Socioeconomic-Based Strategies for Racial Integration

More than ever before, social science research identifies an array of academic and social benefits for students stemming from learning in integrated educational settings, which is even more beneficial for younger students. This set of materials provide research and strategies to pursue the integration of K-12 schools.

See Materials

New Resource List for Supporting LGBTQ Students

The resource list below is from the article, “Making Schools Safe Learning Havens for LGBTQ Students,” by Stephanie Garcia, Ph.D., & Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

Infographic: School Climate Affects LGBTQ Student Well-being, IDRA

Safe Place to Learn, resource package, National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments

5 Things to Know about LGBTQ Youth, Child Trends

The Basics: Understanding LGBTQ+ Youth, Side-by-Side

5 Things You Can Do to Support Your LGBTQ Students, Hey Teach

Supporting LGBTQ Students in Elementary School, Edutopia

Student Tasks: Do Something, lessons for K-12 students, Teaching Tolerance

3 Ways to Make Schools Safe for LGBTQ Students, IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode #189

Equity and Justice for LGBTQ Students – Teacher Responsibilities, IDRA Newsletter

Conduct Your Own Local School Climate Survey, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network

Updated eBook: Resources on Student Discipline Policy and Practice

Data from the Office for Civil Rights reflect the reality that confronts other researchers and advocates who study school discipline: minority students, particularly Black students, remain a population that is disproportionately subject to discipline practices that remove them from the academic environment.

See eBook.

New Infographic: School Climate Affects LGBTQ Student Well-being

See highlights from the 2017 National School Climate Survey by GLSEN and a presentation by Side by Side (2019). This infographic accompanies “Making Schools Safe Learning Havens for LGBTQ Students,” by Stephanie Garcia, Ph.D., & Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

See the printable flier of this infographic.

Girls and STEM Education – Research Overview and Resources

The purpose of this eBook is to explore the intersection between science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, particularly computer science, and girls. Historically, women and other minority students have been largely absent from STEM fields and classes (Girl Scout Research Institute, 2012; Anderson, 2018). This eBook covers statistics for girls and minority students in STEM, the growing technology-dependent labor market, current initiatives and organizations encouraging STEM, literature on how to support these promising students, and resources.

See eBook.

Six Goals of Educational Equity – Infographic

To help schools and communities work together to ensure that systems for equity are in place, IDRA outlined Six Goals of Educational Equity. The IDRA EAC-South uses these six goals as a foundation for school and district equity audits. School personnel and communities can use as a yardstick to measure their progress and as a lightning rod to galvanize change.

See PDF flyer (English-Spanish)

Equitable Practices for Online Learning – Free Webinar Series

Our webinars are part of the IDRA EAC-South’s free webinar series on Equitable Practices for Online Learning to support educators as you continue student learning during this unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) event.

First Steps in Project-Based Learning – Webinar

Watch Recording

Are you interested in project-based learning but not sure where to start? Project-based learning is a transformative pedagogical method based on student-centered classrooms, but it requires teachers to adjust how they present information and facilitate learning. This IDRA webinar answers some of the most common questions about planning, implementation and best practices for project-based learning. Learn how to transform your teaching to better support your student’s learning.

Highlights for Creating a More Bilingual Texas 

Watch Recording

Dr. Chloe Latham Sikes outlines six recommendations in our just-released report, Creating a More Bilingual Texas – A Closer Look at Bilingual Education in the Lone Star State, that she co-authored with Chandra Kring Villanueva of Every Texan. The report provides an overview of policies, history and current issues for emergent bilingual students and bilingual/ESL education in Texas. It also shares recommendations to address the ongoing challenges to achieving educational equity for emergent bilingual students.

Principals Leading in a Pandemic 

Watch Recording

Educational leaders are juggling many priorities with the extraordinary challenges COVID-19 brought for principals and all campus administrators. This webinar explores lessons learned during the pandemic on how to provide thoughtful and effective leadership. Principals Dr. Timothy Vaughn from Edgewood ISD, Rawan Hammoudeh from San Antonio ISD and Jorge Cruz of Southwest ISD join Dr. Nilka Avilés of IDRA to discuss the competencies they have used in finding solutions to the challenges and concerns during this pandemic.

Impact of the Pandemic on Bilingual Education Webinar 

Watch Recording

In-person student engagement with teachers is ideal for listening, speaking and other social interactions that are critical parts of language development. But virtual platforms and limited in-person engagement caused by COVID-19 precautions hinder such engagement. This webinar features a phenomenal Texas educator, Grace Delgado, executive director of multilingual services for Aldine ISD, to review programming and instructional considerations for bilingual education and serving emergent bilingual students, as well as relevant applications for virtual and remote learning.

