C.A.R.E. ADVISORY & LEADERSHIP CORNERSTONE
Through the Forest Hills School District C.A.R.E. team (Competency, Advocacy, Relationships, and Empowerment/ Engagement), all teachers engage and enhance district practices through a continuum of diversity, belonging, inclusion and equity. This team is part of the Forest Hills School District cornerstone dedicated to enhancing relationships and wellness with students.
The C.A.R.E. team is guided by an advisory which includes a Forest Hills School District Board of Education member, parents, community volunteers, administrators, teachers and counselors. Each of the district’s nine schools is represented on the C.A.R.E. advisory.
Forest Hills School District is committed to its established initiatives that help ensure our schools are welcoming and safe for all. We are committed to meaningful change, equity, student and community voice, and ensuring an authentic sense of belonging for all.
C - Competence
Having an awareness of one’s own cultural identity and views about diversity while pro-actively working to understand other cultures of students, staff and their families.
A - Advocacy
Working to evaluate policies and practices to reform our schools as needed. Ensuring equity of voice, changing of attitudes and behaviors to impact outcomes for our community.
R - Relationships
Developing relationships with and among all students, staff, families, and the community.
E - Engagement/Empowerment
Intentional focus to ensure all students find relevant and meaningful connections to learning. Knowing that this cultural relevance gives us perspective, engages our attention, increases capacity for learning, and assists us in interpreting and inferring meaning, enabling the depth of understanding and interest needed.
The C.A.R.E Advisory began work in the fall of 2017 building the mission, vision, and purpose of the future C.A.R.E. Leadership Team. The advisory built its internal capacity through professional development, growing together in understanding culturally responsive practices and the needs of our students, staff, and community. During the 2018-19 school year, staff members from all nine school buildings were invited to collectively engage in purposeful professional development to build capacity with leaders which allowed them to transition this learning the following school year within their school. This work was led in conjunction with an outside educational expert from Hamilton County Educational Service Center.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, the intentional focus was on adults with the purpose of educating staff members on the complexities of the CARE Mission topics in order for them to be able to engage in meaningful conversations about diversity and inclusion with students. This work included, but was not limited to:
- Multiple professional development days for all staff that included workaround multi-cultural competence and related topics.
- Speak Up, Stand Up, Say Something training for all staff to equip them with strategies for responding when they witness or hear intolerant communications or actions.
- Intentional conversations with staff to dig deeper into current events locally, nationally, and globally. This focus was on supporting adults in engaging in conversations when the world hands us a curriculum.
- Staff members began work around understanding our own implicit bias, microaggression, and privilege.
- Staff and the leadership team were provided with a variety of articles, videos, and frameworks to support continued learning.
Guiding our work for the 2020-2021 school year is “All staff will enhance the sense of belonging by engaging and valuing individual cultural diversity for all students as we strive for inclusion and equity.” This will include, but not be limited to:
- Seeking opportunities to attract diverse faculty and staff.
- Reviewing data to ensure student opportunities are equitable (i.e. achievement, discipline, attendance) and taking meaningful steps to respond.
- Conducting open conversations with students to understand and respond to the student experience.
- The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County curated resources on this site to support parents, families and communities. This resource includes quick reads, videos, book titles, blogs and a section for parents. Please click here for this resource.
- Teaching Tolerance provides a wide range of resources geared specifically to teachers/educators. This resource has been shared with Forest Hills educators through our work with the C.A.R.E. team. While it is specific in its focus for schools, this resource may also be a valuable source of information for families. Please click here for more information.
- Scholastics is one of the largest publishers for children’s books connecting families and educators through literacy. This link provides a variety of new releases and best sellers for all ages and is a valuable resource for parents. Please click here for the website.
Contact the C.A.R.E team:
For general questions regarding the work of the C.A.R.E. team, please contact teaching and learning coordinator, Melissa Buckalew.
For more specific C.A.R.E. information related to an FHSD school, please contact the appropriate C.A.R.E. administrator.
Anderson High School: Emily Stanyard, Assistant Principal
Ayer Elementary: Heather Hoelle, Principal
Maddux Elementary: Heather Milligan, Assistant Principal
Mercer Elementary: Jodi Davidson, Principal
Nagel Middle School: Anita Eshelman, Principal
Sherwood Elementary: Dan Hamilton, Principal
Summit Elementary: Michele Sulfsted, Principal
Turpin High School: Camey Eberhard, Assistant Principal
Wilson Elementary: Brian Lyons, Assistant Principal