Location: United States |  Change Location
Male flipping through Corwin book

Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, school counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.


Belonging and Inclusion in Identity Safe Schools

A Guide for Educational Leaders

This comprehensive guide offers leaders the tools they need to implement evidence-based identity safe practices across schools and districts where students of all backgrounds feel “seen” and “heard.” Strategies and policies are offered that validate all social identities and seek to eliminate negative stereotypes and biases. Leaders will find guiding principles for promoting belonging in a non-colorblind and anti-racist environment with examples and vignettes; professional learning models, assessment strategies, interactive activities and tools to develop an identity safe plan for your school.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071835838
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2021
  • Page Count: 304
  • Publication date: August 25, 2021

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.



Lead an identity safe learning community where students of all backgrounds thrive

Students of all backgrounds reach their full potential when they feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. When their social identities are valued as assets rather than barriers to learning, they flourish. This guide provides evidence-based strategies that support you as a leader in creating an environment that promotes identity safe students, who experience a challenging curriculum that respects their diverse social identities. 
Features in the book include:

  • Guiding principles for student voice, equalizing status and cultivating acceptance across race, ethnicity, gender and other differences
  • Ideas and examples for anti-racist dialogue and activities for teachers and students that counter colorblind practices, stereotype threat and biases
  • Vignettes, and examples of identity safe practices for students and adult learning for staff, families and the community
  • Systems for student-centered assessment and data collection
  • Resources for developing equitable school policies and a comprehensive identity safety plan for your school

Educators fulfill the promise of an equitable education when students of all backgrounds know that who they are and what they think matters. Start the journey to become an identity safe school and see the results for yourself!

Belonging and Inclusion in Identity Safe Schools: A Guide for Educational Leaders is a timely and important book.  For several years, the nation's schools have been asked to focus their energies on raising student achievement.  However, too often educators have ignored the need to honor, support and affirm the identities of the students they serve.  For educators who serve children of color, particularly Black, Native American and Latinx children who are often subject to overt and covert forms of forced assimilation, this book will be an invaluable resource on how to create learning opportunities that make it possible for such children to thrive.”
~Pedro Noguera, Dean of Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

“Bravo to authors Cohn-Vargas, Gogolewski, Creer Kahn, and Epstein for their ground-breaking book on Identify Safe Schools for Administrators and Teacher and Staff Leaders!  They provide much-needed evidence for educators to elevate and even inspire the equity, empowerment, and academic growth needed to wholly support all children to flourish in school and their lives.”  
~Debbie Zacarian, Director, Zacarian and Associates




Becki Cohn-Vargas photo

Becki Cohn-Vargas

Becki Cohn-Vargas, EdD, spent over 35 years as a teacher, principal, curriculum director, and superintendent in rural, urban, and suburban districts. In each setting, she focused on educational equity and strategies for diverse populations. When she learned about research on identity safety classrooms where teachers strive to assure students that their social identities are an asset rather than a barrier to success in the classroom, it became her educational mission. Partnering with Dorothy Steele, identity safety researcher, she coauthored “Identity Safe Classrooms: Places to Belong and Learn,” aimed at K–5 teachers. Subsequently, she co-authored “Identity Safe Classrooms Grades 6–12: Pathways to Belonging and Learning”, and “Belonging and Inclusion in Identity Safe Schools: A Guide for Educational Leaders.”

Currently, Becki is an independent consultant and presenter. She was hosted at the White House by President Obama’s education staff and has worked to create identity safe school climates in over 150 schools across the U.S.

Website: http://beckicohnvargas.com.

Alexandrea Creer Kahn photo

Alexandrea Creer Kahn

Alexandrea Creer Kahn, MAed, after earning her BA at UC Berkeley and MA in Education from Stanford University, started her career in education, working to support elementary school teachers and leaders to engage in the school improvement process. Over the course of her career focusing on educational equity, Alex has worked in several roles in K–12 and higher-ed including teacher, school coach, principal, and district leader, as well as lecturer for Stanford University. Recently, Alex coauthored the book Identity Safe Classrooms: Grades 6–12: Pathway to Belonging and Learning. Alex currently oversees the clinical practicum program for Alder Graduate School of Education as the senior director of Academic Programs. Alex’s areas of expertise include school leadership, school transformation, teacher education, coaching, professional learning, and curriculum and instruction. A Bay Area native, Alex enjoys spending her time with her husband and two sons, writing, and spending time outdoors.

Amy Epstein photo

Amy Epstein

Amy Epstein, MSW, is the founding partner of Data for the People, working to transform data into valued and accessible information centered in the knowledge and priorities of those closest to a context, problem, or goal. She has worked as an administrator and consultant with many school districts, schools, foundations, and other nonprofit organizations to advance equity in education, particularly in the areas of evidence-based inquiry and dialogue, coordinated services/tiered support systems, data systems and processes, and assessment. Amy was a coauthor in 2020 of Identity Safe Classrooms: Grades 6–12: Pathway to Belonging and Learning. Amy lives in San Francisco, CA, with her wife, Liat. She is anchored and made joyous by drumming, singing, meditating, and spending time outdoors.

Kathe Gogolewski photo

Kathe Gogolewski

Kathe Gogolewski, MAed, taught science as well as first, third, and fourth grades in Bay Area elementary schools, serving culturally rich and racially diverse students from all backgrounds. During her tenure, she worked as both a master and mentor teacher, working with new teachers and new teacher candidates in both classroom management and curriculum. She provided teachers with a framework for creating nurturing classrooms that welcomed students of all identities and backgrounds. She taught at California State University in the teacher credential program and has presented at workshops and conferences across the United States. Since moving to San Diego, Kathe supports and volunteers for various nonprofits, including Embracing the World, serving populations in need across the globe; San Diego Rapid Response Network, creating safe spaces for refugees and people seeking asylum; and Casa de Amparo, providing care for children before their placement into foster care. She has worked as a volunteer science and language arts teacher in the Vista, Carlsbad, and San Diego Unified School Districts. She has published a children’s book, Tato, and a number of children’s short stories, all with themes that support and foster compassion toward oneself and others. A transplant from the Bay Area, she lives now in San Diego, with her husband, Ray. They have four children and seven grandchildren.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About the Authors




Chapter 1: An Introduction to Identity Safe Schools

Chapter 2: Leadership for an Identity Safe School

Chapter 3: Adult Learning in Service of an Identity Safe School

Chapter 4: Data and Assessment for an Identity Safe School

Chapter 5: Identity Safe Partnerships with Families and the Community

Chapter 6: Coherence and Congruence

Chapter 7: Planning and Implementing Schoolwide Identity Safety

Epilogue: Closing Thoughts


Appendix A: Equitable Data Inquiry Preparation Guide: Preparing for Equitable Data Dialogue, Analysis, and Reflection

Appendix B: Identity Safe Staff Self-Reflection Activity

Appendix C: Identity Safe Classroom Practices: Teacher Self-Assessment

Appendix D: Identity Safe Classroom Observation Form

Appendix E: Inquiry Calendar Planner

Appendix F: We–Why Reflection Tool

Appendix G: Identity Safe Formative Assessment Feedback Loop Reflection Questions & Planner

Appendix H: Developmentally Appropriate Conversations About Race and Gender With Children and Youth: Tips for Educators and Parents/Caregivers

Appendix I: Grades 3–5 Student Identity Safe Classroom Survey

Appendix J: Grades 6–12 Student Identity Safe Classroom Survey

Appendix K: Identity Safe Signature Strategies Spreadsheet




Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

Related Resources