Workshop About Gender Expression and Identity – Saturday, June 3


Parent / Guardian Workshop About Gender Expression and Identity

Saturday, June 3 9:45 am – 12:00 am

Dear Parents and Guardians

Please join us as we welcome the Gender & Family Project to learn how to foster an inclusive, safe environment for gender expansive youth in our school community. Experts from the Ackerman Institute for the Family will engage parents on best practices to ensure safety and respect for all students. Children will explore and celebrate the diversity of identity with a guided art project.

Come together to support our young people and to help send the message that all are welcome in our schools.

We will explore the role of gender in our children’s journey of self-discovery, the impact of gender stereotypes on kids’ emotional and social development, how our own habits of language may influence our children’s experience of gender identity, and much, much more.

As we strive to raise children who take care of themselves and the people around them, who understand viscerally the value of inclusivity, and who have the tools to think critically about their highly mediated world, we are very eager to consider this issue with all of you.

Please RSVP here, especially if you will bring children (currently enrolled students only please):

Warm Regards,
EVCS Diversity Committee

ICT CLASSROOM – Parents Workshop

ICT Classrooms – Do they benefit ALL Learners?

EVCS and Inclusive Education

One of the Core Values at EVCS is Inclusion. That means that all families, all children and all types of learners are included. This core value is seen in many facets in our school, one of which is through our inclusive classrooms (ICT). All of our students are part of this inclusive learning experience during their journey at EVCS. Join the discussion.

Facilitated by:

Stefanie Henze, Special Education Liaison & Learning Specialist
Anne Palmer, Senior Staff Developer with the Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project

To have more voices be part of this conversation, we are offering the same workshop twice:

Morning Workshop:
Monday, March 6th
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Room 413 (Art Room)

Evening Workshop:
Tuesday, March 14th
5:45 PM – 7:30 PM
Auditorium – Childcare Available*

RSVP for either workshop at
RSVP for childcare will close Monday, March 13th at 5PM

ict workshop

Sponsored by the EVCS Diversity Committee

End of year update

Dear EVCS families,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Festival of Lights on Wednesday! The kids looked and sounded fantastic – big thanks to our music teacher Stephanie for putting the entire program together. Another big thanks goes out to the Family Band. Was that not the swingingest version of Greensleeves you’ve ever heard?

I wanted to touch base before we unplug for the holidays to update you on a couple of things, including our diversity in admissions initiative. Last month there was an article in the Times that led some to believe the initiative was on hold. I’m not sure if that piece qualifies as “fake news”, but it was misleading. I’m here to tell you that the initiative is most definitely not on hold. In the admissions cycle for the 2017-2018 school year, students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch, or who are English Language Learners, will be given priority for 50% of our Pre-K and Kindergarten seats. Students who have older siblings at EVCS and those who were here for Pre-K will still be given top priority for seats. I’m confident that this initiative will represent a positive and important step for our school, and I’m proud that we are a part of it. Continue reading

Save the Date! Diversity Committee Meeting 11/10/16

Hello everyone! Save the date for our first diversity committee meeting of the year. We will send out a flyer with the location once that is firmed up.

Diversity Committee Meeting
Thursday, 11/10/16 at 5:30 pm.

For childcare/pizza RSVP here:
Please RSVP for childcare by Wednesday 11/9 at 5pm.
Update on DOE Diversity Initiative
Plan for reaching diversity goal 
Afterschool’s impact on diversity 
Planning for workshop on Special Education
We look forward to seeing you there!
Martha and Crystal

Diversity in Admissions

Dear EVCS Family,

I am pleased to announce that our school has been accepted into the Chancellor’s Diversity in Admissions pilot program. In next year’s admissions cycle, priority will be given to students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch or students who are learning English for 50% of our Pre-K and Kindergarten seats. Students who attend EVCS for Pre-K will still be given priority for K seats, and sibling status will continue to be honored as a top admissions priority.

If you came to School-Wide Morning Meeting a couple of weeks ago you heard me talk about one of our core values: kindness. Another principle that is essential in our school culture and central to all we do, is inclusion. Our mission statement reads: “It is our priority to provide an environment where all children and all families are valued, welcomed, cared for and supported.” Yet over the last several years our school has become significantly less diverse. There is a growing trend in District 1, which has used a system of “pure choice” in the admissions protocol, of clustering according to race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Our demographics at EVCS have become increasingly dissimilar to other District 1 schools and the neighborhood we serve, and many in our community have become uncomfortable with this. I am hopeful that the Diversity in Admissions pilot program will represent a significant step in the right direction to correct this trend. We’ll be joined in this pilot by our District 1 friends the Children’s Workshop School, the Earth School and the Neighborhood School. You can read a bit more about the pilot program in today’sNYTimes and Chalkbeat.

I’m looking forward to working shoulder to shoulder with our amazing school community to usher in this exciting and important initiative.

As ever,


EVCS Diversity Survey

Dear EVCS families,

Two reminders: If you haven’t already, please take our SLT survey on diversity. It’ll only take a few minutes and will really help us assess our work and plan forward. We are asking for just one survey per household, so if someone from your household has already taken the survey you’re off the hook.

Also, if you’re available/interested please join me tomorrow morning to chat about joining the Chancellor’s diversity in admissions pilot program. Please note we are changing the venue and will meet in the art room, 413. Coffee will be served!



EVCS SLT Diversity Updates

Dear EVCS Families,

Hold on to your hats – June is a whirlwind. Sometimes people refer to the school year “winding down” but the truth is it feels like we wind up all spring, especially in June, and hurtle towards the last day with a head of steam. Suffice it to say, it’s a busy time! But it’s very important that we take the time at the end of the year to reflect on our work and experiences.

