At the outset of the 2020 school year, Noble set a bold and ambitious goal of becoming a more antiracist organization. Since then, Noble announced our antiracism commitment (ARC), we engaged thousands of families in surveys and feedback to guide a reexamination of policies and practice. Since February, grounded in that feedback from parents, students, and alumni, ARC design teams have been meeting to guide the way forward on Noble policy and practice as it relates to our student code of conduct, uniform, promotion and graduation requirements, curriculum design and more. Those design teams then shared draft proposals with groups of Noble stakeholders for intensive feedback – hundreds of Noble family members, staff, students, and alumni engaged in these refine team spaces. This post is part of a series of updates on that work in progress.
Senior Manager of Instructional Development +
DEI Steering Committee Member
Lyndsay Cowles is the Senior Manager of Instructional Development at Noble, in her day job she supports Noble’s teachers and instructional coaches in implementing the Noble Classroom framework. In the past few months, Lyndsay also served on the design teams for the Instructional Core (looking at curriculum and instruction at Noble) and the Noble Code design team which focused on the student code of conduct, Behavioral Model, Training Plans). Lyndsay is also a member of the DEI Steering committee and in that capacity provided feedback to refine proposals from the other design teams.
We sat down to discuss this ARC design and refine work with Lyndsay:
Q. Can you describe the ARC work you’ve been engaging in this year?
A. I am currently a member of the DEI Steering Committee, which wrote the Anti-racism Commitment and is developing long-term objectives. I am also a member of the Instructional Core Design Team, which is responsible for reimagining our instructional practices and academic programming, and the Noble Code Design Team, which is reimagining our behavioral response system. In addition, as part of the Academics Team of NST, we have revised our mission statement to put the work of anti-racism front and center. We have revised many of our systems and structures to ensure that we are bringing the ARC to life.
Q. How did you decide this was the right type of work for you?
A. As CJ has said, this is the work. I never really questioned whether or not this was the right work. Our commitment to anti-racism is a moral imperative, but it is also the way to ensure our students can learn and live out their potential. That’s our responsibility as educators.
Q. Can you share any piece of the work that you are particularly proud of?
A. What I’m actually the most proud of is standing within the Noble community and alongside the brilliant individuals leading and supporting this work. This process will create a more transformational network of schools for our students and families. It is also making each of us, as individuals, better. I am better for participating in this process. So, more than proud, I am grateful.
Q. Have you been able to see the impact of this work yet?
A. Yes! Once the ARC was published, I saw instructional leaders questioning their coaching and development practices and rewriting their instructional visions. I saw teachers rewriting their curricula and reimagining their instructional practices. We have been grappling with what it means to shed our deficit-based approach to students and teachers. When we really get into the implementation, we will see courses and classrooms that belong to students more than teachers. We will see students who are learning so deeply that they are creating new knowledge. Our students will transform us, our spaces, and the spaces that they choose to enter as adults.
Q. Why do you think this ARC work is so important?
A. We owe it to our students, families, and educators. Quite simply, it is our job.
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