June 18, 2020 Communication to the Dutchess Day School Community

Dear Members of the Dutchess Day School Community:

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd it is clear that Dutchess Day School must do its part to address racism, injustice, and unwarranted or disproportionate violence against people of color wherever and in whatever form it may exist; we believe that Black lives matter.  As mentioned in an earlier communication, it is also “imperative to speak and reaffirm the values of empathy, learning, and understanding that the Dutchess Day School community holds so dear.”  As a premier independent school, it is our responsibility to not only educate our students in core academic curriculum, but also to educate them in a broader understanding of our world and empower them through knowledge, to form a just and equitable future for all.

To that end, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee has been meeting to discuss and implement actionable steps towards a stronger, better informed, and more socially responsible Dutchess Day School community.  Listed below are the steps that our committee is currently working on to ensure meaningful results.
 
We hope that the direction and earnest effort of our committee’s work will permanently instill within our students the community code tenet of “I understand that differences among people make our school community a richer place.”  In cementing this tenet, we believe our students will have the ability to make an appreciable difference in the lives of others. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Matt Heard
Head of School
 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
    • Summer/Fall 2020
      • Draft a position statement on our collective commitment towards ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Professional Development for Faculty
    • Summer/Fall of 2020
      • Require the reading of two books on DEI specific topics for faculty, staff, and administration. 
      • By September: White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson
      • Late Fall: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
    • Fall of 2020
      • Hire an expert DEI consultant to work with our faculty
      • Discussion with GLSEN Mid Hudson Chapter Co-Director, Rob Conlon 
    • Early Winter 2020
      • Send a team of faculty and administrators to the NAIS People of Color Conference
  • Diverse Representation within Faculty 
    • Late Winter 2021
      • Attend the NYSAIS Hiring Fair for Diversity
  • Diverse Representation within the Board of Trustees
    • Support the Board of Trustees in their ongoing efforts to identify candidates of color 
  • Curriculum Review
    • Review all curriculum maps and highlight areas in which topics related to DEI are introduced, reinforced, expanded upon.  Particularly, within the subjects of history and social studies.
    • Review and add developmentally appropriate units for DEI within the Wellness Curriculum.
 
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Amanda Forbes - Spanish Foreign Language Teacher
Matt Heard - Head of School
Stacy Kaegi - Pre-kindergarten Teacher
Julie Murphy - Grade 5 Teacher
Ali Roland - Art Educator
Chris Whalen - Director of Athletics and Physical Education
 
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