Civil Rights Day 2024: The Right to Read

Headwaters School
Friday, February 9, 2024 is our annual Civil Rights Day on the River Campus. During this special schedule we will spend the day on our theme “The Right to Read" with Keynote Speaker Director Weeks and afternoon breakout sessions.

Below you will find some important information about Civil Rights Day, including: 
  • Keynote Speaker: Director Weeks
  • Morning Announcements & Short Video
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions
  • Special Schedule
  • Important Details (like what to NOT bring, lunch, attendance, and more)
Again, we are so looking forward to engaging with our students, guides, staff, and community members on this annual event.

Thank you, 
Cortney, Avé, and Terra


Keynote Speaker: Director Weeks

We are thrilled to welcome Roosevelt Weeks, Director of Libraries for Austin Public Library as our keynote speaker. Director Weeks is a cherished friend of the school and was named Librarian of the Year by the Texas Library Association in 2023. He’ll focus on “The Right to Read,” including the importance of “libraries for all,” spaces where people from all walks of life can find ways to lean into curiosity and learning–via books, musical instruments, games, technology, special events and more.

Thank you so much to Director Weeks for his support of our school and reading everywhere! 

Morning Announcements & Short Video

Before we head to the library, we are hosting morning announcements. By 8:15 a.m., all students will make their way to their Advisory room where we will broadcast announcements hosted by Will Clark. He will go over some reminders (like the schedule) and then share a special short video from Above the Noise called Why Are People Banning Books in School that ties to our theme of “The Right to Read.” 

Presented by PBS Digital Studios, Above The Noise is a show produced by KQED in California. They shared that the show “cuts through the hype and takes a deeper look at the research and facts behind controversial and trending topics in the news.” Our film team of staff members really liked how this short ten-minute video speaks well to a student audience to share important information about book banning in schools around the country. Host Myles Bess takes a look at what book bans are and where they are happening before delving into the history of book banning. The video also explores the types of books being banned currently–namely those that “focus on LGBTQ youth or the impact of racism.” Finally, this video ends by Bess asking, “But what do you all think? How do y’all feel about all these books being banned?” We hope that this video encourages conversation among our students as they walk to the Austin Public Library and beyond.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

There are twenty-five intriguing breakout sessions about a range of civil rights issues on the afternoon schedule. Last week, students ranked their choices in Advisory in preparation for the big day. They will receive their session assignments later this week and all sessions will have attendance taken. Please note, capacity for each room is limited to the number of desks and chairs normally in the room

We are grateful to the students, guides, and members of the Austin community who are leading sessions. We are also looking forward to welcoming our Upper Elementary students and guides for this part of the day. 

Special Schedule

  • 8:00 | Campus Opens
  • 8:15 | Students to Advisory for Attendance
  • 8:20 | Morning Announcements
  • 9:00 | Walk to the Central Public Library
  • 9:30 - 10:30 | Keynote Speaker: Director Roosevelt Weeks
  • 10:30 - 10:40 | Break
  • 10:45 - 11:00 | Walk Back to Campus
  • 11:00 - 11:45 | Advisory Debrief
  • 11:45 - 1:00 | Lunch
  • 1:00 - 1:10 | Advisory for Afternoon Attendance
  • 1:15 - 2:00 | Breakout Session 1
  • 2:00 - 2:15 | Break & Travel
  • 2:15 - 3:00 | Breakout Session 2
  • 3:00 | Dismissal
  • 4:30 | School Closed

Important Details

Here are some important details for the day:

What to Bring

Students will want to bring a labeled reusable water bottle. We recommend a notebook and pen/pencil. Students can bring a packed lunch or money for the Food Truck. 

Please Do Not Bring

Please do not bring school books, laptop/charger, or even a backpack. 


Students who pack a lunch are invited to bring as usual and leave it in their advisory classroom. If your student buys lunch at the Food Truck, we highly recommend pre-ordering lunch through this link by 10 a.m. the day of for quicker service at the food truck. Middle School students are required to stay on campus for lunch. High School students may go off campus as long as they can be back by 1 p.m. in Advisory. 

What to Wear

Check the weather forecast before school in case you need a rain or warm jacket. And remember, we will be walking to the Library and back, so please wear comfortable shoes.

If You Are Late

If anyone arrives past 9 a.m., they should go straight to the library’s Special Events Center located off Cesar Chavez (map of building here) and find a school administrator by the door to check-in.  

The Shuttle

The Shuttle will run as scheduled for the morning and afternoon routes. 

After-School Activities

  • Guided Study will run as scheduled. 

Spring Campus

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Creek Campus

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River Campus

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As a 501(c)3 non-profit school, Headwaters School does not discriminate because of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other classes protected by federal, state, or local law in its admissions, financial aid, hiring, or board membership processes.