At SYV Family School, we recognize that diversity is multifaceted and seek to have conversations around many cultural identifiers:
Size and Weight
Income or Wealth
Beliefs (political, moral, ethical)
Beginning in our preschool program, students begin learning about important people, places, and events that continue to shape our world. Through Culture Club in Blue Door, World Studies in Red Door, and embedded day-to-day social studies in Purple Door, our students come to understand that there are many points of intersectionality within each person.
What are we doing?
All Faculty and Staff completed a two-day training led by Rudy Nickens, an executive coach, facilitator, educator, entrepreneur and thought leader with expertise in cultural diversity, business management and community development. This training included work on defining different aspects of diversity, such as inclusion and equity, and also outlined some important dimensions of diversity. Faculty and Staff began developing ideas for what this might look like in the classroom.
All Faculty and Staff completed a one-day follow up training also led by Rudy Nickens. This training included concepts about inclusive language. They learned about person-centered language, labels, stigmatized words, and entrenched language we may not immediately question, but should be questioning. Continued work on what this looks like in the classroom occurred.
The school formed a task force of teachers and administrators to develop and implement a study of our students which focused on their feelings of belonging. This survey was adapted for our lower and upper campus.
The belonging survey was given to all students at SYV Family School.
Results were collated and studied. One-on-one follow-up with students who indicated a response of “rarely” or “never” was done to better understand the issues those students were experiencing.
The results of the survey were presented to all stakeholders in the school community at our all-school meeting.
Reflection on the process occurred, and plans for implementation in following years were made.
Enhancements, better clarity, and a school-wide implementation of an SEL program developed by teachers and administrators began. Weekly themes focusing on interpersonal skills allow regular and ongoing discussion within classes and on the yard between age groups.
A dedicated board committee was initiated, with quarterly meetings scheduled.
Second annual execution of belonging survey was completed in each class. Results were collated.
First DEI board committee meeting occurred. Discussion around future training and how to best integrate DEI within curriculum.
The school prioritized collecting regular demographic data to further analyze how to best support different constituencies within the school.
Third annual belonging survey to be given to students.
We are committed to ensuring every student is seen, heard, and known.
We are committed to ensuring every student feels like they belong within our community.
We are committed to adopting practices that give us accurate data, with which we can act to better our environment.
Our definition of diversity is broad and inclusive of the social identifiers laid out by NAIS. We celebrate and value the differences our community has to offer.
Book Recommendations for Students:
I Am Enough
by Grace Byers
Last Stop on Market Street
Matt de la Peña