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Teachers attend a daylong equity conference to learn ways to close the achievement gap for students of color

For the third straight year, teachers in Oregon City attended a daylong equity conference to learn ways to close the achievement gap for students of color.

PHOTO COURTESY: MICHAEL CLARK - Carmen Urbina was the keynote speaker at a daylong equity conference for Oregon City teachers.The February event, attended by 463 teachers, included 79 different presenters. Educators learned from each other with many sessions being facilitated by peers.

A team of six Oregon City High School students volunteered to help with registration and presenter check-in, and other students joined a panel presentation at the event.

The day began with a keynote presentation on equity opportunities in Oregon schools by Carmen Urbina, recipient of the Distinguished Latinx Educator Award from the Oregon Association of Latino Educators.

"Equity is the lens that allows us to see the children and families we are not serving," she said. "The work of the teacher is social justice."

Teachers had the opportunity to choose between 50 workshops on topics ranging from restorative justice discipline strategies to diversifying curriculum and responding to microaggressions.

"We are excited that this year were able to double the size of the conference by including all secondary teachers," said event coordinator Jennifer Bell. "They really added a lot to the day, both as presenters and participants."

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