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Fall is here! With it brings cooler weather (for some of us), strange pumpkin-flavored concoctions, and the District Dates Form! As district committees are tasked with making plans that will shape their district tournament season, we are excited to share a variety of resources to help guide your decision making and hopefully make planning a bit easier!
If you happened to miss our first District Leader Town Hall, we encourage you to check out the recording on our YouTube channel. You'll learn the latest changes to rules, updates on the National Tournament, and get an introduction to our newest resource the Belonging and Inclusion Station (BIS).
Continuing Your District's Journey Toward Inclusion
For the 2022-2023 district tournament season, we ask that you as district leaders continue to work toward creating a caring and welcoming environment for participants at your district tournaments. Have you considered requiring judge training, having a Belonging and Inclusion Station, and/or naming an accessibility contact for your district tournament? Many districts are already doing one or more of these things! The District Dates Form will ask you to commit to at least one of these strategies at your tournament series this year. We are here to help!
Requiring Free Judge Training
An excellent way to improve the quality of a district tournament is to require judge training that not only includes information about the competitive elements of speech and debate but also shares strategies for assessing implicit bias and providing culturally competent feedback. Your district may decide to create your own training, or you can consider requiring judges to take the free NFHS Implicit Bias course and/or Adjudicating Speech and Debate course. We also encourage all coaches and judges to take the Cultural Competence Course.
Staffing a Belonging and Inclusion Station
Are you interested in providing a Belonging and Inclusion Station (BIS) at your tournament? You’ll want to start with a Belonging and Inclusion Advocate. The Belonging and Inclusion Advocate (BIA) is a designated member of your tournament staff who will serve as your partner in issues addressing equity, which can include violations of your harassment and discrimination policy.
Chances are, you already have a Belonging and Inclusion Advocate, as providing a tournament officer for people to go to for help is commonplace at tournaments. If you have someone who serves in this capacity, or is interested in becoming a BIA, please encourage them to attend our Belonging and Inclusion Advocate Training on Monday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m. CT. Attendees will discuss the BIS Manual, explore ways to address issues of harassment and discrimination with cultural competence and care, and take the BIA certification quiz. Register today or contact Dr. Paul Porter, Director of DEI for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naming an Accessibility Contact
If students, coaches, or judges need accommodations during your district tournament, do they know who to contact? An accessibility contact is a designated person who works to address the needs of participants and views the tournament through the lens of accessibility. As a starting point, review our updated Inclusive Tournament Checklist. If at any point your accessibility contact would like support, they are welcome to contact the national office.
Join a Wording Committee!
Member coaches and alumni are encouraged to self-nominate to serve on one of our topic wording committees. Committees will either work on topics for the 2023 National Tournament or write potential resolutions for the 2023-2024 season. The work of these groups generally will be completed between March 1 and May 1, 2023. PF and LD committees may continue working into June. Access the online nomination form at www.speechanddebate.org/topic-committee. Feel free to share this information with any interested coaches or alumni.
2021-2022 Leading Chapters
Each year, the top chapter in accumulated members and degrees in each district receives the Leading Chapter Award. The winning school's total returns to zero and it begins a new record. Congratulations to the winners for the 2021-2022 school year! District chairs, the Leading Chapter Award is included in your district box and is given out as part of the district tournament series.
Do You Have New Coaches in Your District?
Have you ever wished you could hand a new coach a road map to help them learn how to teach a new event? If so, we are proud to recommend our Start Here series! These easy to follow lesson plans are backed up with ready-to-use resources and materials and can help coaches feel more confident as teach a variety of events. For high school teachers we offer lesson plans covering Public Speaking, Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, and Policy and for middle school teachers there are units on Congress, Interp, Public Address, and Public Forum. To share this resources with coaches in your district download an informational flyer (PDF).
November is Native American Heritage Month. Access resources on our website.
November 29, 2022, is Giving Tuesday. If you have fundraising opportunities, this is an excellent time to highlight them in your community. Find more ideas online »
November 30, 2022 – If all of your district tournaments begin after January 1, your District Dates Form is due on Tabroom.com. Use these instructions to complete it.
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