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Gender Spectrum

About Us

Gender Spectrum was recently awarded a five-year grant from the California Department of Public Health to conduct rigorous evaluation of our professional development programs. We are measuring changes in knowledge, behaviors and attitudes related to gender among participants in our trainings, as well as school and district level change associated with our trainings, resources, and support. Gender Spectrum offers two programs: The Foundations of Gender Inclusive Schools Training and The Gender Spectrum Inclusive Schools Network. Schools can participate in one or both and take part in this groundbreaking evaluation. Learn more about each program below.

Foundations of Gender Inclusive Schools Training

This 2.5-hour workshop is designed to establish basic understandings of gender diversity and approaches for applying them to professional practice. Through direct presentation, short videos of young people talking about gender, group reflection and discussion, this workshop takes participants through a review of basic gender concepts and terminology. The session then builds on this foundation, modeling concrete strategies for applying the lens of gender diversity to school practices. Through this training participants will have practical skills and knowledge to create gender inclusive learning environment for all students while also accounting for the unique experiences of Transgender and Non- binary students. Schools that participate in the Foundations of Gender Inclusive Schools may also opt to engage in follow-up sessions on topics related to supporting Gender-expansive students, gender inclusive leadership, and curriculum development or join the Inclusive Schools Network.

Inclusive Schools Network

The Gender Spectrum Inclusive Schools Network (ISN) is a learning community of
educational professionals committed to creating school settings where every child’s gender is seen,
understood, and respected. The ISN equips members with skills and knowledge to be leaders in bringing
gender inclusive schools to their institutions.

Elements of the ISN include:

  • A two-day Inclusive Schools Institute, comprised of a cohort of educators in the region
  • Access to online workshops focusing on different topics related to gender-inclusive schools
  • Regularly scheduled “drop-in” office hours with Gender Spectrum staff
  • Gender Spectrum resources, including slides, handouts, tools, videos and communications
  • Participation in ISN groups and forums on the Gender Spectrum Lounge
  • Archive of lessons and other resources created by Gender Spectrum and ISN members

Creating Gender Support Plans

More than any other resource, Gender Support Plans (GSPs) have allowed schools across the United
States and beyond to thoughtfully address the specific needs of transgender and nonbinary students.
Through the use of a Gender Support Plan, what can feel like a daunting task becomes a series of
individual decisions and practices grounded in common sense approaches educators employ every day. 
GSPs leverage the positive spaces established through gender inclusive practices. More than any other
resource, GSPs have allowed schools across the United States and beyond to thoughtfully address the
specific needs of transgender and nonbinary students. Their purpose is to create shared understandings
about the ways in which the student’s authentic gender will be accounted for and supported at school.
Rather than a moment of crisis, a gender-expansive student’s enrollment will affirm the truly gender-
inclusive climate a school has worked so hard to create.

Each student’s GSP will be unique, informed by the student’s individual’s needs, community, family
situation and personality. What all GSPs share in common is an intentional and transparent process for
systematically addressing the various areas that can otherwise negatively impact the student’s
experience at school. While a GSP is most effective in a setting that is proactively designed around
gender inclusive principles, their lack does not preclude the use of a GSP. In fact, the absence of such
conditions makes a carefully crafted plan essential for the student’s safety, well-being and success at

Learn more about using the Gender Support Plan.

The School/Home Partnership

When students, schools and caring adults collaborate, the impact is profound. Whenever possible, they should work together to identify the specific ways in which the institution will account for the student’s gender-related needs. Ideally, each will spend time completing the various sections of the GSP to the best of their ability and then come together to review sections and confirm shared agreements for implementing the plan.

Establishing this collaborative relationship is not always easy. For some families of gender-expansive students, experiences with schools have been challenging, and in some cases combative. Often facing systems unprepared or unwilling to meet their child’s needs, parents may approach their child’s school ready to do battle. It is critical that educators are especially focused on building trust with the family, acknowledging their fears and articulating your commitment to ensuring their child’s well-being. By genuinely demonstrating that their gender-expansive child is a welcome addition to your community, schools position themselves to establish an authentic partnership with families. The Framework for Inclusive Schools describes a number of tangible steps schools can take to demonstrate this welcoming stance. In so doing, you are setting up a relationship grounded in a common cause: the child’s successful experience at your school. Practical tips for creating a healthy school/home partnership can be found in our Initial School Meeting, a simple agenda for establishing this critical relationship.

What is a Gender Inclusive School

Gender inclusive schools, through intentional practices, policies and other actions demonstrate respect and support all students in their gender in ways large and small. From systemic strategies to subtle interactions, gender inclusive schools consistently ask, “How are we accounting for the unique gender of every student?” The answer to this question is well within the reach of any school, and is often far simpler than they could ever imagine.

A Framework for Gender Inclusive Schools

Our “Framework for Gender-Inclusive Schools” guides you through the intentional development of
gender inclusive school settings. This framework utilizes four discrete approaches, or entry points,
briefly these are:

Internal: Educators’ own knowledge and experiences of gender.
Interpersonal: Interactions, behaviors and communications that reinforce the school’s commitment to
gender inclusion for all.
Instructional: Specific ways in which teaching and learning are used to instill greater awareness and
understanding about gender.
Institutional: Structural steps that create a foundation for gender inclusive practices to take hold.
Read more about the Framework and ways to use it in your school.


understanding gender

Frequently used resources

general resources


Gender Spectrum—Alameda County