One of the steps we have taken this fall to help us reach more surely towards our school-wide diversity goals is to name two of our faculty members to serve as diversity coordinators. Gina Brent, our Lower School art teacher, and Cindy Orban, our librarian, will serve in this capacity which will further our focus on diversity-related goals. They will meet with me regularly to discuss and help move forward our work on diversity-related issues, and they will act as resources for faculty about diversity-related curriculum and student issues. In addition, they will reach out as special advocates to families and children that bring diversity to the school, and they will work with faculty on recognizing and meeting those needs. Gina and Cindy will also be involved in helping create student and faculty recruitment plans that will, in time, bring greater diversity to our student body as well as our faculty and administration.
All of these directions are consistent with what I spoke about at Parent Night, with our school’s diversity statement (found in our Parents’ Directory & Handbook), and with one of the four school-wide goals we adopted following our 2006 Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS) accreditation evaluation. (The other three school-wide goals pertained to developing a system to review and revise the curriculum on an on-going basis, continuing efforts to differentiate instruction, and meeting our space needs.)
Also, last month, Ron Goldblatt, the executive director of AIMS, came to speak with the Board of Trustees about four mega-trends he feels schools need to be focused on if they are going to thrive -- and even survive -- in the coming years. Increased diversity and demographic change was one of the trends. The others pertained to the financial downturn; the changing nature of the work force as numerous Boomers retire and as the Millennial Generation takes their place; and the continuing exponential pace of technological change. AIMS feels that in order to remain sustainable and provide the best possible preparation for the future, schools need to be purposeful in each of these areas. As a school we have done significant work to be prepared for all of these coming realities. The Board, its diversity task force, and I all felt that the appointment of diversity coordinators was a logical next step to help bring the benefits of diversity to all of our students.