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About SJS

Community and Inclusion

Community & Inclusion at St. John's

Now more than ever, connection and community are vital for young people. That is why St. John’s Statement on Community and Inclusion (C&I) is so important and what we strive for each day—each student’s authentic sense of belonging. The St. John’s Community Engagement efforts put our students at the center. 

In my inaugural school year — 2021-22 — as SJS Director of Community Engagement, my main focus was to observe current practices and continue action steps for students to feel included, safe, and empowered to participate fully in all aspects of community life. Lower School students participated in programs that expanded their cultural competencies and provided opportunities for students to share about their family celebrations. Middle School students connected through daVinci activities and Advisory conversations ranging from topics like definitions of community, characteristics of a good friend, the complexities of identity, and the negative impacts of stereotypes and labels. For Upper School students, Affinity Groups were just one avenue for students to get connected and feel a sense of belonging and the Unity Council facilitated forums on a wide range of topics. Upper School students also enjoyed robust club offerings that allowed for them to plug into and find their niches in our community. Across all three divisions, chapels varied this year with recognition of world religions. In short, our programming reflected our community’s rich diversity.
As our students were building and connecting to the community, faculty and staff participated in various activities designed to do the same—build and connect. C&I Faculty Associates tailored their community-building work to divisional needs and areas of growth. In addition to work with students, faculty, and staff, we were able to reestablish the C&I Parents’ Committee and survey the community parents on their interests in C&I work. Lastly, we worked to open communication lines between the C&I Alumni Committee and the C&I Board of Trustees Committee 
A primary step for the 2023-24 school year includes the determining measurement for success in the area of student engagement. C&I Faculty Associates will continue to provide development opportunities for faculty and staff, but we will need to evaluate the efficacy of our endeavors. Another accompanying step will be to encourage the C&I Parents’ Committee and C&I Alumni Committee to seek opportunities for peer-to-peer education and discussion forums. The C&I Strategic Plan has been incorporated into the overall school Strategic Plan and continues to guide my ongoing work, shaping our work on behalf of all students.
D'Hania Hunt
Director of Community Engagement
713-850-0222 Ext. 314 

2023-2024 Parent C&I Committee
Andrea Alexander
Ana Costa
Patrick Connelly 
Michael Javle
Milind Javle
Akilah Leblanc
Antonio Opengo
Anna Rotman
Yao Shen
Ami Sheth
Myrenda Takashima
Alumni C&I Committee
Tiye Foley ’04, Chair
Nick Dhesi ’03, Vice-Chair
Ed Aviles ’88
Shiree Berry ’98
Laura Hawkins Chapman ’03
John Griffin ’06
Felicia Seaton-Larry Griggs ’03
Courtney Miller ’06
Jill Olickan ’95
Emily Duncan Rodgers ’98
Stephen Szalkowski ’00

Statement on Community and Inclusion:

Every member of the St. John’s community will be known and loved. In accordance with that idea, our Mission Statement, and the Precepts and Principles of the St. John’s School, care is the School’s cardinal virtue, and we sustain a caring and welcoming culture for all.

In our community, we celebrate, promote, and appreciate the differences and similarities of our experiences. For us, community means respecting differences in ability, age, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and thought. Our community is dynamic and ever changing.

Respecting these differences is not enough, though, and we ensure an environment in which everyone can feel comfortable, heard, and included. We value inclusion because it makes us all stronger as a community. A diversity of worldviews challenges us to consider other points of view and is essential to a full education and the development of well-rounded future leaders.

To promote these values, we will ensure cultural intelligence and proficiency for all members of our community. We:
  • Incorporate cultural proficiency, diversity, global awareness, and inclusivity into all facets of the K-12 curricula and co-curricular activities.
  • Create opportunities for board, faculty, staff, student, and parent development and community education initiatives in these areas.
  • Ensure broad representation among students, faculty, staff, and administrators through recruitment and retention of candidates from underrepresented groups.
  • Challenge ourselves to continually reevaluate curricula, policies, and practices to ensure that we continue to grow and welcome all voices.

St. John’s only fulfills its mission when all community members feel included, safe, and empowered to fully participate in all aspects of community life.

Unanimously Approved by the St. John's School Board of Trustees on September 8, 2018

Non-Discrimination Policy:

St. John's School seeks to attract qualified individuals of diverse backgrounds to its student body. Consequently, the School does not discriminate in admission or educational program versus any individual on the basis of sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

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