Thank you to those parents who completed last month’s Pulse Survey, providing feedback on our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts this year. Those of you who attended the iChange Collaborative parent discussion forums in December and March offered good insight into these events and programming ideas for next year. You were enthusiastic about joining parent book/article/video discussion groups, affinity groups (groups that share a common interest or goal), and attending more guest speaker events. An overwhelming 74% of those who took the survey felt that Springmont lives up to our Statement of Diversity and Inclusivity. Suggestions were gathered from this survey and from attendees at the April 29 community listening circle for the 2021-22 school year. Ideas included: intentionally reaching out to those who may not be attending parent meetings, expanding efforts to include LGBTQ families, providing better understanding of how DEI issues are discussed with children in the classrooms, and identifying white allies willing to take a diversity and inclusivity leadership role in the parent community.
In addition to parent programming, Springmont has offered professional development for faculty and staff. Over the course of this year, we’ve bolstered our own cultural competencies, strived to understand the impact of race in education, and explored how issues of diversity, equity and inclusion impact us both as individuals and as a teaching community. Our May 7 Teacher Workday provided an opportunity for our final professional development event for the year; facilitated by Martha and Danielle from iChange Collaborative, “Disrupting Bias and Conditioning” called on us to recognize, challenge and transform racism as we work to build an inclusive and cohesive school community. The enthusiasm and engagement of our faculty and staff hasn’t wavered and their personal and professional growth surrounding DEI is evident. I would also like to acknowledge our DEI Committee members - Laura Cassell, Cara Friedline, Toshia Johnson, Patricia Jordan, Sianda Ruiz, and Gretchen Stamps – for the effort and leadership they have provided this year. Springmont’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity aligns with our core values and desire to be a strong community. We are pleased to know that it is robustly supported by all constituencies of our school community.