by George J Elbaum
Inglewood Middle School is a public school with 1258 students in grades 6-8 and holds a very good 9/10 overall rating from Great Schools.org. Especially impressive is its 10/10 rating for the test scores of its students’ proficiency: 86% vs 50% State avg in math, and 88% vs 61% State avg in English. The student body is diverse: 58% White, 28% Asian, 7% two or more races, 6% Hispanic, and 1% Black.
8th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies teachers Maria Fyles and Andrew Gustav organized this educational speaking event consisting of 3 consecutive presentations by 3 different Holocaust speakers to 3 large groups of 8th graders (approx. 300 total), some physically in classrooms and some via Teams. Supporting the presentations as related to their concurrent teaching model were Inglewood 8th grade LASS teachers, Caroline Freidenfelt, Amy Jones, Gretchen Mason, Mary Olson, and Kacie Simpson. All teachers have been using materials from the Holocaust Center for Humanity and Echoes and Reflections curricula to study the Holocaust in the context of their WWII Unit with connection to United States and Washington State History. Teachers and students were able to connect a historical event to their local community through the speaker narratives from the Holocaust Center for Humanity.
I made the 3rd of the 3 consecutive presentations, and speakers for all 3 presentations were arranged by Julia Thompson, Education Program Manager of the Holocaust Center for Humanity.