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Shaker Schools Photo by Jason Miller Sign up for Summer Exploration, Learning and Fun (SELF) Last summer, more than 800 Shaker students took part in the District’s Summer Exploration, Learning and Fun (SELF) program. This summer, SELF returns with even more offerings for students in grades 1-12. In addition to world languages, ceramics, hands-on science, and creative writing, students can take part in creating adaptive toys, jewelry making, sustainable agriculture, and ACT/SAT prep courses. Courses will be led primarily by Shaker teachers and will be located at Mercer Elementary School, Shaker Middle School, and the High School. Community partners include the Shaker Historical Society, Shaker Heights Public Library, and Shaker Heights Recreation Department. Programs are fee-based, with scholarships available based on financial need. Bus transportation is provided. SELF is structured into two sessions, each with a variety of offerings: SESSION 1 runs June 12-28, Monday through Thursday; registration deadline is May 31. SESSION 2 runs July 10-21, Monday through Thursday; registration deadline is June 27. For more information or to register online, visit shaker.org/SELF.aspx. Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., has appointed The Rev. Colin Jones and Lisa Vahey as co-chairs of a newly created Equity Task Force. In accordance with the District’s Five-Year Strategic Plan, the task force will study issues related to equity in education for all Shaker students, and will recommend ways to remove barriers that may exist due to such things as race, socioeconomic status, or special needs. “The Shaker schools have always been pioneers of equity in education, so this work is not new,” says Hutchings. “Rather, we are building upon and refining what has come before. The only way this work can be done is through engaging the entire community.” Jones is pastor of the Shaker Heights Community Church in the Sussex neighborhood and serves as a hospice chaplain for the City of Cleveland. “Creating opportunities and advocating for youth and adults to improve their overall quality of life is what motivates me to do the work of equity,” 22 SHAKERONLINE.COM | SPRING 2017 says Jones. “One person can’t do everything, but each of us can do something.” Vahey is a Shaker parent who has been involved in equity work as a classroom teacher, District leader, and volunteer. She has also worked as a consultant to other school districts that are members of the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN). Says Vahey, “Talking about and committing to work on racial equity, among other equity issues, requires trust, active listening, and finding the right ways to use your voice. I look forward to working with our community members, teachers, principals, and students on this journey.” The task force is comprised of approximately 18 members, one-third of whom are appointed by the superintendent. The remaining members are chosen from among Shaker Schools staff members and from the community by application, with a two-year minimum commitment required. District Forms Equity Task Force


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