Identity and Inclusion Work 2015-2016
Our work for 2015-16 on the multi-year Identity and Inclusion strategic objective included establishing Gender Inclusion Guidelines, revising our behavior response guidelines to specifically include language about discrimination, and forming an advisory group of staff and parents to work on drafting a philosophy statement around diversity and inclusion. The long-term and ongoing work also includes staff development, parent education, and finding opportunities to intentionally integrate this work into curriculum and instruction. We will build on weaving this learning into the fabric of the school through our Social Emotional Learning task force and our multi-year Identity and Inclusion strategic objective. We hold as our “true north” the hope that CAIS is a community in which all students, families, and staff feel fully included and respected, and we are continually working towards that goal.
In Head of School Jeff Bissell’s end of year message to the community he shared the following:
“As a school community, we are focusing on the right things and taking the right steps: Identity. Inclusion. Diversity. Justice. Action. These are values that, as educators and parents, we can teach and that we can live. As a school community we have put a stake in the ground; we are making a commitment to being intentional, to being thorough and to being accountable around these values. In 2016-17 we are enlisting a community task force (listed in the sidebar to the right) to forge a philosophy statement, powerful words to guide purposeful actions that are mission consistent and reflective of a collaborative, community-minded process. The task force is inclusive in terms of identity, skill set, perspective and institutional role. Ongoing curriculum work, professional development for teachers and staff as well as opportunities for parent input and education will be happening in tandem with the creation of an overall philosophy statement. In the face of the myriad complexities that can and sometimes do manifest themselves as fear, hatred, exclusion, discrimination and violence, we—both parents and educators—need to become our best selves and to help our children become their best selves. It starts at home and in school, and it needs to start when our children are young. As we look to the future, I very much look forward to doing this critical life changing, world changing work together with you.”