FCPS Equity Program Video Transcript

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We're working to bring diverse students and staff together. Stay tuned to find out more!

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Narrator: Frederick County Public Schools is in the second year of implementing an equity program with a goal of growing cultural and social empathy within the school division and ensuring all students have access to rigorous learning experiences.

Dr. Julie Myers: Frederick County Public Schools Equity Program is based on the concept of culturally responsive teaching practices. Culturally responsive teaching practice is about looking at the whole child. How do we provide instruction? How do we provide opportunities in the learning environment that meets their unique needs?

Arianna Mavrellis: I think the division's equity program is going to make a difference because we are striving to be able to reach each of our students no matter what their demographic, or what their background, or their academic achievements, we are creating a division wide space for success and understanding.

Narrator: Professional Learning is a key part of the program for both students and staff. This year a group of about 110 middle and high school students are involved with the Youth Equity Stewardship, or YES program.

Ashley McGuire: I think this program will benefit students for the future because we get to talk and discuss about current world situations which to me helps bring out our own opinions and ideas and learn more about ourselves and each other.

Irlanda Garcia-Hernandez: The program is about making a community of diverse people and trying to change things that might be difficult for certain groups, and just trying to make the community better, and maybe change the world, too.

Arianna Mavrellis: Everyone's perspective matters because we all have ideas and this division's program is fostering innovative space in order for everyone to be heard, and see how do we put it together in a
way that makes sense for growth.

Narrator: One aspect of the program is improving communication and understanding between teachers and students.

Arianna Mavrellis: When I am able to really connect with each of my students, I see what, you know, every teacher wants, is that "Aha" moment, not just in their academics, but just
within our interactions that I can see that they really feel that they belong.

Irlanda Garcia-Hernandez: I think it feels good to have my voice listened to because a lot of adults aren't willing to listen to our youth, especially nowadays, and, we have a lot to say, and when people listen to us, it just, it feels like we're on equal standing. And when your being seen as equals, it's like it all comes together and things can get done.

Narrator: Although the equity program is in its infancy, those involved are learning the importance of social and cultural empathy and how diversity can be a strength.

Ashley McGuire: As a result of the Equity Program I hope to see that with this generation and other generations to come that we all can be more mindful and that we can have more understanding and consideration for each other.

Irlanda Garcia-Hernandez: Through the YES program I've learned to accept other people's views and together we can come to a mutual understanding of one another and kind of live with that balance of, "I see something this way" and you may see it another way and that's just how it is, and that's...that's alright and we can come
together and understand that.

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