Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
It is nothing short of honorable to have the responsibility of educating the future leaders of our society. It is a charge that must be approached with the utmost intentionality. To that end, RPCS is dedicated to embracing the diversity among us, seeking further opportunities to diversify across forms of identity, and preparing our students to go into the world with the intention of serving as change agents. We are intentional in reminding our students that they are responsible for standing up for what is right and initiating dialogue across differences, remaining true to their own identities all the while. We find every opportunity to educate them on how vital it is to see the world through the eyes of someone who experiences it differently, as we cannot truly exist in this world as leaders without considering the perspectives of those who are often marginalized. At RPCS, we educate leaders by reminding them that pursuing diversity is their responsibility. Every day is a new opportunity to spark change.
Onward and upward,
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Professional Development for Faculty and Staff
RPCS faculty and staff are part of professional development opportunities that occur throughout the school year (approximately 5-10, depending on the division). We recognize that in order for our students to embody our core value of “seek and embrace diversity,” we must be culturally competent educators who hone our practice and build the necessary skills to engage in dialogue about difference.
Upper School students are encouraged to be agents for change and to perpetually engage in dialogue with one another about societal issues as they relate to diversity and inclusion. Through our leadership courses, students explore aspects of themselves and consider the perspectives of others with the guidance of our Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Director of Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Our Director of Counseling works with students in our “Issues” courses to discuss matters of gender and sexuality, as well as identity. Our Director of Diversity addresses all Upper School students and hosts assemblies to help broaden perspectives about race in our society. Our teachers have 10 mandated professional development sessions throughout the year that address matters of diversity and inclusion (topics have included religious diversity, teaching black girls in the classroom, media representation and bias, implicit bias, and much more). Furthermore, we have multiple diverse clubs in the Upper School, such as Jewish Heritage Club, Black Student Union and Student Diversity Association. Students are offered the opportunity to attend multiple diversity related conferences throughout the year, and are encouraged to serve the community through our internship model. The Upper School offers students a slew of opportunities to not just consider the world at large and the perspectives of those who inhabit it, but also to go forth and use that knowledge to make a difference in the world.
Middle School is the key developmental stage to help shape students’ understanding of the world around them, as well as themselves. Therefore, considering race, age, ability, gender and sexuality, socio-economic status, and so much more, is critical work to be done as part of the middle school curriculum. Through our advisory structure and as part of core class content, our teachers tackle these issues, all while promoting conversations about identity. We also offer clubs such as Student Diversity Club and the Gender/Sexuality Alliance, which allow students to talk about difference. Students in these clubs are offered the opportunity to collaborate with students in our Upper School in similar organizations. Our Middle School Dean of Students practices restorative justice with students that helps them to actively listen to one another and right any wrongs that may occur among them. We offer multiple opportunities for students to attend diversity conferences throughout the school year, and we host a yearly “Mix It Up at Lunch” day, in which students sit with people they might not otherwise sit with in order to consider new perspectives. Furthermore, our Director of Diversity and Inclusion occasionally addresses all Middle School students about various topics for them to consider, and works with teachers during professional development days to consider culturally responsive teaching practices. At Roland Park Country School, we are committed to ensuring that the Middle School years see students grappling with a variety of concepts, ideas and social identifiers.
At Roland Park Country School, we recognize that building students’ consciousness about identity starts at an early age. As such, we expose students to diverse texts, ideas and experiences. Teachers have at least eight mandated diversity and inclusion professional development sessions in which they consider what identity looks like, in the classroom and beyond. We have multicultural night, Upper School students come and read to Lower School students about Hispanic Heritage, Kwanzaa, Sukkot and more. Our Director of Diversity and Inclusion routinely visits classrooms and collaborates with teachers to have conversations about “I” statements, ability, socio-economic status and more. We also have an affinity space for students of color. At Roland Park Country School, we embody the belief that in order for our students to be culturally conscious citizens, empathy must exist as part of the fabric of learning.