Interested in Engaging in Equity Work at WPS?

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    "Working across our differences is the heart of every educator. I am so proud of the different ways Winchester Public Schools provides for our community to engage in meaningful dialogue to bridge our differences and work towards equitable outcomes for all students."

    - Jason Van Heukelum, Superintendent

  • Engage as a student

    The following clubs at John Handley High School are directly involved in bridging differences.

    HEROs  Helping Educate Regarding Orientation & Identity Across the Spectrum

      Sponsor: Jacob Sheaffer
      Location: Room 2406

    HERO´S focuses on spreading awareness and tolerance towards the LGBTQ+ community within the school as well as the Winchester community. All are welcome.

    Latinos Unidos  Latinos Unidos

      Sponsor: Ileana Middelhof and Stephanie Tracy
      Email: and
      Location: 2408

    Latinos Unidos is a club open to Hispanic students and all others interested in celebrating the many Hispanic cultures at JHHS. Monthly meetings after school.  Events in school and in the community ---Celebración de Winchester 2018!, Hispanic Heritage Month, Salsa dancing, Cultural Showcase, and Service Learning.

    Scholars' Latino Initiative  Scholars' Latino Initiative

      Sponsors: Thomas Robb and Jacob Sheaffer
      Email: and
      Location: Room 1125

    High school students apply for membership to SLI at the end of their freshman year. All students selected to be members are held to high standards of academic achievement and are encouraged to pursue opportunities within and outside of the organization that develops character and leadership. In addition to college readiness opportunities, SLI promotes a personal approach to success by matching members named as “SLI Scholars” to a one-on-one mentoring relationship with undergraduate students from Shenandoah University.

    Empowered Women  Women with a Purpose

      Sponsor: Kristen Darlington
      Location: 1308


    Handley's female empowerment club that supports educational efforts, builds positive relationships within the school and community, and seeks to learn from positive role models. 

  • Engage as a staff member

    Deepen Your Equity Impact

    Consider joining an Equity Dialogue circle. If you are interested in joining an Equity Dialogue, please contact Carl Rush, Division Equity Specialist.

    Based on the works of a variety of Equity Leaders, national thought leaders in the area of equity in schools, our Equity Dialogues are professional learning opportunities for teachers to engage in structured dialogue around equity. With an intentional focus on inclusion and excellence, our equity approach maintains rigorous expectations for students and staff to achieve equitable outcomes for students.

    With the changing demographics of our community, the priority of bridging our differences is increasingly important. Teachers and staff who participate in Equity Dialogues are challenged and inspired to develop culturally responsive environments for students and families.

    Currently, 40 teachers, in two cohorts, representing 10% of the WPS teaching staff are participating in Equity Dialogues. In addition, all of WPS leadership including the school board, central administration leaders, and school building leaders are participating in an Equity Dialogue circle.

  •  Engage as a community member

    As a member of the Winchester community, we encourage your active participation in being a champion for equity within our schools and community. There are multiple ways for you to be involved:

    • Consider joining our Equity Advisory Committee. This committee is a cross-sectional group that advises key Winchester Public School leaders regarding issues of equity within the school division. If you're interested in being a part of this committee, please email Carl Rush, Division Equity Specialist.
    • Our Equity Dialogue facilitators are available to present at community forums, civic groups such as Rotary, Kiwanis or the Lions club, church groups, and others to inform and engage our community in the work of the Winchester Public Schools and our commitment to our mission statement which states "Every student can learn, and, when students have access to quality instruction, technology, and community resources, education is the equalizer."
    • Connect with Bright Futures, a non-profit supporting economically disadvantaged children in Frederick County and Winchester with food and clothing.
    • Support the Winchester Education Foundation financially. The Winchester Education Foundation is currently fundraising for the new Emil & Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center, which will be a game-changing educational experience for our students focused on ensuring that EVERY student has the work skills needed to be a successful, thriving adult in our community.
    • Volunteer! We are always looking for dedicated, consistent volunteers to mentor students, facilitate reading groups, or simply give 'high fives' to students on the way into school. If you're interested in volunteering, you can connect with any school principal to learn more. 

    We encourage your engagement and thank you in advance for your support of the Winchester Public Schools.