top of page


Approach those employed at the school delicately so the questions you're asking aren't taken as combative, adversarial or entrapment (timing is everything).  However, should your questions be perceived in the wrong way, the negative responses you get should be counted in your Assessment. 

  1. Review each section of the Assessment Matrix through a cultural lens.

  2. Ask the S.C.A.M. questions over time, in conversation, rather than through an inquisition.

  3. When asking pointed questions of educators, parents are strongly cautioned to consider both their timing and tone.


Our advice when using the S.C.A.M.™:

  • Be patient, but persistent.

  • It may take a while to obtain the information you seek because people who work in schools are on busy schedules and may not have time to talk.

  • Try not to make your questions seem like an interrogation.


  • Be conversational and allow for a relationship to build between you and the school’s personnel.


  • A good idea to consider is joining with other parents doing the S.C.A.M.™ to work on the cultural assessment collaboratively.  Divide up the questions, then compare thoughts on assigning scores to the answers. 

  • Keep in mind the teachers and staff may not feel comfortable being questioned at length by parents. 

  • If you get a negative reaction and given answers you don't like— stay cool.  Nothing good will get accomplished in the heat of the moment and it surely won't benefit your child for you to be labeled a "problem" by the school's personnel.   

  • Take good notes of your interactions (and all communications) relative to the S.C.A.M.™

  • If you have a grievance, you have the right to take the matter to the top, meaning ask for an appointment with the principal, superintendent or in some cases, school board representative or elected official.  


  • Don't hesitate to organize if you are concerned about what African American and other children of color are learning (or not) about culture.  Conscious parents come in all colors and ethnic backgrounds, and together you can tell the school your interest in education excellence that incorporates cultural enrichment for all.  Remember, in unity there is strength! 


The Dexter Elmhurst Community Center is a registered 501-C3 non-profit organization.  We have been serving our community for more than 40 years. Our mission is to provide services that empower and enhance the quality of life for residents in the greater central Detroit area. The Center presents and manages programs for adults, senior citizens and youth, that lead to greater employment, education, health, and income opportunities for residents with a focus on strengthening families. Our programs and services are provided at no cost to the community, and have always been designed to move individuals toward self-sufficiency.


Check out our Facebook page for current

events and news at the Dexter Elmhurst

Community Center and follow us!

Download the School Cultural Assessment Matrix (PDF)

by making a minimum

$5 donation

to the Dexter Elmhurst

Community Center

11825 Dexter Avenue  •  Detroit, Michigan

Ph: 313-935-3445
Michael Searcy, Director  •  Helen Moore, Board President

  • Facebook Social Icon
bottom of page