The Bulletin

Inclusion & Diversity: A School-Wide Initiative at CWS

Tuesday, February 2014

An Open Invitation from the Inclusion & Diversity Committee

Did you know that there is a group of people in the school committed to celebrating the diversity that exists in our community and finding ways to celebrate, improve and strengthen each person’s unique contribution to the school? For several years this group of teachers, administrators, board members and parents have met and discussed observations, shared ideas and have increasingly been able to collaborate with school leadership on new solutions to barriers of inclusion.

Our committee works with a few basic assumptions about Inclusion and Diversity:

  1. Diversity includes considerations of race, ethnicity, learning style, socio-economic status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, family structure, physical ability, and anything else that presents as a difference and where there is also a basis for connection
  2. Educational equity is sought, but is not “everyone gets a shirt” but “everyone gets a shirt that fits”
  3. Diversity is not “counting heads” but “making heads count”
  4. All of us are diminished by a lack of diversity, or by a lack of inclusiveness, and our educational environment is less relevant for today’s world without inclusiveness
  5. This is everyone’s work to do and there can be no passive bystanders
  6. We are all learning how to approach this issue with sensitivity and growing awareness, but the important thing is to continue to be aware and actively ask questions and seek answers

For the first time this year comprehensive training sessions are being taken by 15 members of the CWS faculty, staff, and members of the IDC (Inclusion and Diversity committee). These sessions are led by National SEED Project Lead Trainer, Daniel Cohen, who is an educator and also a parent in our Early Childhood Program. The hope is that over time not only will all the teachers participate in this program, but also there can be a parent group that participates.

YOU CAN BE INVOLVED!
If you are interested in this topic, there are many ways you can be involved, from giving your opinions/asking questions/sharing observations, to working on projects, growing connections between the school and cultural organizations in the city, to hosting a diversity movie night in your home. Please email Andrea Shaffer IDC Co-Chair if you have questions or are interested in getting involved: ashaffer@chicagowaldorf.org

Upcoming IDC Sponsored Events:

“Cracking the Codes”—free film screening and discussion
March 10th, 2014     
Lower Eurythmy Room, 7pm-9pm
This screening is open to the public, parents and their friends as well as our High School students.