Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
SCDS actively seeks to increase the breadth of racial and socioeconomic diversity and inclusion in our entire community: the gifted children at the center of a dynamic learning process, their families, and our faculty, staff, and board of trustees. In order to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community at Seattle Country Day School, we have incorporated DEI into all our work, from strategic planning, to curriculum, to parent programs. Highlights from this work are noted below.
OUR STRATEGIC PLAN: SCDS NEXT
With a planning process begun in 2019, SCDS is implementing a multi-year strategic plan. This plan, called SCDS Next, focuses on two interconnected priorities: retaining and attracting excellent faculty, especially faculty of color, and increasing the racial and socioeconomic diversity and inclusivity of our school.
The Synapse program, for grades K–8, combines concepts related to social and emotional learning (SEL) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Synapse educates children in four foundational SEL ideas: self-knowledge or self-awareness, social relationships, celebration of self-identity and others’ identities, and social awareness. Read more about Synapse, here.
The school partners with the Pacific Education Group (PEG), a racial equity organization based in San Francisco that works with our families, faculty, and students to help them engage, sustain, and deepen conversations about race. Specifically, SCDS offers the group's Courageous Conversation seminar yearly to employees, parents, and Middle School students. Through Courageous Conversation, the SCDS community develops its own racial literacy and consciousness, and examines the impact of race on the lived experience of people of color in the U.S. — allowing for better conversations about race and racism. In support of SCDS Next, we ask new families to participate in a Courageous Conversation workshop during their first two years at SCDS. Similarly, we ask returning families who have not already taken part in a Courageous Conversation workshop to set aside time to do so. In both cases, we ask that at least one parent or guardian (preferably both) take part in the conversation. Parent participation is central to our goal of becoming a more culturally aware and inclusive community.
RIPPLES (Race in Parenting Learning Circles) is a parent-led group at SCDS, founded in 2020, whose mission is to facilitate open, honest conversations among parents about race and racial equity — both to promote their own understanding and to keep pace with what their children are learning at school and from a rapidly changing society. Sometimes, these conversations center around a shared resource, such as a book or article; others are informed by the exchange of ideas. Central to all RIPPLES discussions is the participants’ willingness to share their lived experiences, to accept hard truths, and to truly listen. Ultimately, RIPPLES aims to create ripples of reflection and growth in the school community by encouraging all parents to join in these enriching, growth-oriented, and deeply connective conversations. For more information, explore RIPPLES’ online FAQ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
DECODING THE LANGUAGE OF TODAY'S SOCIAL ACTIVISM
SCDS offers a series of stand-alone parent workshops called Decoding the Language of Today's Social Activism. Through the exploration of the history and meaning of terms such as "Black lives matter," "white privilege," and others that are widely used by social activists, the media, and popular culture, the workshops provide the context needed to develop culturally competent communication and parenting. These monthly workshops also deepen participants' understanding of the issues that have moved many in our country to work for racial equity and social change.
Read the board of trustees’ full statement on diversity here.