Briefly (Issue 5)

Hannah Levenson, Editor-in-Chief

SOAR program launches in district

Aiming to increase student involvement regarding issues surrounding racism, the district launched the Students Organizing Against Racism (SOAR) program earlier this month.

The program started off with four days of equity training through “courageous conversations” on race. Participating students of all races discussed their experiences with racism and started to learn how to interrupt racism so that they can teach others to follow their example.

In the future, SOAR will work on student-run projects to combat prevalent challenges with race and racism in the district and beyond.

“Usually, we don’t have the opportunity to see all of the perspectives of other people [on racism]. By bringing people together from all across the district and from different races and backgrounds, it allows us to get closer,” Redwood High School junior Theo Wood said.

According to Principal Liz Seabury, teachers underwent similar training in previous years. This is the first time that students are involved.

Though the period to join the program this year has closed, seniors can still get involved on the Drake Advisory Board, which will act as a focus group for the program’s projects.

Please contact teacher advisors Jennifer Mall or LoRayne Ortega with any further questions.


DaVinci teacher receives National Board Certification

In December, DaVinci English teacher Cathy Sarkisian received National Board Certification in English.

Sarkisian’s proficiency was measured through her knowledge of the subject matter, her methods of student work assessment, approach to teaching, and involvement with the greater community. The process took Sarkisian two years to complete.

“I’ve been here for 15 years and finished raising my kids. I wanted to do some professional development to re-energize myself as a teacher and give back to the profession,” Sarkisian said.


#MeToo club empowers conversation on sexual assault and harassment

Founded in alliance with the recent upsurge in movement against sexual assault and harassment, the #MeToo club provides an anonymous safe place on campus for individuals to share their experiences.

“You hear about [sexual assault and harassment] among students, but no one has really done anything about it. We thought that we should change something.” junior Vivian Cunniffe said.

Initial meetings focused on defining and understanding how to respond to sexual harassment and assault. In the future, the #MeToo club will continue to work on projects to spread awareness throughout the school.

“The club is not about lashing out at one gender. It’s about making a conversation about these issues and becoming more aware,” junior Bea Lazar said.

In addition to Cunniffe and Lazar, sophomore Ellie Barber, junior Hannah Betz, sophomore Jessie Cohen, junior Emma Ghanizadeh, sophomore Sonya Adler, and sophomore Julia Pelletier lead the club.

The #MeToo club meets every other Wednesday in Room 202. Students of all genders are encouraged to join.