Park is a community that embraces and respects differences in age, ethnicity, gender identity, learning styles, national origin, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic class. United by a shared mission, we strive to be a community that respects the dignity of all people.
At Park, we deeply value diversity, equity, and inclusion. The cornerstone of Park’s program is academic excellence, affirming high standards of scholarship while encouraging each child to develop to their greatest potential. Students learn most effectively when they feel a deep sense of belonging, when they feel safe, known, and respected in their environment, and when they learn from the differences in backgrounds and perspectives shared within their learning community as curious critical thinkers.
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.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Implementation Plan (DEIIP) is an active, living document, serving as an accountability measure as our DEI goals continue to move from aspiration to reality. Through this action-based plan, we strive to demonstrate our commitment through our leadership, curriculum, programs, practices, and in every aspect of our community and culture. Together, we will work to ensure that all members of the Park community — students, families, employees, alumni, and trustees — feel a deep sense of belonging.
The DEIIP's ongoing work stretches out over the current and upcoming academic years. Immediate, Rising, and Future priorities are sequenced based on a) which priorities demand most urgent attention, and b) which priorities will be built on the work outlined in priorities sequenced earlier. All are considered vital to the School's mission. As priorities are addressed they move to "In Practice."
Since launching the plan in Fall 2020, a number of initiatives undertaken have been completed and established as part of Park's core practices in each of the four defined areas of work. Please find updates about the forward movement of the DEIIP below.
- The DEIIP launched 37 initiatives in 2020
- Of the 37 initiatives, 21 are considered "In Practice"
- Four initiatives are "Immediate Priorities" during the 2022-2023 academic year
- 12 initiatives remain in the "Rising" and "Future" categories
The work of the DEI Implementation Plan is deeply collaborative and touches every area of school life. In addition to the Head of School and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, project leads include: All members of the Senior Administration Team, All members of the Board of Trustees, Division Heads, Assistant Division Heads, DEI Liaisons, Director of Human Resources, Director of Academic Support, Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications, Director of Secondary School Counseling, Director of Instructional Practice, Director of Alumni Relations, and PA Chair and Co-chair.
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 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.