Gender Inclusion Guidelines
Our mission encourages students to become their best selves and contribute to a better world. An important part of fulfilling our mission is to create an inclusive community in which all students, families, and staff feel supported in their individual identities. For the benefit of all, CAIS is committed to providing a safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environment for all students, including transgender and other gender expansive students, and to ensuring that every student feels supported in their individual identity and has equal educational opportunities and equal access to the school’s programs, facilities, and activities. As such, CAIS has outlined its approach to addressing the needs of gender expansive students through the following guidelines. This set of guidelines does not anticipate every situation that might occur, and the individual needs of each student must be assessed and met on a case-by-case basis. When the need arises for greater attention to issues related to a student’s gender, the school will work closely with the student and the family to design a support plan. In all cases, the goal is to ensure the safety and healthy development of all students, maximizing inclusion and social integration while minimizing exclusion and stigmatization.
The responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student. Upon request by a student and/or parent, CAIS will use the preferred name and pronoun that reflects the student’s gender identity and expect that other community members do the same.
While inadvertent slips or honest mistakes in the use of preferred names or pronouns may occur, it is the expectation of the school to respect the student’s gender identity by using the student’s chosen name and pronoun. The refusal to honor an individual’s preferred name or pronoun is considered a form of discrimination and will be handled in accordance with CAIS’s harassment policies.
CAIS maintains official student records as required by applicable law. If a student and/or parent requests that a preferred name and/or gender be used on school documents, CAIS will make every effort to comply with this request.
CAIS maintains both single stall, gender neutral restrooms as well as separate restrooms marked male and female. Transgender students may request access to the restrooms on campus that correspond to their gender identity.
Where available, single stall, gender neutral restrooms may be used by any student, regardless of the underlying reason; however, no student shall be required to use this option.
CAIS maintains separate locker room facilities for male and female students. Upon request, transgender students shall have access to the locker room facility that corresponds to their gender identity.
Any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy may request access to a reasonable alternative changing area or locker room.
Transgender students are permitted to compete in interscholastic athletics in a manner consistent with their gender identity, to the extent that their participation complies with the athletic competition rules and bylaws of the athletic associations and leagues in which CAIS competes.
Non-school organized teams that choose to use the CAIS name are expected to comply with the above stated guidelines.
Students are allowed to dress in accordance with their gender identity and gender expression, within the constraints of the dress code adopted by CAIS.
Partnership with Outside Organizations
CAIS strives to partner with organizations that share its values. We will actively share our guidelines with those organizations and maintain open communication if conflicts in their implementation arise. There are limitations to our control of policies enforced by outside organizations. However, we may decide based on discriminatory policies to decline or discontinue partnerships with certain organizations.
School-Sponsored Trips (Field Trips, Outdoor Education, etc.)
On overnight trips CAIS maintains separate sleeping quarters for male and female students. Transgender students may request to be placed in a cabin, tent, or room that corresponds with their gender identity.
In order to protect the privacy of transgender students, parents of the students who share sleeping quarters with transgender students will not be asked for consent or notified of the sleeping arrangement.
To the extent possible, all CAIS gender inclusion guidelines, including use of restrooms and other facilities, would extend to our school-sponsored trips.
As a dual-language, dual-cultural school, CAIS strives to model cultural sensitivity. We anticipate that other cultures may hold different values, and we cannot expect individuals from other cultures to embrace our values and practices wholesale. However, we are committed to the safety and well-being of all students, including gender expansive students, and will make every effort to create a positive international experience for our students.
CAIS will have proactive and ongoing conversations with partner school liaisons regarding our gender inclusion practices. In both inbound and outbound programs, CAIS will ensure that the host families of transgender and other gender expansive students have an appropriate level of understanding regarding the student’s profile.
- Biological Sex: Includes physical attributes such as external genitalia, sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, and internal reproductive structures. Assigned at birth, it is used to identify individuals as male or female. Sex is not synonymous with gender.
- Gender: Attitudes, feelings, characteristics, and behaviors that a given culture associates with being male or female and that are often labeled as “masculine” or “feminine.” Under California law, “gender” is defined to include a person’s biological sex, gender expression, and gender identity. (Cal. Ed. Code § 210.7)
- Gender Identity: A person’s genuine, internal, deeply-rooted identification as male, female, both, or neither, that may or may not correspond to the person’s external body or assigned sex at birth.
- Gender Expression: A person’s gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth. Gender expression refers to the external characteristics that are socially defined as masculine or feminine, including clothing, hairstyles, activities, mannerisms, speech patterns, and social interactions.
- Gender Expansive: An umbrella term used for individuals that broaden their own culture’s commonly held definitions of gender, including expectations for its expression, identities, roles, and/or other perceived gender norms. Gender expansive individuals include those who identify as transgender, as well as anyone else whose gender in some way is seen to be stretching the surrounding society’s notions of gender.
- Sexual Orientation: A person’s physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to another person. Common terms used to describe sexual orientation include, but are not limited to, heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual. Sexual orientation is distinct from sex, gender identity, and gender expression.
- Transgender: A person whose sex assigned at birth is different from the person’s gender identity and/or gender expression.
- Transition: The process by which a transgender individual strives to have physical presentation more closely align with identity. Transition can occur in three ways: social transition, medical transition, and/or surgical transition.