Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, equity 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 both similar to and different from their own.
Conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion introduce healthy discourse and increase our communication skills. When coupled with action, a focus on DEI ultimately leads to a productive and enlightened school environment.
At Country School, we practice mindful 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 informed people and perspectives with a global lens. In addition, our internal teams offer a broad range of expertise including our Diversity Equity & Inclusion Facilitators; Student Advisors; Service Learning committees; Learning Resources team. We access the special interests and talents of our family community, most directly through a partnership with our Parent DEI Task Force. 

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 7-9)
  • Annually selected delegation to the NAIS People of Color Conference for faculty & staff and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (Grade 9)
  • Parents' Association Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force focused on understanding and responding to the needs of our family community, while supporting education around topics of inclusion for our families. 
  • Upper School: Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) clubs
  • Renowned speaker opportunities
  • Ongoing faculty & staff training 
  • Formal and informal teachable moment platforms for adults and students
  • Partnership  programs with Horizons
  • Integration of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with broader Wellness initiatives  
  • Application of Restorative Practice principles in building a positive climate
  • Donor support in ensuring representation of diverse groups
  • Student-led classroom Buddies program 
We welcome ideas and thoughts as we work to build a vibrant, equitable, inclusive and diverse school culture.
Our vision is to exist within a diverse environment in which every child and adult is seen authentically, their voices are heard, their contributions are valued and their growth enabled, resulting in everyone being empowered to do their best work and bring their full selves to the NCCS community every day.

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Andrew Bevan

    Andrew Bevan 

    Grade 5 Teacher / Co-Interim Director of DEI / Coach
  • Photo of Jessica McKinney

    Jessica McKinney 

    Kindergarten Teacher / Co-Interim Director of DEI

Diversity Facilitators

In order to make diversity, equity and inclusion part of the school’s overall fabric, a DEI Facilitators group has been formed with trained members of our Faculty & Staff supporting various areas of focus to advance Diversity initiatives. 

This group includes: Kindergarten Teacher Jessica McKinney (Interim Co-Director of DEI; Caregiver/ Parent Engagement), Sixth Grade Teacher Nika Skvir-Maliakal (Student Engagement), Fifth Grade Teacher Andrew Bevan (Interim Co-Director of DEI; Curriculum Development), Director of Institutional Research Kathy Steinman (Professional Development) and Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kojo Clarke.

Parents' Association Contact

Cara Brendler Wagner
Parent DEI Task Force Chair

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion News

New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.