Director of Student Inclusion Naomi Fierro, in collaboration with our Student Inclusion Chair, Primo '21, launched a working group and thus far we have been researching and discussing models of implementation for an Ethnic Studies curriculum including curriculum development and teacher professional learning. The group has reached out to the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Mateo Unified School Districts, and has interviewed personnel from these institutions about rollout timelines in their respective districts, planning, grading, and resourcing. Currently all the information gathered is being synthesized with the intention of putting together a proposal. The Academic Administration, Teaching and Learning Leadership Team and faculty will review the proposal and at that point will be able to share more about the initiative.
What is Restorative Justice and how can I get more information?
In short, restorative practices are processes, tools and approaches that promote harmony within communities by strengthening relationships and building the community connections that reduce and prevent harm, restore trust and connections when harm and disruptions occur, resolve conflict, and hold groups and individuals accountable to themselves and to their communities. Here is another video about RJ concepts as well as LWHS Resources. For Lick-specific questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When will the assaultive language policy be published?
Board of Trustees (this information can also be found on the DEI website):
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee works to educate the Board of Trustees and to ensure that the Board and its committees adopt best practices around diversity, equity and inclusion. The Committee is charged with benchmarking the school’s DEI efforts and partnering with the Head of School to fully realize the DEI goals of the Strategic Plan.
The Committee provides best practices guidelines for committee chairs.
The Committee creates and maintains a DEI dashboard to provide data to the Head of School and Board of Trustees around the effectiveness of the school’s DEI related programs.
The Committee meets at least six times per year.
DEI is incorporated into the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. (particularly Thread #2 Nurturing our Dynamic Community)
The nominating and governance committee applies a DEI lens to board composition and recruiting.
The faculty at LWHS regularly engage in professional development about how to create inclusive classrooms. For the past two years the faculty worked with Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond, as well as Onward by Elena Aguilar. All faculty work to adhere to our published Equity Pedagogy principles. The standards for teaching and the job description for faculty and for each administrative position include responsibilities for creating a diverse and inclusive community.
The school uses a handbook created by Cris Clifford Cullinan, Ph.D., email@example.com
Co-chair, National Advisory Council for the NCORE: The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education that dictates our hiring processes and procedures.
All members of each search committee undergo anti-bias in hiring training. We have developed clear protocols and procedures for hiring that help to eliminate bias. This training includes:
Interviewer Biases, Stereotyping, Inconsistency in questioning, First impression error, Negative emphasis, Halo/horn effect, Cultural Noise, Nonverbal cues unrelated to job performance, Contrast effect, Similar-to-me error.
How do DEI principles influence teaching practices and professional development? Are faculty and staff talking/reading about white privilege, white fragility, implicit bias, etc.?
Teachers work together to be practitioners of Culturally Responsive Teaching and Critical Race Theory as a pedagogical framework for teaching. Teachers apply the methodologies of Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students by Zaretta Hammond. Teachers engage critically in their own work and seek guidance from Onward: Daily Activities to Cultivate your Emotional Resilience and Thrive by Elena Aguilar.
How are DEI principles influencing the search/hiring process for the new head of school?
DEI principles are informing many aspects of the search process.
In interviewing search firms and checking references, the executive committee of the board and co-chairs specifically asked about the team's DEI practices in search and included that in our rubric for evaluating firms
In forming the search committee of 10 members we took nominations from the board and faculty + staff with the stated idea in those forms that "The goal is for the search committee to represent a diversity of experiences and perspectives from the LW community." That nomination process yielded the committee members listed here.
The Carney Sandoe team along with the search committee members conducted 25+ interviews and focus groups with student and adult members of the community to get as diverse a snapshot as possible of the school and its needs from a future head of school.
CS&A’s Search Group will conduct an implicit and cognitive bias training with the search committee. The session covers:
Understanding implicit bias and the ways it manifests across a search process
Understanding bias as a critical barrier to achieving an equitable and inclusive hiring process
Developing self-awareness of the biases that each individual carries with them
Developing facility for evaluating and engaging with candidates in support of equity and inclusion
Encouraging a culture of supportive, mutual accountability around implicit bias
While we're still collecting info from the survey and focus groups, it's clear that the early returns emphasize the need for a head of school with the ability and track record of fostering a school community of inclusion and belonging. The committee will be working on how that is explicitly stated in the job description posting and look forward to sharing that with the PA community as soon as it's official.