The Power Schools Bring to the Last Days of the 2020 Census – How Schools Can Help their Communities Get Counted Webinar 

Watch Recording 

This webinar aims to mobilize the education community to complete the census. Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Census Bureau extended operations to October 31, 2020. But the Census Bureau suddenly announced it was rolling back operations to September 30, cutting a month of much-needed time to achieve a complete and accurate census. In this webinar, we contextualize the 2020 Census and its timeline, discuss efforts over the past year, review completion data, and provide a toolkit for effective census outreach in the last month of operations.

Youth Tech Mentors Bridge Schools and Families – Creative Community Responses to COVID-19 Webinar 

Watch Recording 

The shift to virtual learning brought on by the pandemic hits families with limited resources particularly hard. At the same time, students miss out on chances to practice leadership when they are schooling from home. In this webinar, meet teens and college students who have been helping families and their children navigate technology for school. They share their ideas for how schools and communities can engage youth while also providing much-needed tech support in their family engagement work this year.

Getting Schools Ready to Support Students Facing a New World of Challenges – School Reopening Webinar Series

 Watch Recording 

Districts are working hard to develop back-to-school plans that meet the needs of all learners. They also must consider how to address the socio-emotional needs of students. Moderated by Dr. Paula Johnson, Director, IDRA EAC-South, this panel of student advocates and educational leaders discusses policy recommendations for district decision-makers on reopening schools that embrace restorative justice, ethnic studies and culturally responsive practices.

Partnering with Families to Reopen and Reimagine Schools – School Reopening Webinar Series

 Watch Recording 

Hear from parents, grandparents and caregivers sharing their concerns and questions about what the future holds for reopening schools and students’ emotional wellbeing. Connecting with families was vital for educators as they welcomed students back in a world changed by COVID-19, immigration and the Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements. Moderated by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., IDRA Family Engagement Coordinator.

Nurturing Students’ Hearts and Minds – School Reopening Webinar Series

 Watch Recording 

Our panel of advocates and practitioners discuss the needs of students on issues such as COVID-19, school safety, immigration, and the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements that schools needed to prepare for as they reopened.

Student Perspectives on a Changing School Climate – School Reopening Webinar Series

 Watch recording

What does the future hold for school re-openings, mental health and student emotional well-being in the wake of a myriad of issues facing today’s youth? Our student panelists help us understand the needs of their peers on issues, such as COVID-19, school safety, immigration, and the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements.

Teacher, Parent and Student Perspectives on Using Google Classroom Effectively

Watch recording

Most people know that Google Classroom is a free online classroom management system, developed by Google for schools. But being a powerful and popular tool, doesn’t necessarily keep teachers from experiencing bumps along the way in. In this webinar, get tips on how to use Google Classroom more effectively from the perspectives of a teacher, parent and student.

How a School District Tackled the Digital Divide 

Watch recording 

Hear how San Antonio ISD faced the digital divide to ensure learning continued for their students during COVID-19. Eva Mendoza, executive director of information technology, describe the work that San Antonio ISD performed to bridge the digital divide in her district. She discusses the challenges, successes and what’s next. Also, Clarissa Ramon from Google Fiber shares how funders can support your district when immediate needs arise.

Teaching Science in Virtual Learning Environment

Watch recording

Explore how to leverage online platforms to make high-quality science learning interactive and hands-on from home. Dr. Stephanie Garcia and Michelle Vega showcase four online platforms for teaching science concepts virtually: Educreations, Explain Everything, Quizlet and Padlet. They show how to use these tools through an online learning module template focused on Newton’s Laws of Motion, a middle school science concept.

Chief Science Officer Students Determined to Promote STEM Despite School Closures

Watch recording 

IDRA’s Texas Chief Science Officer students have an inspirational message to share about how they have been coping with COVID-19 challenges and distance learning. These youth STEM ambassadors did not stop their work to enrich a STEM culture despite their school and community closures. Instead, they have insightful perspectives on how they have been navigating these challenges, how they have stayed connected, and how they keep innovating and creating during this time. Watch as we elevate student voices and share their student success stories.

From Journaling and Personal Narratives to Letter Writing – ELAR Webinar Part 3

Watch recording

In the final installment of this three-part webinar series, trainers presented steps for students to select from their journal entries one issue important to them. Students expand their writing into a letter to someone in authority suggesting how the issue and its outcome could have been improved upon.

