Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
At Corlears, our mission is to make space for young children to develop compassion, imagination, critical thinking, and leadership. We believe that awareness, empathy, and personal dignity can be cultivated through the exploration of the languages we speak, the beliefs and traditions we observe, the colors of our skin, our age, gender, sexual orientation, the configuration of our families, and our socioeconomic differences.
We do not see this work as a trend; rather, we see it as an imperative.
Why Choose Seedlings at Corlears?
Why Choose Seedlings at Corlears?
Corlears is committed to creating an environment and shaping a curriculum that embraces difference.
Little Kids Growing Big Values: Teaching DEIB
What does diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging look like at Corlears?
There are two critical foundations that young children need in the context of equity and inclusion:
- Positive self-identities
- An understanding of how to acknowledge and celebrate diversity in an inclusive and equitable way
As a school, we achieve these two foundational goals through active modeling and a comprehensive identity and social justice curriculum. Here’s what that looks like:
- We explicitly provide our students with the language and understanding to recognize and celebrate their own identity and the identity of others.
- Children are taught to see things from multiple perspectives and consider the whole community. This is a life skill that we teach daily and hope that our students will use at Corlears and continue to exercise throughout their lives.
- With scaffolding from expert faculty, students explore situations that are unfair and are provided with the tools to take action to support fairness for all.
- Diversity of thought is encouraged as students develop creative solutions to the intellectual, social, and emotional challenges they encounter.
- Through active listening and questioning, we develop critical thinkers who are compassionate and informed.
- Community interactions are intentionally designed to be as inclusive and equitable as possible, and we strive to create a community in which each member can see themselves represented and valued.
When we do this work, we help to create a community in which everyone feels like they belong, that they are accepted, valued, included, and encouraged by others both inside and outside the classroom.
Belonging at All Levels: A School-Wide Commitment
Through school-wide commitment to these values, we model inclusion and create safe spaces for children to explore identity.
Faculty and Staff Training
Every faculty member at Corlears engages in training opportunities to become adept at talking and teaching about identity and race. All faculty and staff participate in regular caucus groups and are invited to affinity spaces to deepen dialogue around their experiences related to race and ethnicity, and intersectionality with aspects of social identity in the workplace.
Board of Trustees Commitment
Corlears School's Board of Trustees has been actively working to support the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion mission since the start of the program in 2006. Over the years, they’ve deepened their commitment to furthering the school’s work in this area on all levels — from leadership to students. In the 2020–21 school year, they partnered with our Assistant Head of School Mansi Vasa — then our Director of Equity and Inclusion — to create the CARES (Culture, Action, Representation, Education, and Support) framework, outlining the specific actions the Board and its members will take immediately and over time to create a more equitable and inclusive school.
The Work Never Stops: Our Ongoing Dedication to DEIB
The work of forwarding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is an iterative, ongoing journey. We are continually reflecting and assessing our practice along the way.
Corlears is committed to:
- Engaging in an ongoing examination of our curriculum to ensure that it represents and explores, in an age-appropriate manner, issues of diversity and justice in our society.
- Ensuring a diverse community by, among other things, conducting outreach and developing partnerships, like those we have with Bank Street Head Start and Early Steps. We also do this through the maintenance of a strong parent “buddy” program, and setting equitable tuition levels through the Tuition Equity and Accessibility Model (TEAM).
- Working to recruit, support and retain students, families, staff and Board members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
- Having a standing Board of Trustees task force dedicated to Partnership for Equity and Inclusion, which is charged with oversight of school policies and practices to help advance our mission and ensure that our goals are being met.
- Conducting staff development and fostering collaboration to best serve the needs of our student population.
- Providing ongoing programming at various times throughout the year in order to facilitate discussions between experts and the school community concerning all matters of diversity both at Corlears and in society at large.