diversity, equity, & inclusion

DEI

MISSION

Rocky Hill Country Day is committed to working against forces of discrimination and oppression. The school seeks diversity and encourages the ongoing sharing of ideas, experiences, and dialogue that will broaden perspectives. By practicing and teaching equity and inclusion, we aim to dismantle systemic racism, oppression, and inequality in our community and the world around us.

D

DIVERSITY
Representation in a community from a full range of races, identities, and cultures

E

EQUITY
Building a community of fairness through access and justice

I

INCLUSION
Creating an environment of connectedness and belonging

Assess current work, community sense of belonging, equity, and culture in order to inform future steps.

Create structures which support and promote our commitment to DEI at RHCD.

Promote diversity and representation through hiring and admissions.

Increase support for students of color, LGBTQIA students, students with disabilities and international students.

Educate faculty to be leaders of DEI work and intentionally incorporate DEI into curriculum.

Provide support for families of students of color.

Address larger systems of injustice beyond RHCD.

Assess current work, community sense of belonging, equity, and culture in order to inform future steps.

Create structures which support and promote our commitment to DEI at RHCD.

Promote diversity and representation through hiring and admissions.

Increase support for students of color, LGBTQIA students, students with disabilities and international students.

Educate faculty to be leaders of DEI work and intentionally incorporate DEI into curriculum.

Provide support for families of students of color.

Address larger systems of injustice beyond RHCD.

ACTION

STEPS

In the spring and summer of 2020, RHCD administration built a plan to expand ongoing diversity, equity,  inclusion, and justice efforts within the community. We are happy to share our plan and progress with you here.

1

Assess current work, community sense of belonging, equity, and culture in order to inform future steps

  • July/August 2020: Explored audit/assessment options and developed plans for administering the NAIS climate assessment survey for all students, faculty, staff, administration, parents and guardians, and alumni.
  • December 2020: Administered the NAIS climate survey. We will receive and analyze the results in January 2021.
  • Fall/Winter 2020: Invited alumni, parents, faculty, and staff to discussion sessions related to DEI topics to further efforts, and welcomed qualitative feedback. These conversations will continue throughout the school year and beyond.
  • Spring/Summer 2021: Examine rates of attrition, discipline, leadership, and honors/AP level classes along identity factors (race, gender identity, socio-economics, etc.).
  • 2021/2022: Plan a more comprehensive Equity Audit with an external organization.
  • Summer 2021: Host a DEI retreat to process feedback and revise the action steps plan accordingly.

2

Create structures and clear commitment to DEI for RHCD

  • Summer 2020: Established a whole school DEI Committee and created a working structure and mission for the group.
  • Summer 2020: Updated the Diversity statement for the school and moved it to the front page of the website: Rocky Hill Country Day is committed to working against forces of discrimination and oppression. The school seeks diversity
    and encourages the ongoing sharing of ideas, experiences, and dialogue that will broaden perspectives. By practicing and teaching equity and inclusion, we aim to dismantle systemic racism, oppression, and inequality in our community and the world around us.
  • Fall 2020: Created DEI sub-committees to focus specifically on student support, curriculum review, communications, and hiring practices as a starting point.
  • Winter 2021: Developing a job description and pursuing the hiring of a full-time Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to serve at the administrative level.
  • Ongoing (Since Fall 2019): HOS Diane Rich has been participating in a variety of professional development opportunities focused on DEI, including 1:1 conversations with DEI practitioners, attending AISNE’s annual Diversity Conference, and participating in AISNE’s Heads Cohort: Anti-Racism Working Group.

3

Promote diversity and representation through hiring and admissions

  • Fall 2020: DEI hiring sub-committee researched, compiled resources, and met with administrators to develop a revised hiring process and outreach strategy.
  • Winter 2021: Administrators and Department Chairs will attend the Diversity Directions Hiring Workshop.
  • Ongoing: DEI professional development opportunities built into the calendar.
  • Ongoing: HOS Diane Rich has started discussions with the Board of Trustees regarding the board membership process with the goal of increasing diverse representation on the Board.
  • Future: Ongoing review of admissions and hiring process through a DEI lens and training for all members involved in these steps.

4

Increase support for students of color, LGBTQIA students, students with disabilities and international students

  • Fall 2020: Established a virtual “Students of Color Affinity Group” due to Covid restrictions.
  • Fall 2020: Hired a full-time Community Curriculum teacher to support students and deliver the DEI curriculum via the new seminar classes.
  • Fall 2020: Funded the attendance of 3 upper school students at the national Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Financial support for attendance at this conference will continue to be included in the annual budget.
  • Fall 2020: Funded the attendance of several middle school students at the AISNE Students of Color Conference. Financial support for attendance at this conference will continue to be included in the annual budget.
  • Fall 2020: The Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) faculty shared information to support all students and families with success during distance learning.
  • Winter 2021: ACE is teaching all ninth and tenth grade students strategies for academic success via seminar class.
  • Spring 2021: Select upper school students will attend the AISNE Upper School Students of Color Conference. Financial support for attendance at this conference will continue to be included in the annual budget.
  • Future: Provide space – physical, emotional, mental, time – on campus for students who are in a minority to have a majority experience.
  • Future: Build affinity group time into the schedule.
  • Future: Create a designated GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) space for meeting in person post-Covid.
  • Future: Establish a Students of Color Union to work with administration on policy/practice.
  • Future: Host GSA social events with peer schools.
  • Future: Students, faculty, administration, parents, and trustees attend the Pollyanna Diversity Conference at Wheeler.
  • Future: Host RI Independent School Students
    of Color social events with affinity groups across Rhode Island.

