Menu

Marvista Elementary School
19800 Marine View Drive SW Normandy Park, WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 8:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Marvista Elementary School
19800 Marine View Drive SW Normandy Park, WA 98166

Translate

Anti-Racism at Marvista 2020

The past several months of racial unrest have been incredibly hard for our nation in many ways. It is important to make clear where your Marvista Staff stands on these matters. 

Your Marvista staff continues to be outraged by racial injustice in our nation and the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the many others before them. We are committed to doing all we can to develop as a staff to become anti-racist educators in order to be a part of impacting real and substantive changes in our nation. 

One key strategy we are utilizing to impact change is to provide education on issues of Race, Identity and Racism to our students K-5. We strongly believe that properly educating our youth on these matters is our best chance at real change.  They are our future. To guide our work, we are implementing the board adopted Social Justice Standards developed by Teaching Tolerance.  

There is a substantial body of research that proves that children notice differences in race and other aspects of identity and begin to develop biases very early on. We believe that all kids are ready and have the capacity to learn about these subjects in developmentally appropriate ways and to begin to consider ways they can take actions to impact change.  Conversations around race, injustice, and acceptance are hard, but can happen. 

For the past three years, a team of Marvista teachers who volunteered to serve on the committee, have been meeting to research developmentally appropriate ways to teach this content to our students. This team, our Instruction on Race and Identity (IRI) Team, includes members from each grade level, our school counselor and our administrators. This team and the staff care deeply about ensuring we teach content that is appropriate and that we do it with care to not further marginalize or traumatize our students of color and to help our students who identify as white to see themselves as powerful allies able to impact change. As the evolving curriculum has been shared regularly with staff there continues to be a building wide commitment to providing this instruction for all students.  

It is important for us to also name, while we have done several years of study as a staff on issues of White Privilege, Racism, Systems of Oppression impacting our students and families of color, etc. We are a nearly all white staff and most of us will never know what it feels like to be a person of color in America today. We will never claim to “get it” but we will stand in solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students, families, and staff and we will do everything we can to be allies and abolitionists alongside of you including continuing to educate ourselves on how to be better Anti-Racists.  We believe Black Lives Matter. 

Below we share more information about our Race and Identity Instruction and share resources for those who are interested in personal development in these areas or for those who are interested in learning more about how to talk with their children about these complex topics. 

In Solidarity, 
Your Marvista Staff 

Race and Identity Instruction in Highline Public Schools 

From very early ages, children notice differences in race and other aspects of identity.  As they get older, they experience and notice the role of race and identity in society. Naturally, questions and discussions about race and identity come up in the classroom.  

To support teachers in addressing these questions, Highline Public Schools is working with educators and families to define instruction on race and identity in our schools.  In January and February 2018, over 200 family members, staff and students gave input at community meetings, and a few schools piloted race and identity instruction in the 2018-19 school year.  

Last year we worked to develop a systemwide approach to instruction on race and identity, starting with our pilot schools: Hazel Valley, Marvista, McMicken Heights, and Mount View elementary schools.  At these schools, staff work together to support their own learning first and then work with students, guided by content in the Social Justice Standards from Teaching Tolerance.  

Last year the Highline School Board adopted an Equity Policy which requires Instruction on race and identity in all schools in Highline. From grades K through12, students learn key ideas from a variety of perspectives to understand the why and how race and identity play a role in shaping our society.  At the same time, students learn about how they can actively respond to and shape the evolving role of race and identity.  This instruction is anti-racist in nature and engages family and community in its development and implementation. 

 This school year, a Director of Race and Identity Instruction was hired who is leading the implementation of this work across the district. The Director, Shajira Lopez will host three race and identity stakeholder input sessions.  Participants will learn about the work to date and contribute community voice to the work moving forward.  Please watch for communication from the district about participating in these events. 

To provide feedback on the race and identity curriculum, please sign up to join the community advisory council.  

To provide feedback on the race and identity curriculum, please sign up to join the community advisory council.  

Resources