From Journaling to Personal Narratives – ELAR Webinar Part 2

Watch recording

In the second of this three-part webinar series, trainers demonstrated a process where students select one of their journal entries to expand it into a fully developed personal narrative, reflecting the significance of the COVID-19 event.

Journal Writing About the Present for the Future – ELAR Webinar Part 1

Watch recording

Lead your students as they create a primary source for future historians. In Part 1 of this three-part webinar series, trainers outlined literacy lessons adaptable for all grades as students use journal writing to record their responses to a pandemic that has upended their school year.

PBL at Home & Across the Curriculum

Watch recording

Project-based learning (PBL) is a powerful approach for educators to use with distance learning because it creates quality home learning experiences. Through hands-on experiences, students can explore, create, engage and connect what they are learning to the real-world. Join us as we explain PBL components of this interdisciplinary and inquiry-based learning approach with an equity lens and discuss applications of PBL across the curriculum.

Facilitating Online Math Sessions 

Watch recording

Get tips you can use right away! Compare ways of supporting students in Google Classroom in shared spaces versus virtual learning environments. And see how to use Zoom Whiteboard, Explain Everything, and Google Classrooms and Training.

Tools & Tips to Alleviate the Homework Gap

Watch recording

The homework gap is not a new problem. But with the move to system-wide distance learning, it’s not just a homework gap any longer. This webinar presents ways to support students who do not have internet access or computer.

Digital Divide: Connectivity, Infrastructure and Devices

Watch recording

Get practical solutions to addressing the digital divide for your students. This webinar explores immediate and sustainable long-term strategies that preserve the integrity of district fiscal policies.

Equitable Practices for Teaching Online Watch recording 

This webinar helps teachers rethink their lesson plans for an online platform, including resources like teacher-created YouTube channels and explainer videos, tools for sharing resources with your peers, and ways of working with your district to ensure students have access. Presenters also gave an intro to using Zoom and provided a sample math lesson using the Zoom whiteboard.

Digital Divide: Connectivity, Infrastructure and Devices – Watch recording 

Get practical solutions to addressing the digital divide for your students. This webinar will explore immediate and sustainable long-term strategies that preserve the integrity of district fiscal policies. Featuring presenters from the Federal Reserve Bank, Lit Communities, and IDRA.

Tools & Tips to Alleviate the Homework Gap – Interactive Teaching with Limited Internet Access – Watch recording 

The homework gap is not a new problem. But with the move to system-wide distance learning, it’s not just a homework gap any longer. This webinar presents ways to support students who do not have internet access or computer.

Facilitating Online Math Sessions – Watch recording 

Get some tips you can use right away! Compare ways of supporting students in Google Classroom in shared spaces versus virtual learning environments. And see how to use Zoom Whiteboard, Explain Everything, and Google Classrooms and Training.

Sign up for notices of news and future IDRA webinars.

¡Unirse a nuestra lista de correo en español!

Family Engagement – Web-based Technical Assistance Package

Families can be their children’s strongest advocates for promoting quality neighborhood schools and to ensure excellent academic instruction – where children are safe, happy, learning and engaged.

The IDRA EAC-South’s Family Engagement Web-based Technical Assistance Package is designed to provide educators tools for embracing what, for many, is a new vision for engaging with families and community members.

This web-based package includes five chapters, each with a video and supporting resources.

Learn More

Diversifying the Field – Web-based Technical Assistance Package

Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color

See our new resources on recruiting and retaining teachers of color. Resources include

  • Three chapter videos with an introduction, state strategies and district strategies
  • Interactive Map: Student-Teacher Demographic Diversity Gap
  • On-Demand Webinar: Diversifying the Field: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color
  • Literature Review Summary
  • Literature Review
  • State- and District-Level Strategies
  • Article: Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse, High-Quality Teacher Workforce

Learn More

Equity-based Framework for Achieving Integrated Schooling

The Equity-based Framework for Achieving Integrated Schooling is designed to assist school districts and communities in designing racially and economically integrated schools. It provides a structure for identifying areas of need or support to ensure all students acquire the incredible societal and academic benefits of integrated schooling.

Resources include

  • Narrative Publication: Equity-Based Framework for Achieving Integrated Schooling – A Framework for School Districts and Communities in Designing Racially and Economically Integrated Schools
  • Classnotes Podcast Episode: Achieving Integrated Schooling

Learn More

Equity-based Framework for Achieving Integrated Schooling

Using Socioeconomic Indicators as a Tool for School Diversity and Integration

See our literature review and new resources K-12 integration strategies that are being implemented and what we know about the design and implementation of such policies that might create more diverse schools and reduce racial isolation.

