The ACPS Certification in Culturally Responsive Teaching, offered by The Albemarle County Public Schools, is a rigorous year-long process which provides an opportunity for ACPS educators to receive recertification credit and compensation for documenting their learning across all three ACPS Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Teaching, continuously and robustly integrating CRT into their instructional practice, and demonstrating a positive impact on student achievement and learning.
Who Is Eligible To Apply?
Any ACPS educator or administrator who is committed to closing equity gaps for traditionally marginalized students may pursue Certification in Culturally Responsive Teaching.
Please see Certification Requirements for more details.
Applicants who successfully achieve ACPS Certification in Culturally Responsive Teaching will be awarded 90 recertification points and will receive a $1,000 stipend. Recipients of this award will be invited to present their work at our annual ACPS Spring Diversity Conference.
Many of those who pursue a Certification in Culturally Responsive Teaching began their journeys by first applying for a Micro-credential in Culturally Responsive Teaching. To learn more about the Micro-Credential, please visit our ACPS CRT Micro-Credential website.
What are the Requirements to Become an ACPS Certified Culturally Responsive Educator?
Certification in Culturally Responsive Teaching means that our educators have a foundation in research-based culturally responsive pedagogy as well as proven, critical strategies to enhance instruction for all learners. All candidates seeking certification must follow a process including:
- Participation in a 3-part Culturally Responsive Teaching module series provided by the ACPS Office of Community Engagement; and
- Submission and presentation of a portfolio evidencing proficiency in each of the ACPS Three Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Teaching. The portfolio component of the CRT certification will encompass and express skills and new knowledge developed through the workshops, continued research, and transfer to practice. An emphasis should be placed on the candidate's growth and how the candidate intentionally used Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices to impact student growth. Those seeking certification must submit a 2-part portfolio demonstrating proficiency in each indicator of the 3 characteristics of CRT within 24 months of completion of the workshop series.
- Part A: A written essay, not to exceed 10 pages, addressing your answers to a set of guiding questions for each characteristic.
- Part B: Evidence of increased student achievement due to successful application of the ACPS Culturally Responsive Teaching framework.
Portfolios will be assessed by a certification committee comprised of CRT-certified educators. The assessment rubric used by the certification committee evaluates the portfolios based on successful implementation of the ACPS Three Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Teaching. For more information, see the ACPS Certification Instructions Overview.
CRT Certification as a Transformational Process
As CRT Certification applicants endeavor to improve their instructional practices to meet the needs of their students most affected by the achievement and opportunity gaps, they begin to recognize that not only their day-to-day actions change, but their mindsets about students & families become transformed in the process.
Where do I start?
Our certified educators start their CRT journey by attending the Introduction to Culturally Responsive Teaching, a 3-part professional learning experience that helps educators build on their passion for equity by teaching the mindset and critical practices essential for closing equity gaps in the classroom. The series is offered in the Fall and Spring in ACPS and for select schools in the division throughout the academic year.
Join a Cohort!
Our year-long cohorts, led by CRT-certified facilitators, are supportive networks of educators who are eager to "Plan, Do, Study, and Act" to develop equitable practices in their classrooms and schools. Cohorts meet monthly in conjunction with our Diversity Resource Team Monthly Professional Development. The cohort facilitator will keep you on track so that you are prepared to submit your Certification Portfolio to the Assessment Committee in the Spring.
Build an Equity Mindset
As you thoughtfully consider professional resources like the ACPS guiding textbook, Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain* by Zaretta Hammond, you will build an asset-based mindset that facilitates the creation and growth of academic partnerships with your students and families.
Most of our certification candidates choose to work with instructional coaches or reflective partners who are dedicated to equity work on their campuses. As a part of these collaborative relationships, educators work to measure the impact of their intentional Culturally Responsive Practices on student achievement. These impacts become the foundation of the CRT Certification Portfolio.
Develop a CRT Portfolio
Your last step toward certification is to develop, submit, and present a personalized portfolio evidencing proficiency in each of the ACPS Three Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Teaching. The portfolio component of the CRT certification will encompass and express skills and new knowledge developed through the workshops, continued research, and study of practice. A requirement of the portfolio is that it shows evidence your CRT practices close equity gaps for students. For more information, see the tab "Requirements."
Continue Growing As Part of A Model for Change
Those who meet the certification requirements are awarded with certificates at our annual Spring ACPS Equity Conference. Our hope is that all of our certification recipients will then become CRT facilitators, thus igniting the process for other educators in our division.
“When we are able to recognize and name a student's learning moves and not mistake culturally different ways of learning and making meaning for intellectual deficits, we are better able to match those moves with a powerful teaching response. ”
~ Zaretta Hammond, Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain, Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
Davis, B. M. (2012). How to teach students who don't look like you: Culturally responsive teaching strategies. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.
Delpit, L. (2006). Other people's children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York, New York: The New Press.
Gay, Geneva. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching, theory and practice. New York, New York: Teachers College Press.
Hammond, Z. (2015). Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin. **
Hollie, S. (2017). Culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and learning. Teacher Created Materials.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco, California: John Wiley & Sons.
Paris, D., & Alim, H. S. (Eds.). (2017). Culturally sustaining pedagogies: Teaching and learning for justice in a changing world. New York, Teachers College Press.
Singleton, G. E. (2014). Courageous conversations about race: A field guide for achieving equity in schools. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.
