Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging
Westchester Country Day School faculty, students, families, administration and Board of Trustees are working together to promote open dialogue on diversity, inclusion and belonging in our school community.
With a focus on our mission, we are engaged in a journey of continuous learning that includes conversations with broad constituent groups from our school community, training and online learning opportunities, and the development of an action plan to align and guide this important work.
- Board of Trustees Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) Committee
- DIB Faculty Learning Team
- Administrative Team
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Statement of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
(Approved 9/13/21 by the Board of Trustees)
We firmly believe our continued pursuit of excellence demands an emphasis on the values of diversity¹, inclusion², and belonging³. WCDS is committed to creating and sustaining an environment of respect. We celebrate and recognize that much is learned from many different perspectives and identities in a diverse community. By honoring differences, we build a community of belonging and success for all.
¹ Diversity is the range of human differences including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical abilities or attributes, religious or ethical value systems, national origin and political beliefs.
² Inclusion is a process of bringing people together from various backgrounds and creating an environment for success for all people.
³ Belonging is a feeling of active security, acceptance, and celebration within a group or in an environment.
Drew, J. M. (2020). Step 2: Eliminate Confusion & Chaos. In Sharpen Your Inclusion Edge (Vol. 1, pp. 44-47). Greensboro, NC: Social Designs.
- The Board of Trustees established a standing DIB Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee elevated diversity, inclusion and belonging to a board-level strategic goal.
- The DIB Faculty Learning Team was formed to finalize a diversity, inclusion and belonging statement for the school.
- Students started the Awareness Cultivates Transformation (ACT) Club in the Upper School.
- Middle School students were pilot participants in the Get in the Game program.
- The administrative team established goals for a DIB action plan.
- Faculty/staff participated in self-paced, online professional development modules.
- Six focus groups were held with alumni, faculty and staff, parents and students in a confidential space to better understand the characteristics of the "Westchester community."
- The Board of Trustees approved the Statement of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in September 2021.
- All faculty/staff participated in training and group discussion during annual pre-planning meetings. These discussions continue during divisional faculty meetings throughout the year. Topics include creating a brave space by facilitating dialogue principles, examining blind spots and bias, and culturally responsive and relevant teaching practices.
- Westchester hosted an International Cultural Festival in March 2022 with support from the Upper School club, the International Cultures Association, and involvement from parents and family members who shared artifacts, food and customs from their personal cultural heritage.