The Faculty and Staff Diversity Committee is comprised of Park School faculty and staff who are committed to learning and action related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Committee work is not mandatory at Park School, and therefore individuals actively choose to participate in this committee.
Agenda and Summary:
The First 90 Days: What’s up with DEI at Park?: Liza gave a quick review of the types of activities, discussions, events, programs, workshops, outreach and meetings that have gone on in the past 90 days. These also include exploring opportunities for faculty and staff recruitment and retention and working on improving these processes; supporting families from underrepresented backgrounds; working closely with our Parent Association Diversity Committee, our DEI Committee of the Board of Trustees, and Diversity Directors in our area; and beginning conversations about equity and access to Park activities.
Brief presentation on the People of Color Conference and AISNE Diversity Conference big “takeaways”: Mulian Chen, Shalini Rao, and Carly Ellis shared their action items they developed from their time at PoCC. For Ms. Rao, takeaways included exploring bringing a Spoken Word poetry group to perform and also work closely with our student on identity based poetry. Check out this link to Sarah Kay – the spoken word poet who, as Ms. Rao would say, “totally made me cry with pride.” For Ms. Chen, post-PoCC, she wants to engage more fully with Asian American identity by including work in her classes and also professionally/personally engaging in more workshops about Asian American identity. For Ms. Ellis, she developed classroom tools that she has shared with the 2nd grade team about how to integrate identity and race more fully into her classroom. Post-PoCC, Ms. Ellis is really leaning into tough conversations about identity — conversations that she knows the children are ready for, but as adults, sometimes we get in our own way of having them.
Sarah Hyslop attended the AISNE Diversity Conference, as the only Park School representative, and shared that she learned many action-based items in her 1-day workshop. One of these items included asking thoughtful questions about the environments we create here at Park School. She provided these questions and is encouraging faculty and staff to read them while thinking about their classroom/offices (NOTE: the link is available only to Park School network).
AIM survey and community wide participation: Liza gave a brief update on the AIM survey which is administered through the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). The survey is designed for students ages 9+ along with faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and board of trustees. This survey will be administered in late February to our students ages 9+ and the link will be available for 2 weeks for all other interest groups to complete. In addition to the survey, there will also be many opportunities to engage in focus group around topics such as governance, teaching, curriculum, parent involvement, policy and administration, publications and communication. These focus groups will occur after Spring Break and will go through the end of April. Formal reports, thematic coding, data analysis and qualitative analysis will take place throughout the summer, and all findings will be reported to our community in August 2016.
Social Justice Assembly Planning: With only a few minutes left, the committee members were asked to share their thoughts about learning outcomes for the Social Justice Assemblies occurring in February 2016. All three divisions will have the opportunity to engage in these social justice assemblies. The questions the committee considered included:
a) What do you want your students to know about social justice?
b) What do you want your students to experience at that assembly?
c) What do you want your students to think deeply about after the assembly is over?
d) What do you want to do during the assembly?
Some key comments included making sure that our students saw how other children engaged in these issues — that we make it very relevant to them and their peers. Other comments included making sure we are thoughtful about our continuity of learning – that this is not a “one time” conversation about social justice but that we have thoughtful plans for talking about justice issues all year.
We ended 10 minutes late…. Thank you for a great discussion!
Peace and Park,