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Nyack Schools Report

Culturally Responsive Education in Nyack’s Classrooms

At its monthly meeting on Dec. 13, the Nyack Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Susan Yom as the district’s new Superintendent of Schools, as we reported previously. Ms. Yom will start in the new role on March 1, 2023.

The Board also heard on Dec. 13 a report on a new professional development program focused on strengthening culturally responsive education at Nyack Middle School — and district-wide.

The X-CEL program was introduced this year as a pilot at Nyack Middle School, one of six schools nationwide to participate in the program. The model, which was developed by Dr. Jamilia Blake of Texas A&M University, consists of online professional development units which all teachers at the middle school are required to complete and includes implementation activities, homework, feedback and evaluation. Tools are provided to assist in building authentic relationships with kids and helps teachers to create a climate where all students feel included.

The program was initiated in response to teacher feedback that while discussions about equity in theory are helpful, they needed more concrete tools to help them apply the principles to their teaching, their classroom management, and discipline.

Dr. Alexandria Connally, the district’s Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Innovation, and Mr. David Johnson, the Middle School Principal, both told the board that the program has been very well received by the school’s teachers.

Dr. Blake said the program is designed to help teachers address and prevent disciplinary issues and create better academic outcomes for all students.

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“These practices are just good teaching that many teachers are already doing and will positively impact all students,” she said.

Download the district’s slide presentation here.

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