Diversity and inclusion are integral to Country School's mission, history and forward-thinking practices. We believe learning is at its best when students are exposed to stories and events that are different from their own.
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.
At Country School, 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 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 – Mothers at Work; Parents of Students of Color; Global Citizens; Allergy; 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
Formal and informal teachable moment platforms for adults and students
Relationship-building programs with Horizons
Student-led classroom Buddies program
We welcome ideas and thoughts as we work to build a vibrant, inclusive and diverse school culture.
The Allergy Resource Group helps parents connect, share advice and garner information about allergy-related events, exchange experiences and ultimately find support. The group’s mission is to be a resource to individuals and families living with allergies.
Global Citizens focuses on creating an engaged community of NCCS parents who have international interests and/or backgrounds. The group organizes events that will build connections for parents and their children to the broader global community.
The Mothers at Work group helps connect working moms to the school, each other and the Country School community at large. The group comes together during the year to share their unique experiences, provide a forum for networking and support and to discuss ways to leverage their collective talents to support the school’s mission.
The Parents of Students of Color group provides a place of reflection, dialogue and support. The group meets several times each year to facilitate positive identity exploration and development that will help achieve the larger goal of creating an inclusive and thriving environment for the entire community.
In order to make diversity, equity and inclusion part of the school’s overall fabric, a Diversity Liaisons group was formed with one representative from each of the schools’ divisions, the staff and Horizons. Much of the group’s role revolves around peer leadership, facilitation and support.
Diversity Liaisons, L to R: Digital Communications Manager Moina Noor, Fifth Grade Teacher Andrew Bevan, Fourth Grade Teacher Maria Sette ’92, Upper School Latin Teacher Hannah Liu, Horizons Family and Program Director Nehemie Moise, Kindergarten Teacher Jessica McKinney.
Inclusion Mission Statement
Our students will live in a world more diverse and interdependent than that of any previous generation. At New Canaan Country School, we believe that helping students to understand and attain their intellectual, creative, moral and physical potential means, among other things, preparing them for responsible citizenship in such a world. The school is committed to the development of compassionate people who value and respect our common humanity. We believe that an inclusive school community invites greater academic and personal success and strengthens a sense of belonging. We strive to create an environment where each member feels comfortable and accepted and where differences and commonalities are appreciated in equal measure.