We envision a school community rooted in kindness, where all members experience a sense of belonging. As a dual language immersion school, we have distinctive opportunities to build upon our community’s existing mix of languages, cultures, ideas, and identities to foster an intellectually challenging and socially meaningful education. The formidable and complex work of building diversity, equity, and inclusion is vital for realizing our potential.
When focusing our energy and resources to further this mission, we must look at factors such as differences in how particular group identities thrive at CAIS and imbalances of privilege and opportunity both within and beyond our school.
Grounded in Our Mission
拥抱中华 Embrace Chinese
Immersion in a new language and culture requires humility, curiosity, empathy, connection, and a true appreciation of difference. Fully embracing Chinese, in fact even defining “Chinese,” is nuanced and multidimensional. The attitudes and aptitudes that are cultivated through Chinese immersion extend far beyond language and prepare students to engage respectfully with a diverse world.
成为最好的自我 Become your best self
Research supports our understanding that diversity strengthens the learning process; when ideas and assumptions are challenged by those with different perspectives, it pushes us to expand our thinking and approach problems in new ways. Excellence comes with, not at the expense of, diversity.
为更美好的世界贡献自己的能力 Contribute to a better world
We are committed to supporting children in understanding their world and becoming advocates for the change they wish to see in it. This requires compassion, tenacity, and a deep understanding of social justice.
CAIS is committed to improvement through ongoing, intentional focus in the five areas below.
Learning and Teaching
We foster a professional learning community committed to the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We integrate relevant content and skills into the curriculum and include visible reflection of many identities in the learning environment.
We seek opportunities for family participation and education, recognizing that true engagement extends beyond the classroom and that family partnership is essential to success.
We dedicate energy and resources to attracting and retaining a measurably diverse community of families, faculty, and staff.
Policies and Practices
We craft and communicate guidelines that clearly define and reinforce our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Measuring Our Progress
We are committed to developing methods and accountability measures to assess our progress in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at CAIS.
认同 Identity: The characteristics that define one as a unique individual and as a member of different groups. Social identity is a characteristic that matters in a group because it is attached to commonly-held preconceptions and enduring beliefs about who we are. Because of these beliefs, social identities—especially those that are unexamined—have consequential impact on our experiences, relationships, and self-concept.
多元 Diversity: Differences of identity that impact the social status, access to resources and opportunities, and other privileges and disadvantages of entire groups of people in a community. Sometimes used to refer to minority groups, “diversity” includes majority and normative groups, without whom there would be no perceived difference.
公平 Equity: As opposed to treating every individual equally (i.e. identically), equity practice presumes diversity and strives to equalize the ability of individuals and groups with different experiences, status, privileges/ disadvantages, and access to resources and opportunities to thrive in a community by recognizing and addressing unfair cultural and institutional biases and discrimination.
包容 Inclusion: Beyond simply being nice or prohibiting discrimination, inclusion is how a group actively creates an environment in which diverse members “share a sense of belonging, mutual respect, being valued for who they are, and supportive energy and commitment from others so that they can do their best work” (Miller & Katz, 2002). The practice of inclusivity begins with noticing and broadening our own sense of “normal” and “how we do,” to cultivate shared rights and mutual stewardship of the community.
CAIS has adopted the definitions above through our work with Blink Consulting.