2023 Grants Challenge

Building Culturally Responsive Learning Environments

CPPS' whole-child, whole-school, whole-community approach prioritizes Black and Brown children and families, understanding that by addressing the most pressing needs of these underrepresented individuals, all students will benefit. Through professional development for teachers and leadership, CPPS supports schools and districts in developing culturally responsive learning environments where everyone is seen, heard, and has the potential to thrive.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Community Safety

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

For students of color current school environments are often filled, unconsciously or consciously, with racism, discrimination, and cultural insensitivity. Coupled with the lack of educators and leaders who shared lived experience, BIPOC and other underserved students internalize stigma and endure social exclusion and disproportionate stress to the mental health concerns already inherent to their daily lives. Students?of color and?low-income?students?have consistently faced systemic barriers and lacked the supports necessary to access higher education, opportunity pathways,?and navigate successfully to a four-year degree.?Distance learning has significantly exacerbated?learning loss among?these populations.??Research shows these challenges are leading to?higher?high school dropout rates,?academic performance gaps,?socio-emotional challenges, and even more?students leaving school unprepared for college and/or career, inhibiting their potential to achieve stable lives.???

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

CPPS believes if we provide individualized equity focused coaching and support, with input from families and other stakeholders, then educators will transform their school climate,?demeanor,?and?instruction so students are informed, productive citizens. To accomplish this, CPPS provides highly-effective, customized professional development for educators, schools, and districts in high-needs areas throughout Southern California that bridges these resource gaps. The Center's work emphasizes the development of 1) Rigorous curriculum; 2) Culturally affirming learning environments; 3) Social-emotional learning; 4) Access to career and college pathways; and 5) Inclusive school models in which staff and parents collaborate to positively impact students' education. As each school and district has its own unique strengths and opportunities, CPPS customizes its supports to meet the individual needs of students, families, educators, and leadership. Services include workshops, professional development, individual and group training, summer bridge program coaching, social emotional learning curriculum, college/career pathway development, comprehensive equity assessments, education for parents around how to advocate for their children, and building positive family/educator relationships. CPPS approach is unique as it includes building an ongoing cycle of inquiry to ensure learning is successfully integrated into practice and strategic recalibration points are regularly scheduled.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

An equitable community is one where everyone is included in the full benefits of society. In such a community, everyone is treated with fairness and justice and empowered to participate fully in social, cultural, and economic life. Creating equitable learning environments is a foundational step for children in underserved communities to begin building emotional safety. Having a place where they spend the majority of their day be culturally affirming, where they feel included and seen, where they have the opportunity to develop their strengths, builds an unshakeable resilience. Youth who realize their voice and gifts are a force, one that will strength Los Angeles today and in the future.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

With 20 years of experience with California schools and districts, led by a veteran team of educators with over 60 years of collective experience in classroom and leadership roles, CPPS has supported over 4,000 teachers, schools, and districts achieve transformational change and build equitable, inclusive learning cultures which have benefit over 600,000 students. Outcomes of CPPS' work at partner schools have included:?? - At least 90% of participating instructional leadership team members will report that they are comfortable using a variety of protocols and engagement strategies to aid?students;??? - At least 90% of participating instructional leadership team members will report that they regularly use student work and formative assessments to guide instruction; - Families of Black and Brown students feel welcome in their schools; and - Families of Black and Brown students are engaged with and feel heard at their schools.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 350

Indirect Impact: 30,000