Curriculum review, diversity training highlight professional day

Landon faculty and staff spent their first day back from winter break with continued work on a review of the school's curriculum as well as training in the areas of diversity and mandated reporter duties.

"Our faculty were able to spend collaborative time on two important conversations coming from the school's 2018 Strategic Plan – first, we focused on the alignment of the skills and content within our 3-12 curriculum," said Assistant Headmaster Charles Franklin. "Faculty, led by our department chairs, analyzed our curriculum to ensure that as students move from grade to grade that the skills and content they are learning are as cohesive as possible, fully preparing them for the next grade."

The faculty also discussed the skills, habits, characteristics, and competencies that all of our boys should have by the time they graduate from Landon during its curricular work. During the diversity session, faculty and staff learnedhow to differentiate between equality (everyone gets the same thing), equity (everyone gets what they need), and inclusion (there is space for everyone).

"A key takeaway from the session was discussing how our neurological shortcuts can lead to bias, and how we should always be mindful of what we say and how words or terms may be offensive to others," said Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Joe Canty. "We also discussed being more self-aware of our personal and social identifiers when we engage students and the importance of giving our students the space to express their views through their own identities."

"Celebrating our differences is essential as faculty and staff work together to establish additional ways to support our students, families, and colleagues," Canty added. "As we continue to establish a foundation for this work, we will continue to be a more sensitive, aware, and inclusive community."

Director of Counseling and Wellness Andy Rhein and Middle/Lower School Counselor Justin Roman led a session on mandated reporter duties. A mandated reporter is a person, who because of his or her profession, is legally required to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the relevant authorities.

"We are dedicated to providing a safe environment for the students in our community," Rhein said. "As teachers and coaches, we are all 'mandated reporters,' and we have clear protocols in place at Landon regarding acting on concerns that a student may be being abused or neglected."

Rhein and Roman identified for faculty and staff the characteristics of possible physical or emotional abuse and how theyshould report it to officials to the school – the first appropriate step would be to contact Dr. Rhein or Mr. Roman. The counselors also reviewed how and when faculty and staff should report incidents to Montgomery County Children's Protective Services and the Montgomery County Police Department.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the 24-hour reporting hotline at 240-777-4417.