7:30-8:00 AM − Light Breakfast + Check In (Millennium Foyer)
8:00-9:30 − Opening Program (Regency Ballroom)
Keynote Address by Dr. Dena Simmons, Assistant Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
10:00 − Interviews Begin (through 5:00 PM) (Second Floor)
10:00-11:00 − Session Block 1
Deepening Your Roots as a Culturally Sensitive Educator: Strategies to Affirm and Inspire Faculty and Students to Embrace the Intersectionality of Their Worlds in the Independent School Space (Regency A)
Presenters: Tiphanie Edwards, Dean of Academics, Elizabeth Seton High School, and Angela Rohan, Director of Student Activities, Elizabeth Seton High School
As independent schools develop increasingly diverse populations, school policies often struggle to implement meaningful programming that acknowledges student experiences outside of the classroom and incorporates them into daily school life. These diverse populations include students from a variety of cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds. Traditionally underrepresented groups of students frequently feel disconnected from the greater school community and may struggle to get the same level of access to opportunity as their majority peers.
While schools engage in strategic planning to ensure their mission aligns with the reality of their school community, individual teachers can employ strategies in their classroom policies and personal behaviors to embrace, affirm, and inspire students from a wide range of backgrounds to ensure the students’ academic, social, and emotional growth. Teachers should be made aware of the wide range of privilege and varying experiences that different student groups are subject to and use that information to help provide increased opportunity and support within their classrooms. They must challenge preconceptions regarding student identity and work to shift their mindset to one that will encourage students to be and to express their authentic selves in their work.
In this workshop, we will encourage participants to look deeply at their own classroom behavior and seek ways in which they can become more sensitive to the needs of their students. We will assist educators in developing strategies and classroom policies that will help them to broaden the experience of their students and allow them to gain access to opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to them.
Building a Pipeline: A Conversation for Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining a Diverse Faculty (Regency B)
Presenters: Lorry Perry, Assistant Head of School, Blair Academy; Aretina Hamilton, Assistant Director, Talent Acquisition, Interlochen Center for the Arts; and Raquel Majeski, Dean of Equity and Community Affairs, Lawrence Academy
As independent schools work to become more diverse and inclusive, recruiting and retaining employees from historically underrepresented groups remains challenging. There are social and professional challenges that face faculty and staff from marginalized backgrounds at all points of the hiring process, which typically continue after hire. The tenure for faculty of color is low compared to peers. This panel brings together administrators and DEI practitioners who will examine the barriers to creating inclusive schools through a panel and brainstorming session. They will explore practical approaches to developing a transformative and equitable school through intentional practices.
FEATURED WORKSHOP: MCRC@ADVIS & Carney Sandoe Equity in Action Grant Recipient
After the Diversity Training: Supporting and Sustaining Instructional Fidelity in the Culturally Responsive Classroom (Regency C)
Presenter: Penn Pritchard, Curriculum & Instructional Leader, AIM Academy
How do we bridge the gap between professional development offerings and the meaningful, ongoing translation of theory and research into innovative curriculum planning and inclusive pedagogy? In this session, learn how one instructional leadership team is developing fidelity tools to formally establish and define cultural competency as a critical instructional component, describe ideal implementation at the practitioner level, and offer school leaders a framework with which to strategically document observable teacher behaviors and deepen emerging proficiencies. Participants in this workshop will gain familiarity with assessment tools and implementation strategies, engage in self-reflection to identify their own personal and institutional strengths and growth areas in this realm, and work collaboratively to explore the potential impact of instructional fidelity frameworks on their respective classrooms and communities.
11:15 AM-12:30 PM − Session Block 2
The Illusion of Inclusion (Regency C)
Presenter: Karen Bradberry, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Greenhill School
With our current sociocultural/political landscape being desecrated by leaders peddling Orwellian concepts such as “fake news” and “alternative facts,” now, more than ever, independent schools must come clean and be honest about our true missions. Is your school really building an inclusive learning community for all its members? Or, are you just as guilty of vandalism by building and selling an “Illusion” of an inclusive learning community?
With race-based data and other forms of institutional research as the scaffold, this workshop presents an adapted, developmental stage model to ensure it is building and maintaining an actual inclusive community as opposed to the illusion of one. Participants walk away with the following tools: a method for discerning “fact from fiction” in regard to our schools' stated and/or implied intentions regarding diversity, equity, justice and inclusion (DEJI) work; a framework for conducting and utilizing race-based institutional research to promote DEJI work; and a host of effective facilitation strategies, techniques, and tips that can be used to turn our mission-driven and visionary-based aspirations into reality.
