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UCLA Lab School Faculty’s Ongoing Commitment to Anti-Bias and Anti-Racist Work


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UCLA Lab School Faculty has an ongoing commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). As a laboratory school, teaching and learning at our school are responsive and dynamic. Demonstration Teachers are in a continual process of reflecting and revising our thinking, practice, and curriculum. This work ensures that children feel safe and affirmed, are empowered with critical thinking skills, and have tools to take informed social action.

We are committed to examining and re-examining the structures and systems at our school. ABAR (Anti-Bias Anti-Racist) work is a continuing focus for our faculty. Last school year, we worked with Center X’s Writing Project over the course of many weeks. Beginning with personal reflections, we considered positionality, how our identity influences and potentially biases our understanding of and outlook on the world. We engaged in readings, reflective writing, and candid conversations about the social/political landscape and JEDI in our school. We were building capacity for facilitating conversations with adults and children, being able to repair harm, and engaging in restorative accountability. In addition, as individuals, many faculty members engage in ongoing professional development opportunities related to ABAR work.

In the Fall of 2021, the faculty worked in Mission and Vision Committees to develop recommendations about inquiry with a social justice and equity lens, defining our lab school, on-boarding for new teachers and teaching assistants, team teaching and shared leadership, and multi-age education. The Mission and Vision Committees identified and advocated for various needs, some of which are listed below. Most of these recommendations depend upon administrative action. For recommendations the faculty could pursue, neither planning time nor follow-up faculty meetings were provided to enact the changes for which we advocated.

Our school community needs:

  • Planning time during the instructional day to continue initiatives including ABAR work with UCLA History and Geography Project, Center X’s Writing Project, and other entities.
  • Support for students as requested by teachers and time for all teachers, TAs, and Instructional Support Staff to reflect together on what is going well and what modifications need to be made.
  • To prioritize the allocation of school resources and involve teachers in those decisions.
  • Reduced class sizes. This will allow for nuanced ABAR conversations and learning experiences embedding social justice standards and meeting the needs of neurodiverse and neurotypical children.
  • To restore team-teaching which will offer diversity in skills sets and expertise that enrich the classroom environment and maximize children’s potential for connection and academic success. To meet this goal, additional Demonstration Teachers for Primary, Intermediate, and Upper must be hired.
  • To hire diverse Demonstration Teachers of color.
  • Ongoing opportunities for dialogue between families and teachers. Ensure meetings with families are scheduled at times that teachers can fully participate.
  • To hire a full-time Library Assistant. This position will provide the Librarian time to continue to curate a library with affirming books and resources that reflect our diverse community and our ABAR work.
  • Regular faculty forums on ABAR curriculum and practices.
  • To expand ongoing social justice work in our Safe School System.
  • To continue to develop our inquiry approach and curriculum with a social justice and equity lens.