Shorewood Elementary School will be the third Madison School to receive the national Seal of Excellence from Welcoming Schools. The school will celebrate the honor through a ceremony held at a school assembly on Friday, June 7 at 9:45am.

“At Shorewood Hills Elementary School, ‘inclusion’ is more than a theory.  Every school day and in every classroom we see first-hand the real, persisting and permeative benefits of actively implementing the Welcoming Schools Program.  When children and adults embrace our diversity – diversity in gender identity and expression, diversity in race and culture, diversity in our hearts and our minds – we see ourselves as a community,” Principal Anu Ebbe said. “The Welcoming Schools Program teaches us to affirm our intersectional identities, creates an environment where all students feel safe, free from biased based bullying where we feel a true sense of belonging and connection to each other.  And I know, both from evidence-based studies as well as from the direct, real-world achievements we see on a daily basis here a Shorewood School, that well-being of all children is the absolute key to academic success and personal growth.”

Welcoming Schools is a national program being used in MMSD to create more respectful and supportive schools for all students, staff and families.  Through professional development, lesson plans, books, inclusive language and practices around the themes of family diversity, gender and LGTBTQ+ inclusion, preventing bias-based bullying and intersectional identities, schools are becoming places where everyone is seen, valued and respected.

The Seal of Excellence is awarded to schools that meet required benchmarks that demonstrate a supportive school community in which LGBTQ students and families feel included, respected and valued. To earn the Seal, the school submitted evidence of meeting the following benchmarks like enumerated policies and procedures regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; hosting family nights; inclusion of diverse books and resources; and more.

Shorewood School has not only demonstrated outstanding dedication to creating and sustaining welcoming and inclusive school environments through meeting the benchmarks, but also showed innovation and creativity through special projects developed and implemented by our student leaders in the Ally Team and SBLT.

“We are so proud of the work of Shorewood for receiving this national honor,” Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said. “As one of our 16 Welcoming Schools in the district, this school community has worked hard to create a strong school community that values family diversity, creates gender inclusive environments and supports our transgender and non-binary students.”