It Takes a Village: Creating and Cultivating Brilliance and Black Boy Joy in Predominantly White Institutions (Regency B)
Presenters: Mikael Yisrael, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Abington Friends School, and Norman Bayard, Dean of Students, Friends Select School
Chances are you have heard the old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child.” While we agree with this familiar saying, we also recognize that, at times, it is necessary to first create the village. In that spirit, at our respective institutions, we founded an affinity group for young boys who identify as Black/African-American based on the Nguni Bantu term, Ubuntu, meaning “humanity” and “I am because we are.” The purpose of the group is to establish a community of support and create a safe space for the boys to authentically connect on a deeper level. We discuss topics such as the meaning and importance of “I am because we are, we are because I am” and develop vision statements for how we want to spend our time together. Ubuntu not only serves as a rite of passage and cultural curriculum, but also encourages academic achievement and cultivates success in the larger academic and co-curricular school community. Ubuntu identifies, encourages, and celebrates the brilliance in black boys and grants permission to engage in unapologetic black boy joy. Join us to discover how you can start an Ubuntu group at your school!
12:30-1:15 − Break (lunch is not included)
1:15-2:15 − Session Block 3
I Am Because You Are (Regency B)
Presenters: David Thompson, Director of Diversity & Community Life, Bishop’s School, and Priscilla Morales, Associate Head of School, Park School of Baltimore
It’s who knows you, not who you know, that is central to professional growth mentoring. Educators, specifically educators of color, often work within schools and systems that didn’t scaffold the success of its faculty and staff of color beyond forced assimilation. Allies, accomplices, and mentors play a critical role in the professional growth of faculty, staff, and administrators of color. These sustainable relationships allow adult school community members to stay grounded and foster tools for success in environments that systemically celebrate now-antiquated models and visual cues of leadership. Who are your allies, accomplices, and mentors?
This session will thread scientific research with anecdotal experience to affirm the important role that mentors play in the professional growth of faculty, staff, and administrators of color. Attendees will share stories from their personal mentoring and mentee journeys and will walk away with new connections other professionals. During this session, participants will: 1) consider tools for building support networks; 2) develop new mentoring relationships among colleagues in the room; and 3) set action steps towards sustaining to those relationships.
Leveraging Equity Data to Promote Equity and Inclusion (Regency C)
Presenters: Nadia Alam, Principal, Enquiry Evaluation; Rev. Loris Adams, Director of Community and Equity Affairs, St. Mark's School; and Sarah Enterline, Director of Institutional Research, St. Mark's School
Many K-12 schools invest significant time and money to foster equitable and inclusive school climates; however, without equity data to guide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies and practices, institutions are challenged in making truly informed decisions to address equity gaps on campus. In this session, presenters will share their unique approach to collecting equity data and then using that data to align campus stakeholders toward a cohesive and strategic DEI plan.
Attendees of this session will understand the critical connection between equity data (i.e. data describing the experiences of diverse identity groups on campus) and DEI strategic planning. Attendees will see concrete examples of equity data as well as an example of an operational Equity Dashboard.
Achieving Authentic Diversity in Small Boarding Schools (Regency A)
Presenters: Matthew Woodhall, Head of School, The Woodhall School, and Vince Vincent, Associate Head of School, The Woodhall School
We will explore the idea of creating authentic diversity in school communities, particular boarding schools, which are still reconciling the legacy of white privilege. We will examine such questions as, “What can and should diversity look like in schools? What are common mistakes schools make in promoting diversity? What are the risks, challenges, and rewards for school communities when engaging in the process of reflecting upon and then being accountable for creating of culture of inclusion and diversity? How can schools and school leaders strive to be their authentic selves in this process?” Using the case model of a small, specialized boarding school and contrasting it with the professional and personal experience of its two leaders, one white, one black, we will include NAIS data, case studies, and testimonials to start an open and honest examination among participants.
2:30-3:30 − All-Group Session
FEATURED WORKSHOP: MCRC@ADVIS & Carney Sandoe Equity in Action Grant Recipients
Upstream: Songs for Building an Equitable, Just, and Loving Community in Preschool-3rd Grade Classrooms (Regency B)
Presenters: City Love – Dwight Dunston, Coordinator of Equity and Justice Education, Friends Central School, and Brian Caselli Jordan, Educator/Musician, The Philadelphia School
Nip troubles in the bud; sow the great in the small. Big things of the world can only be tackled by attending to their small beginnings.” -Lao Tzu. In order to build the world we need, we must head upstream and begin the work of equity and justice with our youngest learners. In this workshop we will share a participatory sequence of our songs and discuss using them to open up meaningful, developmentally appropriate dialogue and action in the classroom around racial justice, equity, identity, solidarity, self-love, and beloved community in the face of role models demonstrating the opposite. We will end by sharing our creative process and putting it to use in order to make a full group song! Come sing with us!
3:45-5:00 PM − Session Block 4
Diversity Without Divisiveness: A Model for Building a Truly Inclusive Community (Regency B)
Presenter: Carlos Hoyt, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Belmont Day School
“Diversity” (the presence of a variety of dissimilar things in one place), has come to signify both the positive pursuit of communities that welcome and contain people from all walks of life and the challenges involved in attracting, engaging, and retaining people who differ from one another. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the pursuit and even the achievement of a diverse community (whether it be a school or workplace or neighborhood) are not sufficient to create harmony among people from different backgrounds. In fact, when different social identity groups share a space instead of harmonious interaction, wariness, factionalism, and friction can arise.
