Sharing Our Stories

Identity and self-discovery are essential to students’ understanding of themselves and one another. This work encompasses identity development framework that includes ability, age, ethnicity, family structure, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. In Lower School, this exploration is present in programs such as Sharing Our Stories at weekly assemblies.

Cultural Celebrations & Assemblies

Students sample cultures in accessible and fun ways throughout the year. Regular assemblies coincide with topical current events and cultural heritage months and serve as a catalyst for learning through personal experiences and the sharing of stories. Throughout the year, Lower School students participate in cultural celebrations and assemblies: Nowruz, Persian New Year; Diwali, Festival of Lights; Spirit Day, GLAAD LGBTQ Youth Awareness; Lunar New Year; Black History Month Assembly, led by Upper School students in our Black Student Union; Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Assembly; Lower School MLK Service Day; Latinx Heritage Month Assembly; Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month Assembly; and Women’s History Month Assembly. 
Lower School DEI Spotlight

Art Program

Teaching DEIJ isn’t an explicit goal of the Lower School Art Program, but we invite those conversations with the artists and works of art that we share.
 
For example, our first three Masters of the Month were:
  • Kehinde Wiley – A contemporary painter who recreates historical paintings of powerful white people to celebrate people of color instead.
  • Yayoi Kusama – A Japanese artist who made the most of a mental illness to make herself the most successful living female artist. 
  • Friedenschrich Hundertwasser – A Jewish architect who grew up in Austria during the height of World War II. 
Students are invited to make observations and ask questions during these presentations. If an important issue comes up, we are empowered to pause the curriculum to speak instead about any other important topic. These are our opportunities to guide DEIJ conversations in class.
 
Whenever we begin a new project, we share examples from art history. We are careful to include examples from around the world and – if possible – throughout history. These juxtapositions also offer our students the chance to make comparisons and ask questions.

-Lower School art teacher Rama Hughes

Student Artwork