Advocacy, Minding Your Mind, H-PRIDE & Inclusivity • CHOP - Inclusivity work with students • No Place for Hate • Formation of Young Minds Club
• Mentoring Individual Students • Weekly administrative and Faculty agenda items/discussion points/literature related to addressing climate/culture • CHOP - Transgender training for staff • Principal attended Racial Literacy workshop with Dr. Howard Stevenson at Penn
• Fishbowl conversations for students • Rainbow Alliance Day of Silence • Students attended: • ADL Youth Leadership Conference • Women's Leadership Conference at Penn with Michelle Obama • Vanguard STEM Day • Rainbow Connections Conference to West Chester University • Field Trip by AACE to African American Smithsonian Museum • Minding Your Mind Assemblies • No Place for Hate • Student activities survey • Soul Food Night
• Administrators participated in ADL Holiday Training at Marple • Worked with Haverford Human Relations Commission to structure Appreciating Diversity Contest • Rainbow Alliance Day of Silence • Team Building Activities for Staff and Students with Sarah Davit and Steve Quinn • CHOP training - Supporting GET Students
Why Belonging & Why BASIS for Schools? Watershed CCS, LLC Jeanne Stanley, Ph.D.
CHOP (Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic) provided training around supporting Gender Expansive and Transgender students to all employees.
Dr. Crystal Lucky, Associate Dean of Baccalaureate Studies at Villanova, facilitates ongoing professional development for our secondary English, Social Studies, and many special education teachers in the area of addressing controversial or difficult texts and topics in a culturally proficient classroom.
Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence & Equity (DVCEE)
Founded in 2004, DVCEE currently serves 38 school districts in Greater Philadelphia along with three county intermediate units and the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
"School belongingness is a sense of being accepted, valued, and encouraged by others and or feeling included in the life and activity of the class or school." (Goodenow, 1993 ctd. In Bouchard and Berg, 2017)
School Board Presentations and Videos:
Why BASIS School Board Presentation 02/18/21 - Presentation Slides
Why BASIS School Board Presentation 02/18/21 - Video segment
BASIS @ SDHT School Board Presentation 07/16/20 - Presentation Slides
BASIS Presentation by High School Students, Overview 4/25/19 - Video segment
BASIS School Board Presentation 5/17/18 (Presentation Slides) - Belonging and Sociocultural Identities in Schools: BASIS An Update on our work in progress
BASIS School Board Presentation 5/17/18 Meeting - Video segment
Inclusivity: A reflective look at our environment 7/13/17 (Presentation slides) - School Board Presentation
Inclusivity School Board Presentation 7/13/17 - Video Segment
Haverford High School students attended the S.P.I.R.I.T. Summit 2019: Combating racial tension within high schools. The Coatesville Area Senior High School Campus hosted a Student Problem Identification and Resolving Issues Together (SPIRIT) summit. The summit addressed social justice issues, with a focus on racial tension, experienced by high school students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The summit hosted schools from Southern Lehigh School District, Cumberland Valley School District, and Carlisle Area School District amongst many others. The SPIRIT summit allowed participants to discuss problem-solving strategies and progress they have made toward eliminating racism in schools. See the flyer here.
Haverford High School offers over 90 different clubs and activities for students.
African Americans Cultural Enrichment, Asian Cultural Exchange Club, Best Buddies, Chinese Club, French Travel Club, Gay/Straight Alliance, Girls Can, Italian Club, Model UN, No Place for Hate, Prayer Group, Spanish Club, World Affairs Club and more.
Haverford Middle School offers over 45 different clubs and activities for students.
Best Buddies, Community Service Club, French Club, Girls R.U.L.E (RESPONDING with UNDERSTANDING, LEADERSHIP, and EMPATHY), Young Minds Change Lives (YMCL) Club and more.