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Fall School Spotlight: Building Cultural Competence


As an expert within the Catalyst:Ed network, Innovageous has opportunities to partner with schools all over the country through Catalyst:Ed’s R3 initiative to support schools with COVID-response related projects. Through funding from the Barr Foundation, Innovageous has partnered with Baystate Academy Charter Public School to support the school collective cultural competency and use of culturally responsive instructional practices.


During phase one of our partnership this Fall, Innovageous conducted a focused needs assessment, facilitated large group workshops and small group safe spaces sessions around trauma informed practices, cultural awareness, culturally responsive teaching, and social-emotional learning. Through this combination of large group workshops and small group safe spaces, Innovageous founders were able to form connections with the Baystate staff – we were even coined “Baystate Crewbies” as a true sign of endearment. As a result of our work, Baystate teachers have engaged in their own cultural identity work and explored practices connected to Zaretta Hammond’s Ready for Rigor framework. At the end of phase one, we left the Baystate team with an interactive toolkit filled with resources, tools, articles, podcasts and more that they can use for their continued development.


Phase two of the project is planned in the upcoming months and is focused on the development of the classroom based practices. Through offering differentiated small group workshops on CRT and SEL practices , and collaborating directly with academic and school culture leaders to ensure strong sustainability. We will also be supporting the growth of academic and school culture leaders directly through in-class observations, debrief, and leadership coaching.


Through this ongoing partnership, Innovageous is able to provide long lasting solutions and build the capacity of Baystate staff to build culturally responsive classrooms!