From our position description, we will cast our “net” broadly to attract a diverse candidate pool
This fall there will be opportunities for the PA to meet finalists, so please stay tuned.
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How are DEI principles influencing the admissions process at LWHS?
Craft an equitable and accessible admissions and enrollment process that demonstrates our values of empathy, equity, and diversity.
Yield a community of students from all walks of life who are empathetic, diverse, and will embody the LWHS mission: learners, changemakers, leaders that are empowered to enact positive social change.
Mentor, build relationships, and contribute to a community of authentic selves with the hope that all might feel belonging
Here are some ways the DEI principles that influence the admissions process:
In the 2019–2020 school year, we added a full Spanish language application
We've been staggering our outreach event registration dates and times (signing up for shadow visits and open houses) for at least 4–5 years now. Because of the volume of interest we have, we found that families coming to the process later in the Fall (mainly public and parochial school families) were missing the chance to attend events. Other schools do this as well now but we started doing it 2–3 years before others. This allows for more equitable and inclusive access to our events. Since everything was virtual this past year, the registration limits weren't as much of a concern, and we also recorded all events and made them accessible via a youtube playlist.
This school year (2020–2021) all high school fairs were canceled due to COVID-19. Before that, we have been hosting the High School Fair for Public and Parochial School families for 17 years. We had about 35–40 public high schools, parochial high schools, independent and boarding high schools all attend and typically had between 1,200–2,000 prospective families register and attend each year. In addition to the fair portion of the event, we also ran workshops about financial aid, the application process, Ravenna, and high school choices available for families.
Starting in 2019–2020 we coordinated with Bay Area Independent High Schools to have common application essay questions for students.
We collaborate and work with community-based organizations including: A Better Chance, Aim High, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Boys and Girls Club, Breakthrough, First Graduate, SMART, Squashdrive, and Summerbridge.
The pandemic, Admissions 2020–2021, and DEI:
In 2020–2021, we added a new process for families to request and receive application fee reductions and waivers, as well as standardized test waivers, in an effort to make the process more accessible and transparent.
This year we added a new Admissions DEI prompt to our main application form. The writing prompt served the purpose of 1) establishing DEI as central to the fabric of our learning community and 2) allowed our Admissions Team to better understand our prospective families' alignment with our mission and values.
We have updated our application forms to be more inclusive of transgender and gender-independent applicants. There are more gender/pronoun options on our application form and students also have the option of indicating a preferred name.
Continued targeted outreach and recruitment across diverse zip codes in the Bay Area (SF, East Bay, The Peninsula, Marin County), as well as intentional partnerships with local public, private, and parochial schools.
This year we piloted our very first DEI-themed Open House and Panel for prospective families. During the event, folx heard from a diverse panel of teaching faculty, staff, and students about our Culturally Responsive Teaching practices, our Student Support Services and the work of our Learning Strategies Center, about Student Life & Leadership—affinity groups and conferences—as well as our current DEI initiatives. The event was a success and there are plans to continue with our DEI Open House moving forward.
How do new families get onboarded and learn about DEI principles and resources at LHWS?
When new families are admitted to LWHS, they are provided with a welcome packet from the Admissions Office. In said packet, community members are oriented to the various people, programs and practices that create and maintain the conditions necessary for all our students and families to thrive. These resources are then highlighted through a series of beginning of year events, for example, our Families New to Independent Schools Gathering, Parent Affinity Picnics, and our Back to School Nights. Another key way community members learn about the school’s DEI values and resources is the connection between student, family, and advisor.
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Are there plans for parent education around Ethnic Studies and Restorative Justice?
We plan on sharing general information about the initiatives with our parent affinity groups and the wider parent community so parents understand how their students are experiencing these initiatives. We don’t have specific plans to lead RP and ES workshops for parents at this time.
As a parent, where do I go to give feedback about DEI at LWHS?
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A private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding High School develops the head, heart, and hands of highly motivated students from all walks of life, inspiring them to become lifelong learners who contribute to the world with confidence and compassion.