Equity and Diversity

Mission

A contin­u­ing commit­ment to equity and diver­sity is one of three ideals embraced within Waver­ly’s mission state­ment.

The aims of our work in equity and diver­sity are broad: 

The Waverly School is commit­ted to social justice educa­tion and thus seeks to provide all members of the commu­nity with the tools to recog­nize and speak out against acts of bias and the discrim­i­na­tory systems of power that produce struc­tural inequal­i­ties. The school is commit­ted to treat­ing indi­vid­u­als with dignity and provid­ing an envi­ron­ment where all members of the commu­nity can engage in dialogue, ques­tion, learn, and contribute fully. This commit­ment to full partic­i­pa­tion encour­ages commu­nity members to be self-reflec­­tive about their atti­tudes toward them­selves and others. An equi­table and diverse school commu­nity makes members better informed, more empa­thetic, and better prepared to effect posi­tive change in the world. To that end, Waverly fosters an envi­ron­ment in which indi­vid­ual differ­ences of race, ethnic­ity, biolog­i­cal sex, gender iden­tity, sexual orien­ta­tion, socioe­co­nomic circum­stance, national origin, immi­gra­tion status, ability and disabil­ity, phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics, reli­gious belief, and all aspects of iden­tity are acknowl­edged and celebrated.

Corner­stones

In 2018, as part of its self-eval­u­a­tion for re-accred­i­ta­tion by the Cali­for­nia Asso­ci­a­tion of Inde­pen­dent Schools (CAIS), the school’s Diver­sity, Equity, and Inclu­sion (DEI) Commit­tee iden­ti­fied race as the initial area of focus; and address­ing white priv­i­lege and fragility as core areas for growth at the personal, inter­per­sonal, insti­tu­tional, and cultural levels. 

During the 2019 – 2020 year, faculty and staff partic­i­pated in numer­ous profes­sional devel­op­ment train­ings and multi­cul­tural work­shops includ­ing with Visions, Inc.; South­ern Cali­for­nia People of Color in Inde­pen­dent Schools (SoCal POCIS); The Inde­pen­dent School Alliance Confer­ence; The National Asso­ci­a­tion of Inde­pen­dent Schools People of Color Confer­ence (PoCC); and The Teach­ing Toler­ance Insti­tute (Learn­ing for Justice).

The work of the 2019 – 2020 DEI commit­tee focused on imple­ment­ing and facil­i­tat­ing faculty and staff affin­ity groups, centered around common read­ings and learn­ings. High school students also worked in affin­ity space. The elemen­tary school adopted the Teach­ing Toler­ance Social Justice Stan­dards. The board created a DEI sub-commit­tee, and the school contin­ued to hone the hiring process to further increase diver­sity in hiring. 

During the 2020 – 2021 school year all sectors of the Waverly commu­nity worked with the Cali­for­nia Confer­ence for Equity and Justice (CCEJ), under­taking a compre­hen­sive struc­tural assess­ment of our school climate and culture. The final report plus a webinar on restora­tive justice circles, with an accom­pa­ny­ing reflec­tion guide, were released on Febru­ary 1, 2021. The results continue to inform our ongoing work.

Among the steps taken during the 2021 – 2022 school year were:

  • The estab­lish­ment of a Gender Inclu­sion Policy, crafted by a task force of faculty and students, that codi­fies the ways in which we ensure that all commu­nity members can express them­selves and live authen­ti­cally. The task force gath­ered poli­cies from peer insti­tu­tions and devel­oped several drafts based upon research. All faculty and middle and high school students reviewed the drafts. In April, a final version was presented by the task force to the Waverly Board of Trustees DEI Commit­tee for its review and support. Read the Gender Inclu­sion Policy (PDF).
  • Two task forces (faculty and parents) have been engaged in a DEIJ mapping project since the fall, with a draft to be completed in the school year. The map will serve as a living docu­ment for the insti­tu­tion and will help to prior­i­tize needs address­ing repre­sen­ta­tion, spaces and places, poli­cies and prac­tices, and curricu­lum. This will ensure trans­parency and account­abil­ity in our DEIJ efforts and provide a road map for top prior­i­ties going forward. As of this spring, faculty and fami­lies had contributed to a draft, and the map will be brought to our high school students for their input by the end of the school year, with faculty and staff train­ing in August.
  • We will conclude our work with Ismalis Nuñez and Chris­tine Saxman this school year. Chris­tine and Ismalis have worked with faculty, students, and staff since 2020. This year, Ismalis and Chris­tine have met with faculty at all three divi­sions of the school, led faculty/​staff meet­ings, facil­i­tated and guided the Board of Trustees DEI work­shop, provided ongoing guid­ance and support of the Board, and led small-group meet­ings with community members.

Vision

Prior­i­ties and goals

Waverly’s goals are to: 1) build a school commu­nity that is rich in and support­ive of multi­ple aspects of iden­tity, and 2) estab­lish insti­tu­tional prac­tices that foster equity so that all members of the commu­nity may fully partic­i­pate and prosper at Waverly. 

Fully address­ing the above goals requires inten­sive, focussed work in build­ing commu­ni­ca­tions and collab­o­ra­tive processes, contin­ued, exten­sive profes­sional devel­op­ment and eval­u­a­tion, curricu­lum and co-curricu­lum devel­op­ment, admis­sions, commit­tee devel­op­ment, board partic­i­pa­tion and over­sight, and parent educa­tion and support.

Purpose

To fully inhabit Waverly’s mission and ideals, all members of the school must be commit­ted to anti-racism taught within a multi­cul­tural frame­work that fully embraces all aspects of iden­tity. As Waverly seeks to be more diverse, the school must have support systems in place for students of color. An equi­table and diverse school commu­nity ensures that all students are fully engaged and supported, and makes all students better informed, more empa­thetic, and better prepared to effect posi­tive change in the world.