At Country School, we don’t pretend to know everything that makes the individuals in our community special; we practice mindfulness, and learning and sharing as a means to connect and grow as an institution. We value the diverse experiences our families bring to our school community and work to provide a space in which all voices can be heard. We practice an ethic of listening for greater understanding. Our professional growth and development programs for the adult community, supports an expectation that we will seek both national conferences and workshops, as well as leverage the resources that we are fortunate to employ from our talented faculty and staff.
Our professional community believes that there is always something to learn. Our ongoing engagement with outside professional development facilitates a network of informative people and perspectives with an external lens. In addition, our internal teams offer a broad range of expertise including our Faculty Diversity and Service Learning committees; Learning Resources team; and accessing the special interests and talents of our parent community.
The Parents' Association and Office of Community Development work in tandem to nurture a welcoming and inclusive climate here at Country School. We engage collaboratively to plan broad community programs but we also make the space to have candid conversations. The work of diversity and inclusion introduces healthy discourse, increases our communication skills and provides platforms for conversation. These relationships will ultimately lead to a productive and enlightened school environment.
Country School offers a number of vehicles to support a culture of inclusion. Some of the initiatives we have in place include:
- Annual participation in the CAIS, Student Diversity Leadership Conference (Grades 7-12)
- Annual selected delegation to the NAIS People of Color Conference for faculty and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (Grade 9)
- Parents' Association Resource Groups – Moms at Work; Parents of Students of Color; Global Citizens; Allergy Resource; and the PA is prepared to respond to the needs of the community should new resource groups be proposed.
- Middle School – Upper School: Cultural Awareness for Everyone (CAFE) clubs
- Renowned speaker opportunities
- Ongoing faculty training led by the Office of Community Development and the Learning Resources team
- Formal and informal teachable moment platforms for adults and students
- Annual Culture & Collaboration Day
- Relationship-building programs with Horizons
- Student-led classroom Buddies program
The Office of Community Development continues to develop and review institutional practices, policies and curricular and programmatic choices in support of a diverse and inclusive environment as outlined in our inclusion mission. We serve as facilitators and a sounding board making sure that all members of the Country School community participate in the work of fostering an environment that ultimately maximizes the ability to learn.
We welcome ideas and thoughts as we work to build a vibrant, inclusive and diverse school culture.