Equity, Race, and Diversity Resources

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A Great Place to Start:

Arlington Public Schools Office of Equity and Excellence

National Museum of African American History & Culture – Talking about Race

Pretty Good Design: Are your kids too young to talk about race? Nope.


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Books for Kids:

Videos for Kids:

Books for Adults:

Resources for Adults:

Resources for Teachers:

Statement from Principal Horak:


June 2, 2020

Good Afternoon Abingdon Community:

I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones healthy.

The events of the past week in the United States have been turbulent to say the least.  From large scale peaceful protests to frightening acts of violence, the images and sounds on our screens are hard to process. The injustices that have impacted African American citizens throughout our history have created this rawness currently being felt.  This is a time for us all to be concerned about how we can listen to understand, heal as a community and a country, and work to create a better world around us.

The Arlington School Board and APS has put out a statement pertaining to the events, which can be read here: https://www.apsva.us/post/a-message-from-the-superintendent-and-school-board/

Abingdon is a community perfectly positioned to, in a small way, help create a more peaceful and just society.  This is a community with members from every part of the globe and from every segment of society.  I can tell you that one thing that draws and keeps staff members at Abingdon is this beautiful diversity; indeed, it was one of the main reasons I applied for this job.  Under Abingdon’s roof, we proudly have all that Arlington has to offer and we look forward to serving our students every day.

We are working in multiple ways to help build understanding and create a better world.  Staff are working to ensure that our beliefs and practices are based in creating an equitable school.  We are working with Arron Gregory, our Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and his team to assess how equitable our school is and how we can make Abingdon a better place for everyone. This work includes looking at our instructional and disciplinary practices for our students, as well as how our staff collaborates and communicates with one another.

For our students, Abingdon is being intentional about developing our social-emotional learning program.  Over the next several years, we will be implementing Responsive Classroom into every K-5 classroom.  That, along with our Second Step counseling curriculum and lessons from Teaching Tolerance, is a potent combination to help students develop positive social skills such as empathy, compassion, teamwork and collaboration.  These skills are essential for students to grow academically.  These skills also help students interact with one another more positively and lay the groundwork for a more inclusive and welcoming environment.

After APS announces how instruction will be delivered in 2020-21, the leadership team and I will put more specifics in place to ensure this work continues within the framework of either in person or distance learning.  As a part of that, I will reach out to Dr. Duran, our new Superintendent, as well as Mr. Gregory to attend functions with the Abingdon community to help address concerns of our staff, parents and larger community.

As to how you can help your students at home process these events, please visit our counseling website.  There is a growing number of resources about equity, talking to your students about race and other topics.

Thank you for your continued work and support in making APS and Abingdon truly special places to live and work.


David Horak, Principal