Resources include

  • Literature Review Summary
  • Literature Review
  • Article: Using Socioeconomic Indicators as a Tool for School Diversity and Integration
  • Classnotes Podcast Episode: Using Socioeconomic Status for School Integration – #172

Learn More

Grow Your Own Educator Programs –Emphasizing Equity-based Approaches

See our literature review and new resources on emphasizing equity-based approaches to grow your own educator programs. The lit review was developed by Angela Valenzuela, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Austin.

Resources include

  • Literature Review Summary
  • Literature Review
  • Special Edition – Strategies

Learn More

Focus Area Resources

With roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federally-funded equity assistance centers help school districts build capacity to confront educational problems occasioned by race, national origin, sex and gender, and religion.

Race Equity Resource Page

National Origin Equity Resource Page

Sex/Gender Equity Resource Page

Religion Equity Resource Page

Six Goals of Educational Equity

Every child in each school district, of any background, should have the chance to excel. Schools must ensure that all students are on track to graduate, prepared for college. Public schools can do what they choose to educate their students within certain limits and parameters, but they are accountable for educating all learners to high academic standards and outcomes regardless of differing characteristics of those learners. To help schools and communities look together at these goals and create a plan of action, the IDRA has outlined Six Goals of Educational Equity that school personnel and communities can use as a yardstick to measure their progress and as a lightning rod to galvanize change.

Learn More

IDRA Newsletter

The IDRA Newsletter is published 10 times a year, with each edition focusing on a particular issue in education. It serves as a vehicle for communication for policymakers, school board members, school and district administrators, teachers, parents, researchers and university faculty across the United States. The newsletter is available by mail and email.

See current and archived issues of the IDRA Newsletter

Subscribe to receive the newsletter and IDRA news via email

Classnotes Podcast

Classnotes is IDRA’s free award-winning podcast series for teachers and administrators that explores issues facing U.S. education today and strategies to better serve every student. See an index of shows by topic. Listen from your computer or from an MP3 player, like your phone or iPod. Subscribe for free through iTunes. And if you like our show, please leave a short review for us in iTunes!

See Podcast Episodes

College Bound and Determined

This report shows how the Pharr-San Juan Alamo school district in south Texas transformed itself from low achievement and low expectations to planning for all students to graduate from high school and college. In PSJA, transformation went beyond changing sobering graduation rates or even getting graduates into college. This school district changes how we think about college readiness.

The transformation has resulted in the district doubling the number of high school graduates, cutting dropout rates in half, and increasing college-going rates. In fact, half of the district’s students are earning college credit while still in high school.

Learn More

Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute

This annual institute offers families, school district personnel and community groups from across the country the opportunity to network, obtain resources and information, and receive training and bilingual materials on IDRA’s nationally-recognized research-based model for parent leadership in education. The institute is interactive and participatory. All presentations are bilingual (English-Spanish).

See presentations and video from the 2019 event

Ensuring High Teaching Quality to Tap Into Students’ Strengths

In this interview for IDRA’s equity assistance center, PS279 principal Jean Dalton Encke in the Bronx talks about how she uses data and systems to monitor teacher effectiveness and student achievement to ensure that students are succeeding. Having grown up in the Bronx herself, she is passionate about using students’ strengths to help them learn and prepare for college. She has brought in IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program and has a partnership with Lehman College to bolster both literacy learning and exposure to college for students, many of whom may not have seen graduation and college as a possibility. Ms. Dalton Encke is interviewed by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., an IDRA senior education associate. [18:18 min]

See video

School Board Member: Tracking the Learning and Tracking the Dollar

School board members have many responsibilities, particularly to monitor student achievement and allocate funds responsibly. In this interview for IDRA’s equity assistance center, Velma Vela Ybarra, a school board member for Harlandale ISD in San Antonio, discusses her motivation and experiences in this important role. Ms. Ybarra is interviewed by IDRA senior education associate, Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed. [9:18 min]

See video

Contagious College-Going Culture in Elementary School

Often, the question posed to students is: Are you going to college? But at Rebecca Sánchez’s school, the question is: Where are you going to college? Ms. Sánchez is the principal at Gus Guerra Elementary School in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district in South Texas serving a largely economically disadvantaged population, with about half of the students being English learners and a high number of migrant students. In this interview for IDRA’s equity assistance center, she describes how her campus has been transformed through a collaboration with IDRA that included classroom demonstrations on effective instructional strategies and student engagement. She also discusses the relationship the school is building with families as well as the introduction of Semillitas de Aprendizaje in early childhood classrooms. Ms. Sánchez is interviewed by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., an IDRA senior education associate. [28:49 min]

See video