Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (D.E.I.) is one of our three major strategic initiatives set forth by the Board of Trustees. Setting this initiative has led us to set thoughtful goals and make progress among our students, faculty, staff, and parents in D.E.I. work. We hope you enjoy reading about how we engage students, faculty/staff, and parents in D.E.I. work.
- Multicultural Education
- Anti-Bias Goals
- Identity Development
- T.E.A. - Teaching Equity and Acceptance
- Learning Difference Panels
Multicultural Education is a process that permeates all aspects of school practices, policies and organization as a means to ensure the highest levels of academic achievement for all students. It affirms our need to prepare students for their responsibilities in an interdependent world. It values cultural differences and affirms the pluralism that students, their communities, and teachers reflect. It helps students develop a positive self-concept
Multicultural education advocates the belief that students and their life histories and experiences are essential and necessary elements of the teaching and learning process. As such, pedagogy should occur with a context that is both familiar to students and addresses multiple experiences and ways of thinking. In this way, teachers and students are better equipped to critically analyze their communities, society and the world.
The process of Multicultural Education is iterative, ongoing and never ending. Best supported by a school staff that is diverse across multiple dimensions, culturally competent and capable of including and embracing diverse families and experiences, multicultural education, by its fluid rather than static nature,
Lower School faculty and administrators approach the teaching of diversity, identity, social justice and action, by weaving in the four Anti-Bias Education Goals throughout all aspects of curriculum. These four goals come from Louise Derman-Sparks & Julie Olsen Edwards' book, Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves.
The four core goals of Anti-Bias Education are:
- Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.
- Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections.
- Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
- Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
Examples of Identity Curriculum by Grade Level:
Kindergarten: Self-awareness is taught through Energy Time, puppets & songs to explore family structure & gender identity.
First Grade: Students exploring their own skin color and the origin of their names. They learn about different family structures through literature and watching the video “That’s a Family.”
Second Grade: Deepening students’ understanding of the beauty of different family structures, families race, ethnicity, and culture and diving into gender spectrum exploration is the focus for 2nd graders.
Third Grade: Students dive into hands on research of diverse San Francisco neighborhoods, so that they can learn about geographic diversity and gentrification.
Fourth Grade: Sharing family stories of immigration leads to historical immigration events throughout California history. Students name their own ethnicity and discuss terms such as ethnicity, race, biracial, multiracial & white.
Fifth Grade: Exploring cultures, natural resources, food and material possessions under the umbrella of cultural competency & global citizenship guides the work to answer the Essential Question: How does where you live and your experiences affect your perspective and opportunities?
Sixth Grade: A deep study of the Civil Rights Movement, along with reading “Brown Girl Dreaming,” “Wonder,” and current news publications allow for rich discussions about the history of race in America.
Seventh Grade: Reading “The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime,” “Friends with Boys” and “Anya’s Ghost”allow students to deepen their understanding of empathy. Writing personal narratives focuses on discovering one’s own changing and developing identity.
Eighth Grade: Understanding your identity as part of a larger community through literature, group activities and personal narrative writing is the focus of the eighth grade experience. Students read “American Born Chinese” to embrace one’s identity and “All American Boys” to learn about social justice.
T.E.A. (Teaching Equity and Acceptance) is a student-initiated and -led group that engages in conversations about student-generated issues related to diversity, inclusion and social justice. Open to any Upper School student, this group meets regularly, presents at assemblies and leads events such as the Upper School Day of Silence. An adult facilitates this important Upper School group.
Learning Difference Panels are designed so that Upper School students talk to Lower School students about their experience at MCDS. They give advice on how to succeed in school and how to ask for what one needs in the classroom. There is an emphasis on exploring and learning about one’s own unique learning style which creates
- Professional Development
- Adult Equity & Inclusion
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
As a school that models lifelong learning for students and parents, our faculty, staff and administrators participate in a wide array of learning opportunities around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Below is a sampling of recently attended workshops and conferences.
- Developmental Designs
- Gender & Athletics
- Gender Odyssey
- Learning and the Brain
- NAIS Diversity Institute
- Orton Gillingham Multi-Sensory Training
- People of Color Conference
- Remixed Festival
- Seed and Reseed
- Social Emotional Learning Institute
- Stanley King Counseling Institute
- White Priviilege Conference
- Wildwood Multicultural
- Wilson Fundations Workshop
The Co-Coordinators of Adult Equity and Inclusion are charged with the task of guiding the faculty and staff
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is comprised of faculty and is lead by the Co-Coordinators of Adult Equity and Inclusion. The main goal is to build community through the lenses of equity and inclusion. Additionally, the committee will be focused on deepening our faculty's skill set around cultural competency.
SEED is a peer-led group open to all faculty and staff and meets monthly. These seminars promote community to address personal, institutional and community change through conversations around equity and diversity. Privilege, power and oppression are explored in safe, meaningful peer-led meetings. Looking to the future, our hope is to add a SEED group for parents in the next three to five years.
Through multiple units throughout the lower school years, parents are engaged through homework and projects to have conversations with their children about various aspects of family identity. Parents, grandparents and other family members are also encouraged and often choose to share cultural or religious traditions in classrooms and at assemblies.
Affinity Groups are intentionally designed to create a safe space for students, faculty/staff, and parents
We believe that taking the time to be thoughtful and thorough in this process will allow us to successfully roll out Affinity groups for parents in spring 2018 and for Upper School students during the 2018-19 school year. We currently have a faculty and staff of color
Parent Education We strive to provide quality parent
- Tim Wise - anti-racist educator educator
- Cristen Brew -psychotherapist, educator, LGBTQ
- Elizabeth Scott - psychotherapist, body image focus
- Stephen Jones - consultant, Cultural Competency
- Susan Cain - author, introvert/extrovert focus
- Julie Lythcott-Haims - writer, parenting focus
- Rosetta Lee - diversity speaker, trainer, and educator
- Breakthrough San Francisco
- Bridge the Gap (Marin City)
- Next Generation Scholars (Marin)
- Our Family Coalition (Bay Area)
- People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS)
- Schools Mentoring & Resource Team (SMART San Francisco)