Nurturing an Inclusive Community
WNS strives to emulate the world in which we live and is fortunate to possess such a richly diverse community. We are a community grounded in engagement, curiosity, growth, and diversity. At WNS, diversity means we celebrate and embrace differences as well as commonalities and encourage conversations around them. We view diversity holistically and value it as a strength in our community in which equity and inclusion ensure that every member of the WNS community has the full WNS experience.
Board of Trustees
A commitment to a brighter future
WNS has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee that is made up of faculty and staff that focuses on programs and policies that further the school’s Four Pillars. The committee helps facilitate diversity training for all faculty to support them in effectively engaging students (our community) in healthy dialogue that explores diverse perspectives and experiences, deepens understanding and empathy (for each other), and helps transform misunderstanding into opportunities for learning. They also facilitate parent coffees and conversations about these topics.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Team is made up of faculty and staff (representation from all divisions and content areas) who oversee the many different committees that offer training and activities for students, parents, faculty, and staff. The DEI Leadership Team also is in the process of re-evaluating our purpose, goals, strategy and structural organization this year.
The DEI Committee is interested in being a part of the on-going process to celebrate diversity and promote understanding, equity, and inclusion at all levels of our community. DEI also has Parent Group Board members: Amber Anderson, Margie Gilmore, and Lara Tavares. These parents are the liaisons from the school to the parent community and help gather parents for the many DEI events we host during the year. Darlene Fountaine is on our Board of Trustees this year and is overseeing a DEI committee at the board level.
2019-2020 DEI Leadership Team Goals
- Making sure we are educated about the learning, the history, and the reality of systemic racism.
- Learning that we need to engage in difficult conversations in a positive and constructive way.
- Recognizing bias (implicit and explicit) and learning about the impact of microaggressions.
- Connections that our Anti-Bias Curriculum to social studies, global studies, and social learning – Creation of a Scope and Sequence for the Anti-Bias Curriculum.
- Ensuring that customs and celebrations are appropriate and meaningfully represented.
WNS is continuing its work on furthering our anti-bias education. Our faculty went through an Anti-Bias Curriculum Training over the summer, and we are happy to roll out the Anti-Bias Building Blocks: An Elementary Curriculum, making it a part of our weekly lesson plans. This curriculum is divided into five instructional units, and as students progress through these units they build a strong foundation for analyzing and confronting bias. The lessons are integrated within the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum, social studies, as well as other subject areas. An integrated approach to anti-bias education is significantly more powerful than tying it to one subject area. The resources are designed to help participants recognize bias and the harm it inflicts on individuals and society, build an understanding of the value and benefits of diversity, improve intergroup relations, confront racism and all other forms of bigotry.
The five units in this curriculum are:
- Unit I: Creating a Safe and Comfortable Classroom Environment
- Unit II: Understanding My Strengths, Skills, and Identity
- Unit III: Understanding and Appreciating Differences
- Unit IV: Understanding Bias and Discrimination
- Unit V: Confronting/Challenging Bias and Bullying
An Engaged Parent Group
Parents lending their expertise to the DEI Parent Group Board
WNS’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was the deciding factor when I was choosing a preschool for my son. With the opening of the new preschool, it was exciting to have the opportunity to co-create a diverse community for our very young children. It is comforting to know that their journey will continue in an environment that honors their unique essence and encourages open, honest, and courageous conversations.
DEI Parent Group Board Member
I am humbled and honored to work with a community that values growth and enjoys digging deeply into issues of equity. The diversity and the dedication to issues of diversity is the main reason we chose WNS to be our home, our community. I appreciate all that WNS offers our children and our community, and I am inspired to personally grow as well.
DEI Parent Group Board Member
WNS’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion create the ideal environment for our children to learn and grow. It is a safe place for them to celebrate and lean into differences of those in our school community and the broader community in which we live. WNS’s Four Pillars are continually strengthened by our tireless commitment to ensuring that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are infused into everything we do and into who we are. Because of this, our school is a very special community with a love for learning and embracing differences by encouraging courageous conversations about them.