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Identity Safe Schools for LGBTQ+ Students

This professional learning program offers a holistic approach to creating safe, inclusive, and affirming school environments for all students. Dr. Vincent Pompei, one of the leading experts in the policies and practices that support LGBTQ+ students, draws on over a decade of experience advising schools and districts to develop this model for creating LGBTQ+-affirming environments.

By engaging is this critically important work, you and your staff will take a deep look at local data, legal obligations, policies, and systems to determine your action plan. You will also integrate input from your district leadership team, staff, and students into a sustainable, comprehensive professional learning plan and approach.

As a result, you and your staff will feel a greater sense of confidence to address inequities for LGBTQ+ students, develop policies and practices that will transform school climates, make meaningful teachable moments, and, most importantly, be prepared to help students when they need support related to their LGBTQ+ identity. 

Available Services

  • Keynotes
  • Workshops
  • Implementation support
  • Coaching support



kids having fun

Designed for: central office administrators, school board members, school leaders, teachers, school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, and other education support professionals

Grade levels: PreK-12

Solution for: student mental health and well-being, equity, bullying prevention, face, inclusive, and affirming school culture and climate, identity safety

Delivery options: onsite consulting, virtual consulting

Thought leader: Vincent Pompei

Related Professional Learning: Building Resilience, Deep Equity, Collective Equity




Teachers will:

  • Understand the meaning and differences between sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression and that these characteristics include a broad spectrum of identities
  • Understand the most urgent challenges facing LGBTQ+ students using an intersectional lens
  • Understand district, state, and federal policies pertaining to the safety and inclusion of LGBTQ+ students and how to ensure the rights of LGBTQ+ students are protected
  • Understand how creating safe, inclusive, and affirming learning environments aligns with their school and district’s mission and values
  • Understand how LGBTQ+ inclusive learning environments align with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Feel confident in the commitment and support of their school and district leadership in the event of backlash
  • Feel more comfortable discussing LGBTQ+-related topics with students, staff, parents/guardians, and the community
  • Feel empowered to enact various research-based recommendations to improve learning environments for students

Leaders will:

  • Understand the terminology around LGBTQ+ topics, including intersectionality, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, non-binary, and genderqueer
  • Understand the most urgent and emerging challenges faced by LGBTQ+ students and what research-based actions help mitigate disparities in the data related to feeling safe and connected at school
  • Understand legal requirements that pertain to LGBTQ+ inclusion and how to apply them to common scenarios related to students’ rights to a safe, inclusive, and affirming school
  • Understand professional standards for K-12 educators to create safe, welcoming, and affirming school environments
  • Understand how the National Professional Standards for Educational Leaders align with creating safe, inclusive, and affirming school climates for LGBTQ+ students
  • Understand how to update all forms of communication (written and verbal) to be LGBTQ+ and gender-inclusive
  • Communicate how creating safe, inclusive, and affirming learning environments aligns with their school and district’s mission and values
  • “Lead from the front” by modeling inclusive language, policies, and practices for staff, students, parents/guardians, and the community

As a result of creating an LGBTQ+-affirming environment, all students will:

  • Experience an increased sense of inclusion, identity safety, well-being, and belonging
  • Feel more comfortable approaching staff for support related to multiple dimensions of their identity, including race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression
  • Experience increased attendance rates, academic achievement, graduation rates, and improved mental health and wellness
  • Have opportunities to contribute to the development of optimal learning environments for all students and make their voices heard
  • Understand and appreciate the rich diversity that they and their peers contribute to the school community

What You’ll Learn

This interactive and engaging professional learning will help educators understand:

kids comparing notes

  • LGBTQ+ identities, current and emerging challenges facing LGBTQ+ students
  • Federal, state, and local laws or policies
  • Research-based actions that promote safe, inclusive, and affirming school climates
  • Professional standards for K-12 educators
  • Resources to guide staff in their LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts further

Throughout each session, participants practice new knowledge by responding to common scenarios in small groups, followed by large group debriefs and simulations designed to improve their comfort level. Sessions will also consider the most up-to-date research, school climate data, laws, policies, and educator resources.

Available Services

The Corwin Professional Learning Services team provides customized professional learning plans based on the needs and goals of your school or district for developing LGBTQ+-affirming environments. As part of our commitment to client support, our professional learning advisors and author consultants can provide a confidential needs assessment and make recommendations for sequencing workshops, implementation support, and coaching.

Keynotes and Workshops

The Identity Safe Schools for LGBTQ+ Students approach includes:

  • An initial consultation with school and district leadership, including board members when appropriate, to discuss current or emerging challenges, answer questions, review actions taken, and share current district policies and procedures
  • Site visits/walkthroughs with select site administrators to better understand the site-level culture and to further customize next steps, including professional learning
  • A keynote during a school year kick-off event or district-wide professional development day to begin building awareness of what LGBTQ+ inclusion means (and what it doesn’t mean) and ensure all staff understands this work is aligned with district leadership goals and policies related to creating a safe, inclusive, and affirming school for each student, and to set initial expectations among all staff.
  • Ongoing professional learning based on the district goals and needs, beginning with school and district leadership, followed by school counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses, and other school-based mental health professionals.  

Once all district and build leadership and mental health professionals have been trained, it is recommended that each site receive training.

Implementation Support and Coaching Services


Ongoing technical assistance and coaching for small groups and 1:1 coaching with district and site-level leadership is available to further support developing safe, inclusive, and affirming school climates for LGBTQ+ students. This may include:

  • Brainstorming updates to district documents/forms, policies, or procedures
  • Discussing a summary of successes or accomplishments
  • Responding to complex challenges
  • Offering guidance around the next steps

Contact Your Professional Learning Advisor

Corwin Professional Learning Advisors help you build a sustainable implementation blueprint for high-impact professional learning that is uniquely tailored to your school or district. Complete this form to request a free consultation about your initiatives, goals, budget, and needs.

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