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Director's Dispatch: Listening & Learning Sessions

This year, we have been engaging our students in various discussions and activities based on the issues raised by the Black @ ISD and No More Silence @ ISD Instagram pages.

Diversity and Inclusion

As part of our diversity and inclusion efforts, members of staff have held listening sessions for students in Grades 11 and 12. Covid health and safety guidelines put a pause on these sessions, but we will restart them this week.

According to Dr. Nneka Johnson, ISD Director of Innovation and Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, “Listening sessions are an important part of our D&I work this year. These sessions are a formal way for students to share their feelings, concerns or experiences as an ISD student. Our goal is to learn and use the information gleaned to create systems that ensure that everyone feels heard, valued, and respected. A counselor will be in attendance during every session to establish a safe environment which will allow students to share”.

All students in Grades 6 to 10 will be invited to participate in listening sessions. Participation is voluntary. The session will take place on the stage of our new theater, physically distanced.

April 20 - 10th grade

April 23 - 6th grade

April 27 - 9th grade

April 30 - 8th grade

May 21 - 7th grade

Once the listening sessions are concluded, the Board’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee will review the data from the sessions with students, staff, and parents, as well as survey data from the community survey taken earlier this year. We will host parent listening sessions in mid to late May so please look for more information on these soon.

No More Silence

One of the key requests from the students in regards to No More Silence is education. The students wanted more information about informed consent, bystander intervention, and toxic masculinity. The purpose of the sessions is to educate all the students and to foster conversation between the students. The school’s counselors have developed the sessions, which are adjusted for the age and maturity of the students.

Students in Grades 9, 10, and 11 have already participated in these sessions. The dates for the remaining grades are listed below.

April 21 - Grade 8 No More Silence Retreat

April 28 - Grade 7 No More Silence Retreat

May 5 - Grade 6 No More Silence Retreat

End of May – Grade 12 No More Silence Retreat

These types of sessions will be formally added to the school’s advisory program for future years.

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