Lower School Diversity Engagement
Our Diversity and Inclusivity Initiatives
Diversity and inclusivity initiatives in the Lower School strongly reflect GA’s mission statement and civility pledge. With a special focus on clear expectations for behavior and the importance of kindness, our aim is to support empathic problem solving and connection. The Lower School Family Handbook articulates these expectations for students and their families with the goal of creating a safe and caring community for all. In our effort to support the whole child and meet kids where they are, we recognize the need to explore all facets of their life experience.
Our Implicit and Explicit Curriculum
GA’s Lower School has both implicit and explicit curriculum around noticing, discussing and celebrating our differences. It is developmentally appropriate for Lower School aged children to notice differences and to want to discuss them. Through our Health and Wellness programming we are acknowledging these observations and explicitly introducing kind language for discussing our physical, religious, cultural and familial differences while guiding our students toward empathic thinking. By recognizing and addressing this typical developmental curiosity we help our students learn about and understand themselves, our local community and our global society in kind and supportive ways. Studying and embracing a variety of cultures is an implicit part of the curriculum strands that link educational components throughout the Lower School experience; particularly in our Social Studies, Art, Music and World Language units.
Our Faculty Engagement
Diversity education is not limited to our students. The Lower School has named two Diversity and Community Life Coordinators to continue to advance our curriculum and provide both in-house and outside professional learning opportunities for all Lower School faculty around this topic. Lower School faculty is represented on the All School Diversity Task Force and Lower School faculty have participated in professional development including the Race Institute for Educators, regular discussion groups and faculty in-service days around the topics of race and diversity.