Park’s diverse community enables all students to have the transformational experience of interacting with peers and adults who have varied perspectives and come from different backgrounds.
At Park, diversity is valued, varied personal qualities, talents, and learning styles are appreciated, and the lives of all are enriched by the shared experience. We seek students and teachers with a variety of backgrounds and talents. We work to build a strong sense of community among people from many different cultural heritages, races, family configurations, financial means, and life experiences. Individual strengths and learning styles are actively affirmed in each classroom. Students learn to think critically and to respect differing viewpoints. Through our curriculum and special events, we celebrate many cultural traditions and diverse perspectives. Just as important, we emphasize our common ground and the shared values of life at Park and in the world beyond. By promoting cultural competency across grade levels through age-appropriate activities and exercises, we cultivate academic, social, and emotional growth to prepare students to be responsible citizens of the world.
At Park, we stimulate children’s character development in a community that values trust, honesty, fairness, cooperation, and sensitivity. We teach students to reach outside themselves, to be inclusive, and to respect the dignity of others. In an increasingly complex world, Park strives to maintain and reinforce these core values.
On September 29, 2020, The Park School Board of Trustees approved and endorsed Park’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Implementation Plan, the result of a yearlong collaboration amongst trustees, administrators, employees, and families. The DEIIP is grounded in the findings of the 2018 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Quantitative Assessment of Inclusion and Multiculturalism and the 2019 Diversity Directions Qualitative Assessment of School Climate for Multiculturalism and Inclusion. An active, living document, the Plan seeks to guide the School community as it seeks to meet its values and commitments with action and accountability.
Diversity Beliefs and Aspirations
At Park, we are guided by the belief that a diverse community is a necessary component of an excellent education. Of equal importance, we are committed to offering a curriculum that exposes children to a range of cultures and to multiple perspectives on the human experience. Our fundamental goal is to create and maintain an inclusive learning environment evidenced by:
- A commitment to academic achievement for all students
- Respect for the dignity of each individual
- Open, non-judgmental communication
- Freedom to take risks, to learn from mistakes, and to grow
Students and adults at Park should feel that important aspects of their individual identity can be comfortably shared here and that their unique stories can be fully heard. At the same time, members of our community should learn to appreciate our interdependence and to make connections with a broad range of others. We believe that being a diverse community is a journey that requires constant attention, at times involving moments of confusion, misunderstanding, or disconnection. Therefore, we dedicate ourselves to openly confronting discord and working through it when it arises.
To be effective in this work, the adults in the community (faculty, staff, and parents and guardians) must engage in an ongoing examination of our individual and collective assumptions and biases. Particularly with respect to members of the Park community who are transgender and gender non-conforming, the School will work closely with individuals and their families to strive to honor their wishes with respect to use of School facilities, participation in athletics, accuracy of student records, use of preferred name and pronouns, and privacy, in accordance with applicable law, and to the extent that the School’s campus facilities reasonably permit.
By welcoming and celebrating a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, Park becomes a stronger and wiser school community. Our diversity beliefs and aspirations are central to every aspect of daily school life — who we are, what/how we teach, how we behave, and what we are committed to having our students learn at Park.
Multicultural education at Park means nurturing a belief in the dignity of each individual and teaching students to understand diverse perspectives, the importance of historical viewpoint, and the existence of individual and group bias. Students are encouraged to learn to question and critique the variety of beliefs and interpretations they encounter within the curriculum, the School, and the wider community. Park aims to prepare students to participate responsibly as citizens of a global community that struggles with issues of truth, justice, and equality.
Students of color
of students receive financial aid
($4.2 million in grants)
of families have 1+
parent born outside the US
On January 18, nationally renowned diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner Rosetta Lee spent an afternoon talking with Park faculty and staff, and then led a workshop with parents and guardians. While the afternoon session focused on how to engage in Courageous Conversations, and the evening session centered on “Parenting with Identity in Mind,” the common thread through both sessions was the importance of listening, of seeing through the eyes of others, for making space for uncertainty, growth, and appreciation, and for modeling and coaching humility. Her visit was made possible by the generosity of the Park community in funding the SPARK Campaign’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, and was organized by Park’s DEI office. Filled with candor, humanity, and no small amount of humor, both events provided the audiences with knowledge, strategies, and support for how we can best deliver Park’s mission together. Read more
Alile Eldridge, Park’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion reflects on the important DEI work underway in 2022-23. Read More
At Park, we seek to elevate, understand, and celebrate the differences that make each member of our community unique and special. “Difference” comes in many forms – some visible, others less so. Adoption is a topic that touches families worldwide, and yet it remains an often hidden, less talked about identifier, even as many in the United States have a personal connection of some form to adoption. Three Park faculty and staff members shared their experiences as transracial adoptees and you can read about them in The Park Perspectives newsletter. Read more
Assistant Lower Division Head Ildulce Brandao-DaSilva writes about her family's Park School journey in this fall Park Parent article. "When families ask me if Park is a place where they would belong, I encourage them to think about what they value most and what the school values. I tell them Park is for people who believe that educational excellence, inclusivity and belonging, and social emotional learning are equally important, no matter who we are or where we come from. My family brings our true authentic selves to Park and shares that with the community, and it has embraced us. My daughter truly loves being a Cape Verdean girl in a community that appreciates her. While we assumed we would be the only Cape Verdeans on campus, we have actually discovered so many others! Until you peel the onion, you just don’t know what you will discover." Read more.
In this issue, Scott Young reflects on the ways in which the past two years have challenged us to take new obstacles in stride as we keep on supporting our mission. Read more
In his spring column, Head of School Scott Young describes how The SPARK Campaign is fundamentally different from the typical fundraising campaign. With Park’s community values and commitment to DEI, the campaign’s inclusivity promise means that no member of the Park community has more or less access or information about SPARK’s vision or possibilities. Read more.
In accordance with the requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, The Park School will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability, including but not limited to its application process and admissions decisions. The Park School will not impose or apply eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any of its goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the those benefits being offered. The Park School will make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, or procedures when such modifications are necessary to access its goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the modifications would constitute a fundamental alteration.