The Head-Royce School Diversity Program
Diversity Events Calendar, 2011-2012
Twenty years ago, the Board of Trustees strengthened the School's mission to include a commitment to foster an understanding of and respect for the diversity that has made our society strong. More recently the Board has shaped policies to make that vision a reality. In 2005 the Board issued the following declaration:
Serving the East Bay community in one of the most diverse areas of the country, we affirm:
• Our belief that a school community rich in diversity provides the greatest opportunity for students to learn life's lessons, and we affirm our commitment to attracting students, faculty, administration, and staff who reflect that diversity
• Our vision of a school as a truly welcoming and supportive community that values the dignity and worth of each individual member
• Our practice of inclusion, beginning with our policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status
• Our commitment to an inclusive educational program and pedagogy that promotes respect for others, appreciation of individual, cultural and socioeconomic differences, and social responsibility, equity, and justice
• Our hope that our students will gain a greater understanding of themselves and of others' different perspectives and an ability to think deeply about our diverse society
• Our effort to foster a global perspective so that our students can appreciate world cultures, analyze global issues, understand interconnectedness, evaluate conflicts and their resolution, and take action for positive change, and
• Our desire to prepare our students to be democratic leaders, inspired by our ideal of civic purpose, in an interdependent, pluralistic, multicultural community.
A Diverse Community of Learners
Head-Royce is a school committed to respecting, nurturing, and promoting diversity and its importance in the education and development of our students and the well-being of our community. In recent years, the School has made significant progress toward becoming a more diverse learning environment. The student body is 48% students of color and approximately a third of the employees are people of color. Committed to providing access to the School's educational program, Head-Royce awarded over $3.5 million to 27% of the student body in financial assistance. We seek to ensure that the School is welcoming to all of its members and that we develop understanding, respect, and relationships across the full spectrum of diversity.
Strategic Plans and Goals
Our Strategic Plan declares our intention to "provide an inclusive and welcoming learning environment by broadening understanding of and sensitivity to our diverse, multicultural society." In 2006-07 the Board of Trustees approved more specific goals for the next several years to:
• Continue our diversity dialog--recognize and embrace all areas of difference, set institutional priorities, and reinforce School’s commitment to diversity, equity and justice.
• Prioritize support for under-represented groups--strengthen admissions outreach to and provide focused support for African American and Latino students.
• Address socio-economic challenges of access and affordability--moderate tuition increases, increase our financial aid program, and broaden sensitivity to the range of family financial circumstances in our community.
• Refine school polices that support greater equity in all areas of difference: e.g. Financial Aid Policy; School Trips Policy; Learning Disability Policy.
• Strengthen curricular connections--develop service learning programs; highlight curriculum on equity and justice; and integrate globalism and multiculturalism.
• Provide teacher training--train teachers to present sensitive material with care.
We are constantly examining the way to best meet our mission through the curriculum we choose to teach, through our classroom pedagogy, and through our commitment to a diverse faculty and student body. Living in a complex and interconnected world, we continually see the need to build new avenues for students to respect and understand difference. We have devoted the past three years to reviewing our global and multicultural curriculum and engaging in community-wide dialogue about the important need to make our school a more equitable place. We audited the scope and sequence of the curriculum to ensure that we provide “an educational program that promotes respect for others, appreciation of individual, cultural and socioeconomic differences, social responsibility, equity, and justice.” The full curriculum can be reviewed in the K-12 Course Catalog, which is also available online at the School's website under each division.
The School seeks to develop multicultural leadership among the faculty, administration, staff and students. Head-Royce faculty helped to found People of Color in Independent Schools in the Bay Area (POCIS), and we participate actively in their regular conferences. Annually, we send a large delegation to the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference, where our faculty frequently present workshops based on their experience at Head-Royce, and students participate in leadership training. To support our students, the School sponsors a variety of Affinity Clubs in the Upper School, such as the Black Student Union, Asia Club, Club India, Revelations, the J-Club, and the Gay-Straight Alliance, and students participate in multicultural clubs in the Middle and Lower Schools. A School's staff focused on diversity efforts includes our Diversity Director, our Diversity Counselor, and Multicultural Coordinators in the divisions. In addition, Multicultural Committees of the Board of Trustees; faculty, administration and staff; and parents provide an opportunity for dialogue about diversity at Head-Royce.
Through several civic purpose programs, Head-Royce engages its students and faculty in outreach to the wider community. Founded in 1986 he Heads Up Program was to provide educational enrichment opportunities to able, motivated yet financially disadvantaged middle school students in Oakland. This partnership with the Oakland schools has provided a six-week, foundation-funded summer enrichment program at Head-Royce, and year-round support for the students in their home schools. Over 500 students have been served, supported by contributions of approximately $1 million, with many successfully completing high school and college in the Bay Area and across the country. In addition, the School's service learning program supports organizations such as Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity, and Clausen House.