Interested in Engaging in Equity Work at WPS?
"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.
Handley Black Student Union (BSU)
Sponsor: Jeffrey Keller, Chyanna Jones, and Nadine Johnson-Hamm
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Room 1305
Handley BSU's goal is to improve inclusivity and to bring students of all spectrums together in a safe place where all ideas are heard. BSU promotes community outreach to strengthen the relationship between Handley and the community.
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.
Sponsor: Ileana Escalante
Latinos Unidos is a club open to Hispanic students and all others interested in celebrating the many Latino/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
Sponsors: Ileana Escalante, Ruth Espinoza
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in the Shenandoah Valley in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) public charity, nonprofit organization, the Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) creates college opportunities for Latino/x high school students in its unique programs in Harrisonburg, Richmond, and Winchester, Virginia. SLI helps its talented, aspiring, and determined scholars as they prepare for and apply to college, secure financial aid or additional funding, and anticipate college life. In collaboration with university faculty and high school teachers, SLI offers opportunities such as rigorous academic challenge, leadership development, and supportive mentorships. SLI’s dual enrollment tuition support, computer awards, and college scholarships further empower its scholars as they pursue a college degree.
SLI was founded by Peter Iver Kaufman in 2001 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kaufman brought SLI to Virginia in 2008.
Sponsor: Kristen Darlington
Handley's female empowerment club supports educational efforts, builds positive relationships within the school and community, and seeks to learn from positive role models.
Engage as a Staff Member
Consider joining a school-based Equity Team. If you are interested in joining an Equity Team, please contact Dr. Veronique N. Walker, Equity and Family Engagement Coordinator.
Based on the work 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-based professional development are challenged and inspired to develop culturally responsive environments for students and families.
Currently, the majority of WPS teaching staff are participating in equity-based professional development. In addition, all of WPS leadership including the school board, central administration leaders, and school building leaders are participating in an equity-based professional development.
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 Dr. Veronique N. Walker, Equity and Family Engagement Coordinator.
- 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.