One of the most resonant themes explored this year, not only within our own school community but throughout District 1 and the city as a whole, has been diversity. EVCS is a truly diverse community in many senses, but our demographics are quite dissimilar to the District averages. Unfortunately there is a trend in our district, which uses a system of “pure choice” in the admissions protocol, of clustering according to race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. For some powerful infographics that help illustrate this clustering take a look here. Continue reading

Diversity Committee Minutes – 5/31/2016

Hello everyone,

Happy first day of June!

Last night, we held our last DC meeting of the year, where our incoming co-chairs, Crystal Perry and Martha Hornthal, introduced themselves.
Bradley updated us on several items, including:
A new diversity-related survey, which will be finalized and sent out to the EVCS community next week.
A new pilot admissions program for District 1. A few people volunteered to form a subcommittee to plan how best to engage our community in this pilot and to gather educational resources and material.
DreamYard, which has held 2 (out of 6) sessions with the 3rd and 4th grades thus far with very favorable feedback (at least from my own son Ismael, who has been loving it!).
Camille gave an update on afterschool, wth a reminder to take the survey currently up, and a preview of what to expect in the fall.
Finally, after discussion with current and incoming co-chairs, I think I will probably be shutting this listserv down at the end of June. Most of our announcements and info can be disseminated through the website, the PA listserv or other EVCS communications–which would also ensure that we’re reaching the entire EVCS community anyway.
Anyway, thanks to all of you for an amazing two years!
All the best,

“Controlled Choice” admissions policy, EVCS Recap, CEC Meeting Tomorrow

Dear EVCS families,

Following two town hall meetings, a school wide survey and much discussion, EVCS leadership, which includes the SLT and the PA Executive Board, have decided to move forward with a statement that we feel best expresses our position as a community on the proposed resolution to support a “Controlled Choice” admissions policy in NYC School District 1. The resolution was developed by the CEC, or Community Education Council, to present to Chancellor Carmen Farina at the Town Hall meeting this coming Tuesday, Feb. 23. (For more information on attending the meeting, which offers childcare, visit the CEC website at

A total of 134 people took our survey, and while more families than not supported signing the resolution, and particularly supported the goals of “Controlled Choice” toward providing a high-quality integrated education for District 1 students, many parents expressed questions and doubts about the resolution and how it best supported a workable roll-out of the proposed policy. These were considered substantial enough that EVCS leadership decided to not sign the resolution in its current form, but instead developed the alternate statement below:  Continue reading

Diversity Committee Guest Speaker: Children Are Not Colorblind

Guest Speaker Ama Codjoe – Topic: Children Are Not Colorblind

Ama explained that parents often state “My children are colorblind.” She asked the group what they thought the danger of this statement is, then explained that children miss out on struggles of others, empathy and activism. Part of our jobs as humans is social change. Parents in the group pointed out that the danger is also that children don’t appreciate the differences or nuances and may miss out on culture. And or they may choose to go to what is familiar – kids go to what they know. Ama explained that by age 9, racial attitudes are formed.  We need to be proactive about cultivation. She also stated that defining yourself is up to the individual, but how someone sees you is different. There is a system that is beyond self.  It is important to name it so kids don’t feel blame and guilt.

Ama then asked the group to think about when the last time they had had a discussion about race was.

The group then participated in role playing scenarios and discussed the interactions and communication that resulted. Ama recommended further resources on the topic:

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond: (I think this is what she recommended, but am confirming)

Border Crossers – trains and equips educators to be leaders of racial justice

Here is Ama Codjoe’s handout, with further reading and resources, from her workshop after the general PA meeting on Oct. 22.

Role Play East Village Community School / Facilitator: Ama Codjoe (

Recommendations: adapted from Border Crossers


Affirm the child
Continue the conversation
Apply a racial equity lens


Educate yourself (see reading list below!)
Dialogue with other parents about race, the impact of systemic racism, and parenting
Analyze school structures through a racial equity lens (how is your school a partner in “undoing racism”?)
Partner with others, build alliances
Be proactive

Further reading:

  • Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools, Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton
  • Everyday Antiracism, edited by Mica Pollock
  • Other People’s Children, Lisa Delpit
  • Multiplication Is for White People, Lisa Delpit
  • Anti-Bias Education for Young People and Ourselves, Louise Derman-Sparks & Julie Olsen Edwards
  • Can We Talk About Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation, Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • Another Kind of Public Education: Race, Schools, the Media, and Democratic Possibilities, Patricia Hill Collins
  • When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold Story of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America, Ira Katznelson
  • Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother with Black Sons, Jane Lazarre
  • Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality, Joel Spring
  • Educating Teachers for Diversity: Seeing With a Cultural Eye, Jacqueline Jordan Irvine


Scenario 1

Your white son Christopher is having a play date with a child from his school. You overhear Christopher say to Luis, a Puerto Rican boy, that he will play the good guy and Luis has to play the bad guy. When Luis asks why, Christopher says, “Because you’re black.”


Scenario 2

You attend an open house for your child’s school and on display are self-portraits. As you observe the portraits, you realize that your child, an African-American girl, has drawn herself as a blonde girl with blue eyes.


Role-play solutions.

What do you do (short-term and long-term)?


Get feedback.

Feedback Questions (from Border Crossers):
What worked? How do you know?
Was race directly addressed? If so, how?
What suggestions do you have for improvement?