2021 Fall Institute Focuses on Strategies for Building a Positive School Culture

RALEIGH, N.C.⸺The 2021-22 cohort of Kenan Fellows have completed the second of three residential institutes as part of their yearlong fellowship. The two-day institute was on Oct. 24-25, 2021 at the NC Farm Bureau. The institute’s theme was “Nurturing a Culture of Positivity.” Sessions gave the cohort of K-12 educators from a dozen counties across NC strategies to help them build productive and healthy classrooms and school communities. 

The institute kicked off with a session led by Phil Boyte of Learning for Living who guided the Fellows through a series of exercises designed to help them build healthy relationships among students and staff. Kenan Fellows Program alumni Erin Fisher and Vance Kite of ImplementEd engaged educators in activities on how to create relevant lessons using student data. Kenan alum Paul Cancellieri and Amy Houser, a National Board Certified educator, shared strategies and tools for using actionable feedback and self reflection to engage students as active learners.

Kenan Alumni Alphonso Donaldson, Keith Burgess, and Shannon Bowman introduced the educators to Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT), an instructional framework that recognizes and celebrates students’ identities, lived experiences, and culture. Donaldson also led a book study along with Kenan alum Dr. Jamie Lathan on diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Educators began to read and discuss selected texts that serve to enhance and extend the conversation around racial equity.

“I have benefited from the connections I made with the other educators in the program. It is encouraging to hear from them and reassuring to know that we are all facing similar challenges this year,” – Meta Kenan Fellow Jill Francis.