Staff Editorial: BARR Conference, program beneficial to community but needs improving


Art by Maggie Klaers

The morning of April 11 will be a crowded one for Park, as around 500 educators from around the country will be coming together for the National Building Assets, Reducing Risks Conference hosted by the school.

Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) contains policies that are meant to create teacher-student relationships and further provide a support system for all students and teachers. The conference’s purpose is to celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary, bring together BARR schools and display mock block meetings and example I-Times.

The Echo Editorial Board praises BARR for hosting this event which will positively display and celebrate our community.

We recognize that Park is very fortunate to have several resources accessible to all students, and we praise BARR for bringing educators from all different socioeconomic backgrounds together. This will help to build relationships that are beneficial to all communities.

Although the conference is advantageous for Park, having seven teachers absent from class is not. Having teachers absent from classrooms could be a disadvantage for a number of students, especially those preparing for AP/IB exams coming up in May.

Bringing in almost half a thousand people has the potential to cause chaos. We urge BARR to consider how this will affect the flow of the school day.

Furthermore, it is essential the BARR conference is accessible for all in order for it to be effective, as it does come with a fee. Other schools who are not as fortunate as Park are in need of programs like BARR the most. Allowing for this conference to be affordable will let all educators who want to participate attend.

The board acknowledges how, in past years, the BARR program has done a phenomenal job on building student and teacher relationships and has been crucial to students learning. Having block meetings and I-Times accessible to students shows a level of caring that we appreciate.

It is also important BARR utilizes its resources to not only build relationships and continue teacher education, but to also bridge the gap between regular and honors classes, and to focus more attention on reducing racial disparities in testing. BARR should advocate for all students’ learning.

Overall, we support BARR’s work but would like to see further action on accessibility to all teachers and students regardless of background.