Three members of the TPS faculty and staff will be presenting at the Progressive Education Network (PEN) conference in Boston this October. The conference's theme this year is "amplify students’ voice, agency, conscience, and intellect to create a more equitable, just, and sustainable world." Attendees will include teachers from around the nation.
Diversity Director Brian Johnson will lead a workshop on the Equitable Classroom Program he has piloted in several classrooms this year. The initiative uses survey data from participating students, as well as from their teachers/advisors and their parents, to help us understand how they are experiencing school and what strategies might best help them overcome identified academic or social-emotional barriers. The overall goal is to develop a responsive system of support for student achievement and a greater sense of social-emotional belonging. As capacity for self-advocacy is nurtured and personal goals have been met, the children transition out of the program.
Seventh grade teacher Jake Hunter and Communication Director Lois West will lead a PEN workshop on student issue-based activism. They will highlight their middle school Intensive course "Let's Go Lobbying," where students learned how to advocate for their stances on such issues as reproductive rights, transgender bathroom access in schools, sanctuary cities, pay equity, stronger background checks for gun purchases, and public school funding. And they put their learning into action, speaking to legislative staff in Senator Casey's and Toomey's offices in Philadelphia and to Pennsylvania state representatives in Harrisburg.