MYP Students Attend STAMP Virtual Conference
On Friday, April 9, fourteen of our MYP students were able to attend the STAMP virtual learning conference. This conference is for Middle Schoolers only, run and organized by High School leaders from across the area. STAMP is also part of a bigger network of diversity and inclusion, CIRCLE, which stands for "Connecting Inclusive, Responsive Communities Leading Education." ISDenver students were excited to join fellow ACIS schools as well as many DPS schools for this day of listening and learning. G4-G8 Counselor Annie Barocas provides a synopsis of the conference and our students experiences:
This conference began with an incredible keynote speaker, Lyla June Johnston, An Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Students were able to listen to her story and the story of the indigenous people who once lived so freely on this very land we go to school on. She also allowed our students to ask some impressive questions. One student asked in frustration, "Why was so much of this skipped over in school?", to which she responded, "Because they suppressed and erased so much of this information for centuries, a lot of teachers wouldn't know what to teach." The truth was mind opening and powerful for students to hear. She followed up by saying, "We as Americans don't want to know our own history because it's scary," which seemed like a challenge to these students in attendance. Our ISDenver students who attended did so because they were at a place where they were ready to face the truth and also hold others accountable to do the same.
Our students then broke out into different sessions facilitated by high school leaders. The adult leaders, like myself, were not allowed to be part of these sessions, allowing our students to have open and honest dialogue with others. After the conference I was able to hear from them about their experiences.
They learned about farming industries and the impact that serving meat and dairy have on the environment. One student pointed out that one day of not serving meat in the Dragon's Den could have huge positive impacts on our environment. Her mind was spinning with possible ideas. From another session, a student shared about his eyes being opened to the idea of imposter syndrome, or simply put, a feeling when you walk in a room and know that you don't belong. Another student’s session talked about relationships with others and when to realize relationships have gone toxic. In a session about stories that can be scary to talk about, one of our students stated, "It is sad that we have to have a BLM movement," as he heard horrifying and true stories of what African Americans have faced in this country for centuries. Other students learned more about cancel-culture, and how important allyship is, especially amongst younger generations seeking to create change from the previously accepted norms. Our other students had positive things to say about their leaders, sessions, and overall experience.
The chapter is not yet over. As part of being accepted to join this conference, our students will follow-up by planning advisory lessons for their fellow students in the coming month. They were grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow together, and based on their debrief, I know that they can make positive changes within our ISDenver community.
Fourteen of our MYP students were able to attend the STAMP virtual learning conference, run and organized by High School leaders from across the area. STAMP is also part of a bigger network of diversity and inclusion, CIRCLE (Connecting Inclusive, Responsive Communities Leading Education). G4-G8 Counselor Annie Barocas provides an enlightening synopsis of the conference and our students experiences.
Isabelle Valot, now age 17, who grew up in Denver before moving to France with her family, started school here at ISDenver in the French program when she was four years old. Her first teacher was current K3 French teacher Dominique Shortridge, who is still very close to the family.
ISDenver's virtual after-school Mentor Club is thriving and providing many benefits for all its members - including language immersion to students who are staying home from school and doing long-term Livestream Learning.