The Principal’s Guide to Building Culturally Responsive Schools

The guide presents recommendations to ensure equity for all students.

Culturally Responsive Schools

It’s imperative that our nation’s schools not only welcome diversity in the classroom, but also teach students how to navigate an increasingly racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse society and global economy.

The Principal’s Guide to Building Culturally Responsive Schools presents recommendations for four leadership competencies that are meant to guide school leaders in their work to ensure equity for all students. The guide was developed by the NAESP Diversity Task Force, which was established in 2016 to examine and identify effective practices that promote positive student outcomes through policy and practice recommendations.

The Principal’s Guide to Building Culturally Responsive Schools identifies recommendations for four leadership competencies.

  1. Advance Culturally Responsive Leadership
  2. Diversify Student and Adult Capacity to Transform Schools
  3. Utilize Assets to Ensure Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning
  4. Provide Diverse Opportunities for All Students.

The NAESP Diversity Task Force was established to examine and identify effective practices that promote positive student outcomes through policy and practice recommendations.

NAESP Diversity Task Force Members

  • Brian Partin, NAESP Board President, Ex-Officio
  • Dr. Steven D. Geis, NAESP Past Board President, Ex-Officio
  • Kimbrelle Barbosa Lewis, Task Force Chair, NAESP Board
  • Dr. Carrie McWilliams, Times2 STEM Academy, Providence, RI; Zone 1
  • Thomas Payton, Roanoke Avenue Elementary School, Riverhead, NY; Zone 2
  • Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus, Union Elementary School, Buckhannon, WV; Zone 3
  • Dr. Harry “Sam” Shaw IV, Berclair Elementary School, Memphis, TN; Zone 4
  • Dr. Dionne Blue, Evansville Vanderburgh School, Evansville, IN; Zone 5
  • Jeremy Patterson, Middle School at Parkside, Jackson, MI; Zone 6
  • Joseph Torrez, Ellicott Elementary School, Ellicott, CO; Zone 7
  • Dr. Annette Sanchez, Thomas Jefferson Intermediate School, Beeville, TX; Zone 8
  • Taj Jensen, Mann Elementary School; Tacoma, WA; Zone 9

In March 2018, NAESP’s Board of Directors directed NAESP’s Diversity Task Force to define and create a position statement on inclusiveness and diversity in schools. The following position statement was approved by the board at its July 2018 meeting:

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) respects, values, and celebrates the unique characteristics and perspectives of the diverse populations within our schools. We believe that effective collaboration of all stakeholder groups provides the necessary and unique voices that bring cultural responsiveness and inclusivity needed for student success.