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A School that Works for Black Boys

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Author Topic: A School that Works for Black Boys  (Read 34 times)
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« on: March 26, 2016, 08:59:38 am »

Daily Assemblies: Deepening Relationships Through Ritual and Recognition
Students at Urban Prep Charter Academies are celebrated, supported, and empowered through their daily community assembly.


Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men, Englewood Campus, an all-black, all-male, 9-12, Title I school in Chicago, Illinois, begins every day with Community, a 30-minute, schoolwide assembly. Community allows educators to check in with their students and transition them into a mindset ready for learning. These daily assemblies not only ground the students but also celebrate and empower them, as well as deepen their connections with teachers and fellow students.

"Community is the most sacred ritual that we have because it is the most personal," explains Dion Steele, Urban Prep, Englewood Campus' principal. "Community is our daily ritual. We're able to see one another's faces every day, and we're able to come together as a family."

Community Schedule

Each community assembly consists of key elements and a format that are consistent every day:

Drum Call: Community begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. It starts with a drum call signifying that it's time for students to line up in their small groups.

Chant: Students chant together, reiterating the importance of being present for Community, as well as being present and punctual throughout life: "To be on time is to be early, and to be early is to be on time. It's easy to be ordinary, but it takes courage to excel. Excel we must. To be on time."

Formal Greeting: The principal greets the students each morning, welcoming them to school.

Check In and Show Your Brother Some Love: Teachers and students take five minutes to check in with one another. This is an open time for teachers to check on how students are, whether they’ve eaten breakfast that morning, whether they need their clothes fixed, and how they are doing emotionally. After checking in with one another, they play music for five minutes, and everyone dances, hugs, and greets each other, “showing their brothers some love.”

Student Recognition or Presentations: At least three days a week, students are either recognized for their academic and behavioral successes, or they present to their school by sharing their talents. The idea is that these young men should be publically celebrated for growth and accomplishments.

Administration Announcements: The principal and vice principal share the day's agenda and any important announcements.

Recite the Urban Prep Creed: Community ends with a group recitation of the Urban Prep creed, a statement outlining their values, which helps transform the students' beliefs and self-perception.

Dismissal: The principal dismisses the groups one at a time, and they transition to class.

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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 10:39:42 am »

so, essentially Milo - voluntary segregation works in this situation?

the truth is Milo, segregation in the south after the end of the Reconstruction period was put in place by the Jim Crow state governments not because of hatred towards Blacks, but because it worked better for White and Black children - in theory.

unfortunately, when only Whites held the political power in those Jim Crow states, the legislatures of that period only adequately funded the White schools, and the Black schools were left to languish. it was separate and unequal. IMO, had the funding for the Black schools been adequate to meet the needs of the Black children during that period, the segregated schools would have worked for both Blacks and Whites. 

that said, other aspects of Jim Crow during that period were dysfunctional, such as the accomodations restrictions that were found in some Southern cities. . it was stupid to bar someone from a restaurant or theater because of their race.
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