Strategic Plan for Community & Inclusion Report
St. John’s School
- Expanded Community & Inclusion Leadership
- At the close of the 2018-2019 school year, St. John’s senior administrators established the Community & Inclusion Faculty Associates Team, a leadership program designed to build a cohort of faculty representing each division to work with the division heads and Gene Batiste to implement the three overarching goals of the Community & Inclusion Strategic Plan. The school invested professional development funds for summer training at nationally recognized conferences for the seven Community & Inclusion Faculty Associates’ two-year commitment along with providing a modest stipend. The Associates meet regularly with their division head and Gene Batiste to plan and deliver community & inclusion faculty forums, to gather and send community & inclusion spotlight features focused on best practices for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in teaching and learning, and to collect and distribute DEIB resources relevant to each division.
- At the close of the 2018-2019 school year, St. John’s senior administrators also established the Community & Inclusion Parents Committee. Twenty-two parents, representing the three divisions of the school, meet monthly with Gene Batiste to plan and deliver parent education and engagement programs for the entire St. John’s parent community. Following an evening of training on best practices in DEIB for independent schools and a study of St. John’s Statement on Community & Inclusion through the lens of the parent community, the committee developed a statement of purpose, brainstormed parent needs and opportunities for DEIB education and engagement, and developed three sets of parent engagement events to be offered both in the morning and evening for 2019-2020.
- Goal #1 – Create an Inclusive and Equitable Campus Climate
2019-2020 Focus – (1) Develop and refine social/emotional learning (SEL) across divisions. (2) Examine welcoming practices. (3) Affiliate with regional and national organizations that align with St. John’s Statement on Community & Inclusion. (4) Coordinate and sponsor educational training programming for St. John’s parents.
Goal #1 Accomplishments and Highlights in 2019-2020
- Hosted the 2019 summer Institute for Social and Emotional Learning for K-12 Educators, Counselors, and Administrators with St. John’s participation.
- Joined the research work of Challenge Success based at Stanford University.
- Established new guidelines related to the N-Word throughout all three divisions and throughout the St. John’s community.
- N-Word and Words That Hurt professional development forums to all faculty and staff (including all non-teaching and support staff) facilitated by Community & Inclusion Faculty Associates and Gene Batiste.
- The Art of Community presentation to the Parents Guild Executive Board.
- Parents Guild book discussions of Olusa’s So You Want to Talk About Race facilitated by Community & Inclusion Parent Committee members and Gene Batiste.
- Agreed to host the second ISAS Diversity Conference for fall 2020.
- Eleven faculty/staff and six students delegation to NAIS’s PoCC/SDLC in Seattle, WA.
- First ever Lower School Chapel celebration of Diwali.
- Upper School affinity groups featured with student-made posters for Upper School Open House.
- Establishment of a second affinity group for faculty to add to the Faculty of Color Affinity Group (FOCAG). The new affinity group, for LGBT faculty, is called GLOW (not an acronym).
- Mark Desjardins and Gene Batiste co-presented for the opening session of the ISAS Diversity Conference on reimagining the head of school/chief diversity officer relationship.
- Expanded work on DEIB for the Class Nine retreat adding Upper School Community & Inclusion Faculty Associates as co-facilitators.
- The addition of the tenth Upper School affinity group – The Middle East North Africa Affinity Group (MENA).
- Upper School advisory video presentation on hurtful language produced by the Unity Council.
- Establishment of a robust after-school care program for Lower School students and families.
- Goal #2 – Recruit, Retain, and Develop a Diverse Community
2019-2020 Focus – Tools and strategies to improve search and hiring processes for faculty of color and other underrepresented groups
Goal #2 Accomplishments and Highlights in 2019-2020
- New Middle School Head – Asian American.
- One internal promotion – Lower School Reading Specialist, Asian American (not announced).
- 18 new faculty hires (to date) including two African Americans, four Latinx American, and one Multiracial American, as well as other underrepresented cultural identifiers. Note that a number of searches are still in process that includes candidates of color. Overall increase in the number of candidates of color for faculty searches.
- St. John’s will join the Pipeline Collaborative, an association of peer schools focused on recruiting and retaining faculty of color.
- Hosted a national NEMNET faculty recruitment workshop with Chris Curran participating.
- Hosted a second Open House of faculty recruitment with over 50 participants.
- 2020-2021 Student Demographics by Class total, underrepresented race/ethnicity (self-reported) and Summary
Kindergarten – 42 total, 11 students of color (26.2%)
Class One – 64 total, 30 students of color (46.9%)
Class Two – 65 total, 38 students of color (43.1%)
Class Three – 65 total, 23 students of color (35.4%)
Class Four – 65 total, 30 students of color (46.2%)
Class Five – 66 total, 26 students of color (39.4%)
Lower School – 367 total, students of color 40.3%
Class Six – 123 total, 65 students of color (52.8%)
Class Seven – 118 total, 69 students of color (58.5%)
Class Eight – 119 total, 54 students of color (45.4%)
Middle School – 360 total, students of color 52.2%
Class Nine – 177 total, 83 students of color (46.9%)
Class Ten – 171 total, 72 students of color (42.1%)
Class Eleven – 174 total, 75 students of color (43.1%)
Class Twelve – 174 total, 65 students of color (37.4%)
Upper School – 696 total, students of color 42.4%
Summary – 1423 total, students of color 44.3%
- Goal #3 – Support Inclusive and Innovative Teaching and Learning
2019-2020 Focus – (1) Curriculum development reflecting diverse range of experiences. (2) Faculty forums and other professional development activities.
Goal #3 Accomplishments and Highlights for 2019-2020
- Faculty summer reading choices and opening of school included DEIB works including Blind Spot, Born a Crime, Under Pressure, and White Fragility.
- Ongoing curriculum review in all divisions for inclusive voices focused on “windows and mirrors”.
- Lower, Middle, and Upper School faculty forum on identity and racial literacy.
- Lower, Middle, and Upper School faculty forum on the N-Word and Words That Hurt.
- Middle School faculty forum on inclusive practices for the Winter Holidays.
- Middle School Community & Inclusion Spotlight on Black History Month and Equity in Grading.
- Upper School faculty forum based on a chapter in White Fragility.
- Upper School Community & Inclusion Spotlight on the 2019 presidential impeachment and use of the word “lynching”.
- Lower School Community & Inclusion Spotlights on inclusive practices for the Winter Holidays, Lunar New Year, and how African Americans changed the world.