Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) at High Meadow School
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND JUSTICE STATEMENT
High Meadow School is committed to cultivating belonging, access, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (DEIJ). Together, we aim to practice approaches to undoing harmful systems, including racism and white supremacy, ableism, classism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, antisemitism, xenophobia, and other “isms”, while supporting students to become justice-seekers and change-makers. This work is critical to the health and wellbeing of our students and our community. It also provides an important foundation so that everyone can learn and grow together while building on our commitment to democratic voice.
We seek to center DEIJ in our classrooms and curriculum so children feel seen, heard, and whole, while fostering an environment where our students, teachers, staff, and families are valued, respected, and included.
We seek to create opportunities for community-wide learning with the goal of deepening relationships across our differences. We are committed to deepening our anti-racist and anti-bias practices to remove barriers, reduce systemic inequalities, and create more transparency and accountability in all aspects of our school’s operations. We will provide support for our teachers and students to ensure classrooms have the books, tools, and resources to reflect our students and teach about our diverse world of people, stories, and histories.
We will work to broaden community participation and engage feedback, building on our diverse lived experiences, cultures, and knowledge to create a more inclusive and equitable community. Ultimately, our goal is to create a school that includes and supports the diversity of identities and cultures of our global community.
We acknowledge the history of land dispossession in our area and the devastating impacts that colonization continues to have on the Munsee Lenape people.
We believe that equity is a lens, and it is through this lens that we aim to approach all endeavors at our school.
We believe in an anti-bias and anti-racist teaching philosophy and curriculum in which we are actively working to dismantle many of the harmful power structures that exist in society and that permeate education.
We believe that restorative justice practices are necessary for transformational change. We approach mistakes and conflict as an opportunity for growth, not punishment. We strive for transparency and accountability, and commit to repairing harm when it happens.
We believe that a person’s identity is sacred.
We believe all people’s lived experience and recognize it as valuable knowledge. Our knowledge allows us to contribute meaningfully both as teachers and learners at every age.
We believe in the collective power of solidarity, and as justice-seekers, we strive to listen to, celebrate, and learn from our community members who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), People of the Global Majority, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those belonging to marginalized identities.
We believe that our community has a responsibility to lead with empathy, listen with care, and stand up for ourselves and each other.
DEIJ STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
The High Meadow DEIJ teacher committee was founded during the 2022-23 school year, with the goal and intention of advancing DEIJ work during the year, and of creating a three year plan for the work. The team consisted of three administrators, five teachers (who of whom are also HMS parents), and one HMS parent. Our team conducted interviews with teachers, administered surveys, analyzed feedback, and engaged in ongoing conversations and observations to help highlight and prioritize our goals and needs as a school. Based on data gathered, we came up with four main DEIJ Strategic Priorities. Each priority is broken down into 5 - 8 actionable steps that we intend to accomplish within the next three years.