Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves

East’s history as the first Memphis public school to hold racially integrated high school classes will be emphasized, with professional development activities and student activities facilitated by the Memphis office of Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO). The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has named FHAO as one of only nine programs in the US that has a proven positive effect on students, such as improved academics, increased empathy, and increased pro-social behavior. Through FHAO’s Student Leadership Program, Student Leaders will work with industry partners and the school’s alumni to identify and profile successful graduates of the school from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, with a special focus on graduates now working in the transportation and STEM fields. As an official FHAO Partner School, we will also receive the following services:

  • Professional Development and Follow-Up Support: The FHAO team will support the school’s humanities teachers with professional development, curriculum design, and ongoing coaching aligned to priorities of TN College and Career Readiness Standards and social–emotional learning. Professional development will be available face-to-face, online, and as a hybrid model. FHAO staff will work with school staff to adapt FHAO curriculum materials to support school goals. FHAO will also support the teacher or teachers offering the Facing History semester-long elective which will be a focus for students.
  • Whole-Staff Engagement: FHAO program associates will facilitate whole-school learning opportunities, including faculty in-services designed to address priorities identified by the school’s leadership. Ten hours of training in Cultural Competencies will be provided over a two-year period.
  • Strategies to Build a Safe and Inclusive School: By working with the whole school, FHAO will help build a school community that shares a common language in order to create an environment of trust and respect, instill a sense of agency in all students, and develop a vocabulary of empathy and purpose. The FHAO approach will foster dialogue across disciplines and within departments, and will facilitate a community of practice among the local and national network of FHAO educators. FHAO will work with school personnel to provide access to FHAO resource speakers for classroom visits and community events, and FHAO staff will organize and deliver school-wide, parent, and community engagement events and activities that enable the East High School community to explore Facing History themes and topics together. For example, Student Leaders will plan and run two community Teach-Ins per year.