FREEDOM SCHOOL 2023
Our full-day Freedom School will teach children about Black and Diaspora history, engage children in political resistance to anti-Black racism and state violence through a trans-feminist lens, and offer children an entry point into the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The Freedom School will support children and families living and growing in a reality of witnessing police violence in our communities and support parent and youth voices. Students will engage in curricula that promote leadership, academic achievement, and community involvement while developing and enriching their Black identity. Content taught at the BLM 5280 Freedom School will: assist students in exploring their identity; provide historically accurate Black history (pre-dating American slavery); allow for discussion of elements of white supremacy and how it impacts learning; express resistance through the arts; help youth discover how to become an advocate in their schools and communities. The curriculum meets the developmental ages of the participants.
We plan to offer Math, Social Studies, English Language Arts, Science and Enrichment courses.
Beginning in 2021, we will host focus groups with prospective families, students, and community partners. One of our goals for the focus groups is to determine which courses that students and families want. We will use that feedback to update our enrichment offerings. Additionally, after the school opens, we will continue to seek feedback regarding our enrichment course offerings every year.
All courses will intentionally integrate different disciplines. Our content will uplift and highlight Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Texts and visuals will represent the students in the school. Teachers will co-plan across grade levels and subjects to ensure cohesiveness in all classes. We will design content that integrates literacy, social studies, math, science, and enrichment programs.
Beginning in 2021, we will host focus groups with prospective families, students, and community partners. Using feedback from those focus groups, we will choose curricula for each content area.
Lastly, we would like to make sure that the curricula we choose uplifts and empowers our students while creating opportunities to demonstrate their brilliance. We believe that learning should be rigorous, engaging, joyful, and relevant.
The academic committee will review the current academic program description or the BLM 5280 Freedom School and provide feedback. The committee will explore and identify curricula and schools, request samples of curricula, and review those samples to help the BLM 5280 Freedom School find curricula that are a good fit for our academic program. Also, this committee will help us identify people to design curricula for the BLM 5280 Freedom School. The committee will review curriculum design, advise curriculum decisions, and review content related to the school’s themes. This committee will also research model schools around the country, reach out to those schools, and ask them to share critical content and draft initial academic goals for the BLM 5280 Freedom School.
Academic committee members will have a strong sense of critical race theory, culturally sustaining pedagogy or BLM values. Besides, this committee will consist of content lead experts in math, literacy, humanities, and science.
The finance committee will develop financial policies, review spending toward our grants, and review the BLM 5280 Freedom School draft budget and provide feedback.
The finance committee will consist of the following subcommittees.
Facilities (real estate, foundations, bank people, parent, champions, and messengers in the community, political people- city council, county commission, parks people)
Development- 2 people- strong grant writers, using the academic program to put together skeleton language for grants, prospect research (list of potential funders and look for funders who fund schools that are similar to ours). Look at 1099 for nonprofit for similar schools to see who their funders are - find the money and get the cash, well-connected people
Budget management/ budget plan operations- budget projections
People with existing experience or expertise running a charter school understand how to put together a charter school budget. And people with real estate and HR expertise.
The Outreach Committee will develop community partnerships requirements, monitor progress toward goals for Year 0 partnerships, screen potential partners, and review MOUs. They will access the partnerships that we already have. Also, they will advise on recruitment, marketing, and communication strategies. We currently use canvassing with flyers, social media, and word of mouth as means of outreach. We plan to continue using these strategies for recruitment for the school. In addition, based on the January session, we will also use newsletters, consistent social media postings, paper and digital flyers, and our website for outreach.