The Diversity without Divisiveness model provides both the context and content necessary to equip participants with common knowledge and skills they can apply to their work – and it does so in a manner that does not prioritize any particular experience of social bias over others. Participants will be able to define social identity, social bias, and social justice; articulate how they interact; and distinguish diversity from pluralism. Participants will be able to explain implicit/unconscious bias in light of their own cycle of socialization and racialization and explicate strategies to counteract it/avoid microaggressions that stem from it. Participants will also be able to define empathy and cognitive dissonance and explain how they factor into constructive conversations.
FEATURED WORKSHOP: MCRC@ADVIS & Carney Sandoe Equity in Action Grant Recipient
Engaging Math Students With Civics and Social Justice (Regency C)
Presenter: João Gomes, Upper School Math Teacher, Upper School Coordinator of Equity & Inclusion, The Agnes Irwin School
Structural inequality is the result of a process that cannot be fully understood without mathematics. Core math classes already cover the topics needed to explore civics and social justice, but rarely do these classes include problems that explicitly explore these themes. At the same time, math teachers often discuss the need for more engaging applications to help students develop a mathematical lens through which to view the world. This workshop will explore justifications for including problems centered around social justice and civic engagement and help teachers get started by providing them with a database of such problems arranged by algebra topic. Students can tell when something is/not important to a school. When topics centered around equity and inclusion are absent from STEM classes or relegated to senior electives for students who have fallen below grade-level, it sends a clear message to everyone in the community. If schools want to show that DEI issues are important, they must find ways to infuse the core curriculum with relevant topics that help students explore America's past and present as we prepare them to lead in the future. Participants will come away with helpful tips and a framework to help them engage with others in their community (including faculty, parents, administrators, and boards) about adding social justice topics to core math classes. They will also be given access to a database of social justice applications, arranged by algebra topic. This will allow participants to hit the ground running when they return to their schools and start the work of creating a more meaningful and transformative math curriculum.
4:30-5:00 − Last Interview of the Day
5:00 − Friday Concludes
7:30-8:00 AM − Light Breakfast (Millennium Foyer)
8:00-9:30 − Keynote Address by Dr. Anthony Jack, Assistant Professor of Ed at Harvard University, Author of “The Privileged Poor” (Regency Ballroom)
9:30 − Interviews Begin (through 2:00 PM) (Second Floor)
10:00-11:15 − Session Block 5
Behind the Veil: New Research Findings on Student of Color Experiences at Independent Schools (Regency B)
Presenter: Jackson Collins, Associate Executive Director, Prep for Prep
This workshop will present recent doctoral research findings on the experiences of students of color who attend predominantly independent schools. The mixed-methods study had 525 participants from 74 independent schools in the Northeast. The workshop will present statistical and narrative data that make a case for a reexamination of how we support students of color and how we engage the broader school community. The findings presented in this workshop will also illuminate specific areas of student support and specific pain points for students of color at predominantly white institutions. Central themes presented include the sense of belonging, emotional well-being, and racial coping self-efficacy and competence in the context of the independent school experience for students of color. This workshop will be an interactive conversation with Q&A throughout the presentation, with opportunities for participants to exchange ideas and best practices in the context of the data.
Creating Connections With Diverse Communities (Regency A)
Presenter: Marianne Kent-Stoll, Vice President of Education Programs, Idyllwild Arts Academy
Three years ago, Idyllwild Arts Academy and Red Cloud Indian School on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota formed a partnership that has proven to be a model for recruiting diverse students, faculty, and enhancing curricular programs for Idyllwild Arts Academy and Red Cloud School.
In this presentation, Marianne Kent-Stoll, Vice President of Educational Programs, will outline how this partnership has served as foundation for further studies into how to include, support, and retain diverse students and faculty within a school community. Ms. Kent-Stoll will focus on the importance of investing time and resources into long term relationships for educational enrichment and for the sustainability of a diverse school community.
Addressing Social Justice and Equity Issues in the Kindergarten Classroom (Regency C)
Presenter: Beth Mello, Assistant Head of School, Foote School, and Dr. Sandra (Chap) Chapman, Director of Equity & Community, LREI
Participants will learn how to use Persona Dolls to teach their students how to resolve conflict and problem solve. Persona Dolls can be used to create an anti-bias classroom where the children develop positive social identities and healthy self-esteem, as well as respect and value for different identities. The format will include a presentation with handouts and recordings of the dolls in use in the classroom, as well as Q&A.
11:30 AM-12:30 PM − Closing Reflection (Regency B)
Lawrence Alexander, Carney Sandoe Director of DEI and Search Consultant, and Brandon Jacobs, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, The Shipley School
1:30-2:00 − Last Interview of the Day
2:00 − Saturday Concludes
*Please note this schedule is subject to change.