5 Goal 3: To Achieve Equitable Learning Opportunities for All Students How are Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) Specialists supporting classroom teachers on their journey to create culturally relevant learning environments for each of their students? In September 2016, HRSB created two Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Specialist positions. The specialists serve as culturally relevant instructional coaches and work directly in classrooms with teachers and students. They also collaborate with school administrations to implement culturally relevant pedagogy. Recently, the CRP Specialists worked in classrooms at Joseph Howe and Central Spryfield elementary schools. They helped each classroom teacher adapt their practice as well as the physical learning space in order to be responsive to students. What steps did they take to do that? They asked the students, of course! How do we break the cycle of systemic racism in educational institutions? This is one of many questions being explored throughout the HRSB. In order to move forward with addressing inequities in schools and to address the achievement gap for African Nova Scotian and Indigenous students, educators have to be afforded the opportunity to understand the root of both. Staff at Central Office recently participated in professional learning called Exploring Systemic Racism, led by HRSB’s Senior Diversity Advisor, Wendy Mackey. The sessions, broken into four parts, require participants to read portions of the BLAC Report on Education (1994) and the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2013), as well as the book, Is everyone really equal: An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education. The readings are the foundation for conversation to deepen the understanding around the historical context of systemic racism in educational institutions in Nova Scotia. During the sessions, participants are asked to make tangible commitments to disrupt the cycle of systemic racism and discrimination in schools. Participants gain an understanding of how to identify and interrupt situations in schools that are resulting from inequitable practices and affecting the achievement of students that have been historically marginalized in our province’s educational institutions. Participants who are teachers also gain knowledge on how to lead with a culturally relevant approach in which the students’ culture and race become the strength of the classroom. Members of Senior Staff begin this professional learning on March 6.