** The primary text we will use in our Certification cohort.
For additional reading suggestions, see Further Reading by CRT Characteristic
- Who may apply for an ACPS CRT Certification?
- Do I need to attend the monthly certification cohort meeting?
- How do the ACPS CRT Certification and ACPS Micro-Credential differ?
- Can I pursue both a micro-credential and CRT Certification simultaneously?
- How does compensation work for the ACPS CRT Certification?
- What happens after CRT Certification?
The CRT Micro-credential is different from CRT Certification in two significant aspects. First, the micro-credential is designed to support educators to develop a foundation in the Three Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Teaching. While the Three Characteristics will always inform and inter-relate with each other, the micro-credential allows educators to "chunk" their investigation of ACPS's CRT Model by focusing on a single characteristic. In contrast, CRT Certification requires that applicants learn, apply, and evidence their deep work in all three characteristics during the same year.
Second, where the "evidence" component of the micro-credential submission asks teachers to self-reflect on how their research-based CRT practices have impacted student learning, CRT Certification requires evidence that applicants' intentional use of research-based CRT practices have resulted in measurable gains in student achievement that result in closed equity gaps.
Educators are free to pursue micro-credentials and CRT Certification in sequence. However, they may not pursue these in the same year. For example, an educator that has completed the micro-credential may apply for certification in the following year. Certified educators should not pursue a micro-credential; we offer many opportunities to extend learning through leadership to CRT Certified educators.
Recipients of certification will receive 90 recertification points and a $1,000 stipend from Albemarle County. Currently, there are some employees who are not eligible for stipends (Administrators, Lead Coaches, and Teaching Assistants). However, for school administrators, the stipend amount may still be awarded and applied specifically towards a school-based Culturally Responsive Teaching project. Stipends will be awarded at the conclusion of the school year, once certification recipients have been announced. If you are a Teaching Assistant interested in pursuing Certification, please contact us.
Those who meet the certification requirements are awarded at our annual ACPS Diversity Conference. Certification recipients will also be invited to present their work at this conference. Our hope is that all of our certification recipients will continue in their CRT practice, become CRT facilitators and equity leaders on their campuses, thus igniting the process for other educators in our division.
Current List of ACPS Certified Culturally Responsive Teaching Educators:
- Addison Holmes, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Adrienne Oliver, Instructional Coach
- Alexa Winsor, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Anna McQuitty, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Ashae Bush, Teacher, Monticello High School
- Ashby Johnson, Principal, Jouett Middle School
- Ashley Seawell, Teacher, Stony Point Elementary
- Atlanta Hutchins, Teacher, Crozet Elementary School
- Ben Allen, Former Associate Principal, Mountain View Elementary School
- Brad Handrich, Assistant Principal, Mountain View Elementary School
- Brandon Readus, Former Gifted Resource Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Brennan Trick, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
- Carrie Oertel, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Chelsey Lundgren, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Chiaka Chuks, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- C’ta DeLaurier, Former Instructional Coach
- Cyndi Wells, Principal, Mountain View Elementary School
- Darah Bonham, Principal, Albemarle High School
- Dabney Ferguson, Instructional Coach
- DeeDee Jones, Former Student Services Officer, Center for Learning & Growth
- Destinie Thomas, Instructional Coach
- Diana Smith, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Emily Holmstrom, Counselor, Agnor Hurt Elementary School
- Filadelfia Soto, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Hashim Davis, Former Teacher, Center for Learning & Growth
- Hollins Mills, Teacher, V.L. Murray Elementary School
- Jane Engel, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
- Jasmine Azimi, Former Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Jaylen Crist, Teacher, Crozet Elementary School
- Jeff Handler, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Jennifer Graham, Teacher, Walton Middle School
- Jennifer Middlesworth, Teacher, Center for Learning & Growth
- Karen Garland, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Katie McLaughlin, Teacher, Greer Elementary School
- Katy Schutz, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Kimberly Gibson, Lead Coach
- Kimberly Wilson, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Kristina Kilgallen, Teacher, Western Albemarle High School
- LaNika Barnes, Teacher, Albemarle High School
- Lars Holmstrom, ACPS Equity Education Specialist
- Latishia Wilson, Principal, Stony Point Elementary School
- Leslie Wills Taylor, Assistant Principal, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School
- Lynn Define, Teacher, Western Albemarle High School
- Marcela Carlock, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Marco Tello, Counselor, Albemarle High School
- Marian McCullough, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Mariel Mendez, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Megan Washburn, Instructional Coach
- Maureen Jensen, Former Lead Coach
- Meredith Holmes, Teacher, Sutherland Middle School
- Mike Irani, Principal, Meriwether Lewis Elementary School
- Monica Laux, Librarian, Albemarle High School
- Patricia Demitry, Assistant Principal, Monticello High School
- Quaneilia Shifflett, Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School
- Rachel Caldwell, Former Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Rebecca Brown, Teacher, Hollymead Elementary School
- Rebecca Kindler, Teacher, Walton Middle School
- Rebecca Van Der Jagt, Teacher, Walton Middle School
- Sherica Jones Lewis, Former Assistant Principal, Walton Middle School
- Vicki Hobson, Instructional Coach
- Victoria Dickens, Teacher, Mountain View Elementary School
- Victoria Megginson, Teacher, Jouett Middle School
- Whitney Hinnant, Former Teacher, Woodbrook Elementary School