The Paideia School

Paideia’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: An Ongoing Conversation

Paideia Dei

Spring Update

Our work to ensure Paideia is a diverse, safe and inclusive community for all families, students, faculty and staff continues.

In the summer of 2020 we committed to specific actions throughout the school.

Below is a snapshot of DEI initiatives. This is a stepping stone in our ongoing commitment to being a more inclusive and anti-racist community.

"The work of DEI is one of growth. We are working to understand ourselves in an ever-changing world. It can be tough and we are leaning into how we can ensure that our work is lasting."

- Oman Frame
Coordinator of Diversity Equity and Inclusion

1509Building

Curriculum

Our commitment to review curriculum and teaching practices around anti-racism and representation is a continual process: 

  • Elementary teachers have implemented the Pollyanna curriculum, which focuses on racial literacy. Each classroom has adopted the program and literature to guide central subjects in age appropriate ways. 
  • In the junior high, a curriculum committee was formed the summer of 2020 to examine the use of language, diversity in texts and age appropriateness in homebase literature classes. The focus on anti-racism and racial identity in the junior high is centered in the RCG (race, class and gender) curriculum taught in all eighth grade classes.
  • In the high school, there are four new short term courses on race theory, anti-racism and racial identity for the spring of 2021. Academic departments have done a curricular review of diversity of themes, areas of study, and representation of marginalized groups. 
  • High school teachers have reassessed their placement and recommendation process for seminar /AP (advanced level) and themes courses in the 11th and 12th grade, which includes shared criteria and a student self-assessment.

OVER 60 FACULTY AND STAFF HAVE ATTENDED EXTERNAL DEI WORKSHOPS 

EXTERNAL CONFERENCES:

  • WHITE PRIVILEGE CONFERENCE
  • NAIS People of Color Conference
  • CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING
  • REDUCING BIAS IN ADMISSIONS
  • TEACHING RACIAL JUSTICE
  • NAIS DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE (SUMMER2021)

INTERNAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:

  • Building Anti-Racist Educators (BARWE) Groups at all school levels
  • DIVERSITY READS
  • Andre Robert Lee  presented his film "Road to Justice"
  • TEACHERS OF COLOR AFFINITY GROUPS
  • Rosetta Lee – Presentations and Discussions
Fire truck from front 3/4 view

Over 900 parents, faculty and alumni participated in 12 different community conversations ranging from listening sessions to parent and faculty anti-racist education. 

Rosetta Lee speaking at podium

Paideia has a three-year commitment to work with Rosetta Lee, diversity speaker and trainer. In 2019, Lee met with the elementary school community. In 2020, Rosetta met with junior high faculty, students and parents. In November 2020, she presented “Talking to Youth about Heated Topics” to junior high parents and presented to the full faculty “Safe to Brave: Courageous Conversations”. In the fall of 2021, Lee will return to speak with high school students, faculty and parents.

Student Life

In both the junior high and high school, new forms of procedures regarding racial incidents and concerns were implemented - both in reporting and follow up with students.

All junior high students meet monthly to discuss racial identity and anti-racism practices.

In the high school, two leadership groups meet regularly to address DEI issues: SDLI (Student Diversity Leadership Initiative) and the DEI committee (made up of affinity group leaders and students who started black@paideia). These affinity and leadership groups have worked in collaboration with faculty and administration throughout the year, including planning the high school Race Day.

DEI speakers have worked with high school students and faculty in anti-racist work. In February 2020, African American academic, feminist, and activist Loretta Ross presented a talk “Calling in the Calling Out Culture” to high school students and faculty. DEI facilitators Rosetta Lee, Andre Robert Lee and Juanes Zapata (restorative justice facilitator) have all worked with student leaders of the DEI student committee. Justine Fonte will present "Celebrating Parts with a purpose: A Closer Look at Body Positivity" to all high school students this spring.

Other changes in the high school include after school care and training for all student club leaders in anti-racism and inclusive leadership.

PAIDEIA 2.0 WEBZINE 

Is dedicated to the ongoing conversation at Paideia about diversity equity and inclusion. Each edition features art work and writing from students, faculty and staff from all levels of the school through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Cover of Paideia 2.0 web zine
Paideia 2_0 issue 2 Cover
Paideia 2_0 Issue 4 Cover

“I think the importance of the DEI work beginning in the summer of 2020 is rooted in its centering of student voices, primarily by developing spaces to listen to them. @blackatpaideia, started by three incredible students, acted as a medium for the safe and valued expression of current and former student’s experiences at Paideia. The student DEI committee and SDLI has been working tirelessly to better integrate this approach to our work. I think 2020’s race day, is an example of success coming from spaces for students by students."

- Aminah Gassama '20

Elementary kids marching for Black Lives Matter during Carnival

ALUMNI: 

Alumni Advisory Council added two new members, Clark Moore '09 and Domenica Merino '13, to focus on DEI within the alumni community. They will provide a new channel to organize DEI initiatives among alumni and work to establish affinity groups including collaborating with the existing Paideia Black Alumni group.

In partnership with the Alumni Association Council, a DEI branch was formed. Its work has focused on creating strategic goals to support the existing Paideia Black alumni group and DEI initiatives at the school.

"Paideia is strengthened by the diversity of our community and I'm looking forward to contributing to the creation of thoughtful infrastructure to promote safety, inclusion, and cross-cultural understanding." 

- Clark Moore '09 

High School in spring with blooming trees

HIRING 

Paideia’s DEI work continues to focus on recruiting, hiring and retaining faculty and administrators of color. Paideia uses national and local recruiting services: NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools), SAIS (Southern Association of Independent Schools), and GISA (Georgia Independent School Association), and TOC (Teachers of Color) along with local and national social media teacher groups.

A part of the interview process with prospective candidates is reviewing past professional development work in DEI and the role of DEI and anti-racist work in their classrooms. For the 2021-2022 school year, the large majority of new hires are teachers and administrators of color.

 

Paideia

 

 

Paideia's Responses to DEI Issues - Letters sent to Elementary, Junior High and High School on  July 31, plus ongoing action.