The Lower School community began the year by continuing meaningful exchanges through the Sharing Our Stories program and K-5 Culture Clubs.
Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion shines through in our student programming of Lower School assemblies and bi-weekly Culture Club gatherings, providing students with the opportunity to further their learning and demonstrate leadership skills. In addition, the newly created Lower School DEI Task Force provided teachers with curriculum supplements to further the DEI discussion around programming in their classrooms. Students explored various topics through activities, including:
Lower School assemblies recognizing National Spirit Day, Latinx Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, and Holiday Traditions from around the world, during which students shared their personal stories and family traditions.
Culture Club meetings have focused learning on a variety of themes including Dia de Los Muertos, cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation -- Culture Not Costumes (Halloween), Diwali, Chuseok Korean Thanksgiving, and deep learning of the “Big 8” identifiers, akin to our work on identity development.
As Lower School DEI co-chairs, along with members of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team, we also engaged in professional development conferences this semester, including the Across Colors Diversity Conference; Pollyanna Conference; CATDC Developing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity in Independent Schools; and the NAIS PoCC and SDLC conference in Seattle. The Lower School community looks forward to offering opportunities for growth and development in the areas of DEI to students and faculty in the year 2020!
Students in grades seven through twelve took to the stage on April 22 and 23 for the Spring Dance Festival. To celebrate dance and the human spirit, Disconnect/Reconnect showcased student and faculty choreography, informed by personal journeys, aspirations, world events, and social justice issues.
With the leadership of interim science department chair Anat Fernandes, fifth grade students ventured to green space by the K-2 playground to learn about plants native to California, how to plant, and the importance of Earth Day.