Giving Compass' Take:

• Educators are coming out with a new tech-enhanced curriculum that is more socially inclusive. St Paul Public Schools in Minnesota is one of the first to adopt this curriculum and since they started, they have seen a rise in graduation rates of their transgender students. 

• How is a social inclusion curriculum beneficial for all students and educators, and not just those that fall into the LGBTQI category?

• Read about the effects of LGBTQI discrimination and how it is driving young people into homelessness. 

More than a year after a national debate on which bathrooms transgender students in North Carolina should be able to use, sexuality and gender have remained contentious issues in public K-12 schools.

Yet this resistance is nothing new, and in spite of the backlash, many district leaders are charting a path forward. They are designing policies and implementing new, tech-enhanced curriculum in the hopes of addressing issues of inclusion—from sexuality and gender identity to the emergence of non-traditional family types—in today’s public schools.

One of earliest districts to adopt such policies is St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. Since 1994, through the district’s Out for Equity program, the district has supported building what it calls “a safe and welcoming school environment” for LGBTQ students and staff. But in the last few years, they have added some technological upgrades to their work, building community spaces online and using survey data to design socially tolerant classrooms.

The Equity Department now is working to build up online LGBTQ community spaces in tandem with physical ones. Providing students with iPads and low-cost wireless network options has enabled the district to build online communities more effectively. Currently, they utilize Schoology, a learning management system, to form groups of student leaders and to connect pupils with advisors.

For Hoelscher, one of the more exciting developments has been in their work with elementary schools, where an organization called AMAZE has been piloting some unique social-emotional learning strategies.AMAZE is a nonprofit early education program created by parents, community members and educators to build knowledge and understandings about diverse populations through curricula, training, literature, videos and other mediums.

Though it was originally founded on the idea of supporting lesbian and gay students, today the program has grown to include lessons and literature for a variety of different families.

Read the full article about social inclusion by Jenny Abamu at EdSurge