Frequently Asked Questions
June 14, 2021
Why is Mountain Brook Schools developing a framework to guide school diversity activity planning?
In 2017, the Mountain Brook Schools Strategic Planning committee developed four goals, one of which focused on honoring diversity and respecting all people. Not unlike other communities, Mountain Brook has experienced situations of intolerance, bullying, and harassment. Mountain Brook Schools understands the value of diversity can be found in the appreciation of differences. Regardless of personal beliefs, kindness, respect, and civil dialogue strengthen a school and community. Mountain Brook students will be navigating an unknown future in a very diverse world. As leaders on their campuses, communities, and places of work, we hope that their experiences as a part of the Mountain Brook School system help prepare them to work with diverse groups of people to excel in the future they choose.
Mountain Brook Schools has six separate schools with distinct cultures and personalities. To create consistency, the school district has created a framework to provide structure for local school committees to develop activities that are beneficial for their school and students.
How has Mountain Brook Schools developed a framework?
After reviewing multiple frameworks and programs from a variety of sources, Mountain Brook Schools believes that a locally designed framework would best meet the needs of our schools. We understand the unique nature of our city and community. Because of this, Mountain Brook Schools typically chooses to adapt resources to enhance the quality of experiences for our students and community.
Who is involved in developing diversity-enhancing activities?
Each school is developing a local school committee comprised of students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Each local school committee will develop a minimum of three activities throughout the school year that create opportunities for authentic interactions among students. While some activities may be new to the school, some activities may be familiar from previous years. Efforts to promote respect, understanding, and connections have been present in Mountain Brook Schools for many years. The development of a committee and inclusion of parents is designed to engage parents in the brainstorming and planning for authentic opportunities for interactions.
Are the goals of the framework in any way tied to school curriculum?
No. Curriculum is a set of subjects that comprises a course of study used by teachers to plan instructional lessons. Mountain Brook Schools has not adopted any curriculum to be used in diversity planning. Mountain Brook Schools’ intent has always been to utilize local school planning committees to develop activities to promote positive interactions, respect, and understanding among students.
(Any time an official curriculum is proposed, Mountain Brook Schools works through an official curriculum adoption process that includes a review by committees, notice to the community, opportunity for public input, and a vote by the local Board of Education.)
If an incident of bullying or harassment occurs, what happens and who is involved?
If an incidence of bullying or harassment occurs, Mountain Brook Schools encourages students and parents to report the incident to their local school administrator. Mountain Brook Schools has also provided a confidential reporting line that can be accessed from the district and school websites through a parent or student resources. Additionally, reporting forms are located on all school websites should a formal report be needed. Any incident of bullying and harassment is investigated and handled through our local discipline process. There has been no recommended change to the reporting or handling of bullying reports. All reports will be handled by the school administrators with the individual student(s) involved and their families.
Will parents have the opportunity to review planned activities for their school?
Yes. All parents will have the opportunity to review and/or participate in activities that are designed and implemented by the local school committees throughout the school year.
July 8, 2021
Why are diversity training (for teachers) and activities (for students) important in Mountain Brook Schools?
Mountain Brook Schools understands that value can be found in the appreciation of differences. Kindness, respect, and civil dialogue strengthen a school and community. Social issues do arise in MBS classrooms. MBS’ goal is to help students learn how to think and develop their own perspectives and opinions. In these situations, the role of the teacher is critical to developing a neutral environment where all opinions are valued. As leaders of students in classrooms, anti-bias training can improve teaching professionals' awareness of personal bias in their effort to provide a respectful and supportive academic environment.
Student activities developed by local school committees comprised of teachers, parents and age-appropriate students provide authentic learning experiences. These experiences help foster respect and understanding of differences within and outside our school community that will help prepare our students for future experiences.
What are the next steps of the MBS Diversity Committee?
MBS will engage with the Diversity Committee in an effort to ensure that a robust range of perspectives continues to be represented. If you have an interest in being part of the Diversity Committee, please email MBSDiversity@mtnbrook.k12.al.us. In addition, local school committees will be created and will meet this fall to plan activities for the upcoming school year.
Will employees complete anti-bias training?
Yes. Mountain Brook Schools intends to complete anti-bias training for remaining faculty and staff members. MBS will review resources that may be considered for continuing anti-bias training. The Board and the System will also take the training once a provider(s) is selected, in advance of rollout to teachers.
Will individuals other than school employees be provided an opportunity to review or participate in training?
Mountain Brook Schools is committed to providing an opportunity for non-employees to review chosen training materials. Plans are still being developed to provide this opportunity.
Will Mountain Brook Schools teach Critical Race Theory?
No. MBS has not adopted any curriculum outlining diversity topics that will be implemented in MB classrooms, including Critical Race Theory. Also, MBS has not adopted any books in response to the diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Will Mountain Brook Schools implement the “No Place For Hate” program in MBS?
No. MBS will not be using “No Place for Hate” and will no longer be using the services of the Anti-Defamation League.
Who should I contact if I am uncomfortable with something in my child’s classroom?
As always, if you have any concerns about your child’s educational experience, your first point of contact should always be your child’s teacher. Should any further concerns arise, contact your local school administrators.
How frequent are bullying issues in Mountain Brook Schools?
With more than 4,000 students attending Mountain Brook Schools, various issues arise on a daily basis. No school is immune to negative behavior and bullying issues. MBS works directly with families and students on issues that arise through our teachers, counselors and school administrators. While most situations are resolved in confidence, occasionally formal complaints are filed with local school administrators. Each situation is investigated, and every attempt is made to resolve or prevent the issue while protecting the privacy of the students and families.
*MBS will add additional questions and answers as needed*