Post submitted by Kimmie Fink, Welcoming Schools Consultant

HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is pleased to announce the most recent recipients of the program’s Seal of Excellence: Nuestro Mundo Community School and Herbert Schenk Elementary School of the Madison Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin. The Seal of Excellence is awarded to schools that demonstrate outstanding dedication to creating and sustaining welcoming and inclusive school environments by meeting stated benchmarks and doing innovative work to further equity and diversity.

Nuestro Mundo received the Seal of Excellence at a ceremony attended by students, staff and families on Thursday, June 8, and Schenk was honored the following day. Welcoming Schools Program Director Johanna Eager presented each school with a banner commemorating their exemplary work in implementing the Welcoming Schools approach. Superintendent Jen Cheatham was also present for the Nuestro Mundo event. Both ceremonies featured special songs and videos celebrating the schools’ accomplishments.

“I’m incredibly proud of the hard work that both schools have put in toward achieving the Seal and ensuring that their school climates are safe and welcoming for all students, so that inclusive of differences, they can ease into their learning each day,” Eager said. She spoke with students at both sites about ally behavior. “It’s reassuring  to watch students’ faces light up when they are asked about being allies,” she said, “and they all smile sharing how good it feels to be an ally to another student.”

The Seal of Excellence is open to any school committed to improving school climate through the Welcoming Schools approach. If you would like more information on the Seal of Excellence process, please contact us.

HRC Foundation's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to:

  • Welcome Diverse Families;
  • Create LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive Schools;
  • Prevent Bias-Based Bullying;
  • Support Transgender and Non-Binary Students.

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