The only way schools can do targeted and effective work with students, faculty, and families of color is through a Distributive Leadership Model. As with any institutional initiative, for diversity initiatives to succeed – for students, faculty and families of color to have a positive experience – every teacher, administrator, and staff member needs to take responsibility for success.
CONVERSATIONS WE’RE HAVING AT BEAVER ABOUT DIVERSITY
- Administration and faculty meet regularly to discuss supporting students of color to ensure they have a positive experience at Beaver.
- The school reaches out to families of color to support dialogue around the student experience.
- In our “Break Bread Series”, faculty meet off-campus for informal get togethers to discuss race.
- Students, faculty, and administrators are committed to being a voice in the larger community and present our work at AISNE, POCC, SDLC, and NPEA.
RESOURCES WE PROVIDE
- We have elevated the idea of a diversity director and pushed that further by creating a Director of Student Engagement.
- We have created more in-depth, engaging, and specific programming to support students of color, faculty and staff of color, families of color, and everyone’s work together.
- Professional development opportunities are a priority and a requirement.
In ‘College Students’ Sense of Belonging,’ Teffell L. Strayhorn identifies two key elements of engagement: what institutions do and what students do. This encapsulates my role at Beaver: helping students of color become involved in the community and assisting faculty, staff, and administrators as we create environments that foster a sense of belonging among all students.
– Joe Christy, Director of Student Engagement
We want to make sure the students have the best experience possible with teachers who are best equipped to facilitate that, and are focused in providing support and professional development.
A SAMPLE OF FACULTY/STAFF LED STUDENT GROUPS
- Boys of Color
- Girls of Color
- Latino Student Group
- Asian American Student Group
- Gay Straight Alliance
A SAMPLE OF DIVERSITY WORK IN THE CLASSROOM
Students can take classes such as:
- Race, Class, and Identity
- Voices of Dissent: Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, and Other Social Movements
Students engage in collaborative projects such as “Power as a Force”, which involves English, Physics, and History classes exploring power through different lenses.
Our classes are based on an approach that focuses on politics, culture, and ideas, to foster discussions and research about topics such as race and equity.
– Kader Adjout, History Department Head
This is just some of the work we are doing to ensure that all members of the Beaver community have access to a supportive and engaging environment. It is all of our responsibility.