The Design Challenge
For the last four years Aptos has grappled with a persistent inequity in the disproportionate rates of disciplinary actions taken against Black students and their academic underperformance. While the experience of Black students is not monolithic, there are themes and patterns that have emerged, specifically with Black students who do not feel welcome in the school community. Knowing the unique challenges and experiences Black students face, the design team wanted to take a more targeted approach using the principles of design.
Aptos Middle School will be using their 2017-18 Innovation Award to create a B.L.A.C. (Black Leadership in Action for the Community) elective course, develop autobiographical videos that capture and share African-American student stories, and engage in culturally responsive professional development for staff.