5

Educate faculty to be leaders of DEI work and intentionally incorporate DEI into curriculum

  • Summer 2020: Employees read So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Some faculty participated in a summer long book club option each week, and all faculty and staff participated in a fall discussion about the text and its relevance to our school and community.
  • Summer 2020: Upper school faculty began, and continue to work on, Advisor training for all advisors with a focus on DEI.
  • Fall 2020: Implemented upper school seminar course which includes 60-180 minutes of DEI focused curriculum each week for students in this for-credit course.
  • Fall 2020: 13 faculty and administrators attended the AISNE Diversity Conference spanning a week and shared ideas, resources, and takeaways from the experience. We will build off of this experience for a February 2021 professional day focused on DEI.
  • Fall 2020: The DEI curriculum sub-committee began planning an audit of course offerings, texts, and curriculum. The committee is also researching best practices and resources to share with faculty.
  • Fall 2020: Library prioritized adding books that represent diverse authors, experiences, and perspectives to our collection.
  • Fall 2020: Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum embedded in lower school K-5 library classes.
  • Winter 2021: “Read Woke” book club program launched.
  • Ongoing: Continue faculty and staff readings and workshops related to DEI.
  • Ongoing: Create a list of DEI focused, and diversely authored, fiction and non-fiction for faculty, students, and families.

6

Provide support for families of BBIPOC students

  • Winter 2021: Review the results of the NAIS climate assessment (mentioned above) to analyze the experiences and expressed needs of families of students of color.
  • Spring 2021: Based on analysis of NAIS survey, develop plans and programs to meet identified needs.
  • Fall 2021: Advisor training in all divisions.
  • Ongoing: Follow through on previously mentioned admissions and hiring efforts which will help to support BBIPOC families.

7

Address larger systems of injustice beyond RHCD

  • Winter 2021: Students and faculty participate in the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge to increase education and action within and beyond our community.
  • Ongoing: HOS Diane Rich working with the Board of Trustees on strategic ways to promote justice via business partnerships, investments, local initiatives, etc.
  • Ongoing: HOS and administrators support just practices in purchasing, vendor relationships, and other business opportunities.

COMMITTEE LEADERS

Brady Wheatley

Upper School
Division Head
bwheatley@rockyhill.org

Matt Gnolfo

Coordinator of Diversity,
Equity, & Inclusion
mgnolfo@rockyhill.org

Ian Green

Diversity, Equity, &
Inclusion Assistant
igreen@rockyhill.org

DEI COMMITTEE

The Rocky Hill Country Day School DEI Committee will work closely with the Head of School, Division Heads, and other administrators to achieve the Committee’s goals, propose action items, and provide space for other constituent groups’ voices.

The scope and purpose of the DEI Committee is to work collaboratively to assess, research, and inform administration to move our DEI practices forward in curricula, professional development for all stakeholders, hiring practices, admissions, school policy, athletics, co-curriculars, communications, branding, and messaging.

The Committee will work directly to provide student and family support, faculty development, school wide events and speakers, and engagement for the wider community (parents, students, alumni, board) on issues of DEI.

Committee Members

Eléna Rich, Dean of Student Life
Helen Dembinski, Academic Center for Enrichment Teacher
Charlie Laurent, Lower School Teacher
Ariana Viola, MS/US Math Teacher
Aquila Harper, Community Curriculum Teacher
Natalie Joseph, Lower School Teacher
Bridget Keane, MS/US English Teacher
George Briggs, US English Teacher
Wendy Gustavel, School Librarian

Iveth Streisand, MS/US Spanish Teacher
Dawn Temple
, Photography Teacher
Amadeus Finlay, Media Editor
Patricia McLaughlin, Asst. Head of School for Advancement
Traci Farichild, Director of Counseling & Wellness
Anna Slaybaugh, US Math Teacher
Charlotte Buecheler, US English Teacher
Maria Abregu, MS/US Spanish Teacher
Andrew Hoffman-Patalona, Physics Teacher

Sub-Committees

Student Support

  • Identify student support structure by division

Curriculum Review

  • Assessment of whole school curriculum through a DEI lens

Communications

  • Collaborate with the Comms department on best practices

Hiring Practices

  • Evaluate our current practices in light of hiring best practices

CONTACT US

If you have any questions, or would like to know more about Rocky Hill Country Day School, please fill out the form below.

Rocky Hill Country Day School

530 Ives Road
East Greenwich, RI 02818

Phone: 401.884.9070
Fax: 401.885.4985