Schools today are facing new challenges around welcoming and supporting students who are transgender, nonbinary or gender expansive. Gender Spectrum can equip you and your organization with the skills and knowledge you need to respond.
The Gender Spectrum Inclusive Schools Network (ISN) is a learning community of more than 400 educational professionals committed to creating school settings where every child’s gender is seen, understood, and respected. These individuals lead efforts to create more gender-inclusive environments in their own institutions. This year-long program of professional development includes a Training-of-Trainers sequence along with a comprehensive set of activities and resources that will equip ISN members to chart a path for their institution’s move toward more intentional practices employing the lens of gender.
The ISN begins with participants attending an online Institute featuring a concentrated series of synchronous and asynchronous activities spread over five days. Following the Institute, there are monthly sessions focused on a variety of themes related to gender inclusive schools’ work, regular office hours, 1:1 coaching and consultation, access to curriculum and other resources and membership in the ISN online group.
Issues about gender in our schools are emerging as never before. As schools work to support the learning of every child, gender diversity is an area that is new for many educators. Given the rapidly changing understandings around gender, your school needs to know how to respond when:
- Students are harassed or bullied for their gender
- Staff are uncertain about gender terms or pronouns
- Staff observe gender-expansive students who are depressed or self-harming
- Parents raise questions about gender inclusive practices at school
Beyond these reasons for creating more gender inclusive climates at school, there are numerous legal and policy considerations as well. But the importance of this work ultimately comes down to something educators do every single day: create safe spaces in which all students can thrive. If you and your school could use help in navigating these challenges, Gender Spectrum’s Inclusive Schools Network is for you.
2021-22 Inclusive Schools Network Schedule
ISN Institutes* and Seminar Schedule (participants attend ONE institute)
August Institute 1
Monday August 2 – Thursday August 5 and Thursday, August 12
August Institute 2
Monday August 16; Tuesday August 17; Friday August 20; Monday August 23; Friday August 27
* Additional institutes are being scheduled for the fall of 2021 and winter and spring of 2022
9/21/21: Working with Parents and Caregivers
10/19/21: Gender and the Law
11/16/21: Utilizing Research
1/18/22: Taking Stock
2/15/22: Gender Inclusive Puberty Education
3/15/22: End of the Year Traditions
4/19/22: Establishing Gender Learning Targets
5/17/22: Gender Inclusion Moving Forward
Additional ISN Activities and Support
Member coaching and consultation: Each ISN member is provided with 1.5 hours of individual coaching, to be used in any way the member sees fit, such as working with colleagues on specific gender inclusion efforts.
Office hours: Each week, Gender Spectrum staff will be available for online drop-in office hours. Need some strategies about student records? Have a question about working with a resistant colleague? Use this space to get real-time support from Gender Spectrum staff.
Resources: ISN members will have access to various resources and materials unavailable to the general public. This includes up-to-date training materials, lesson plans, sample policies, etc.
ISN Network Google Group: Connect with other members of the Inclusive Schools Network from across the country. Looking for a particular resource? Looking to talk to someone in the same role as you about a particular issue? Want to share an interesting article or great lesson plan? All ISN members are invited to join a google group consisting of an amazing collection of gender inclusive educators who have been involved with network activities over the past five years.
Who Participates in the ISN?
District Administrators | Principals/Heads of School
Site-level Administrators | School Counselors
School Psychologists | K – 12 Classroom Teachers
Early Childhood Educators | Student Services staff
Teaching Specialists | Prof. Development Coaches
Librarians | Paraprofessionals
School Nurses | Curriculum Coaches
“This is a new and challenging topic but after Gender Spectrum equipped us with the facts and conversation strategies I felt ready and even eager to be the person on my team who dives into these discussions with parents and the community.”
“I have worked as a school psychologist and schools administrator for nearly 20 years. In my experience, our district's training with Gender Spectrum has been one of the most impactful initiatives I have been involved with. The district employees, parents and students who participated in this training continue to report that they have been profoundly impacted by the information (and) that they have changed their parenting, teaching and practice as a result of the training provided by Gender Spectrum."
Who Works with Gender Spectrum?
Gender Spectrum has worked hundreds of individual schools and school districts from around the country, and with dozens of leading national professional associations and educational leaders, including, among others:
- The National Association of Elementary School Principals
- The National Association of School Psychologists
- The American School Counselors Association
- The National School Superintendents Association
- The National Association of Independent Schools
- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Michigan Department of Education