How Do We Address Institutional Blindspots?
Having goals is a first step, but the question becomes how to go about achieving those goals in a sustainable way. Also, everyone has blind spots and school communities are no different. How do we understand and address those “unknown unknowns”? At DCD, we operate from a place of trust and partnership above all else. We trust that members of our community will reach out if a need or equity gap arises. Our programming shifts according to the needs of our community.
Inclusion and Belonging Assessment
Beginning in July of 2021, DCD engaged in an Inclusion and Belonging Assessment with Pollyanna, a consulting group based in New York City. This five month process began with meetings with DCD leadership. A number of focus groups were conducted by Pollyanna for students, families, faculty and staff, and Board members. Based on those focus groups, community surveys were created for students and for adults in the DCD community. After synthesizing feedback from focus groups and the surveys, DCD was presented with a report containing recommendations.
Willing to Learn, Wanting to Improve
For our Board
- To Establish annual DEIB Goals; DEIB goals will represent a full board commitment for each academic year and will be reviewed by the Board each fall.
- To Encourage and Evaluate Representation within the DCD Community; representation refers to the presence of diversity in all its many forms on campus, spanning all DCD structures including our Board, Faculty, Staff, Administration, PA, Admissions Ambassadors, etc. The Board will commit to reviewing data on representation in these areas based on a number of factors and identifiers.
- To Review Practices and Policies that Present Barriers to Belonging; More specifically, in 2022-23, the Board will commit to review and update DCD’s Diversity Statement, which will serve as a foundational step towards the ongoing evaluation of our policies.
For Our Administrative Team
- To engage in ongoing curriculum review; this process will begin in Summer of 2022 with a Social Studies/History and World Languages Review.
- To engage in ongoing data collection centered around DEIB at DCD, through surveys, meetings, and other forms of feedback from students, faculty and staff, parents, and administrators.
- To continue to thoughtfully evaluate community events and traditions.
AISNE Accreditation Process
Many of the ongoing efforts at DCD around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging come from recommendations in our AISNE accreditation reports. AISNE is the Association of Independent Schools in New England, and in addition to accrediting independent schools, AISNE also provides valuable events and resources for faculty and staff, administrators, parents, and board members at independent schools.
In order to check-in on our ongoing strategic priorities related to DEI, the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Admin Team, and Board DEI Task Force will periodically send surveys to members of the DCD community. Whether asking students about affinity spaces and dialogue groups or asking faculty and staff about curricular initiatives, ongoing qualitative and quantitative data collection provides the backbone for our efforts related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.