DEI Plan

Overview

The painful stories that we heard from members of our school community and the social unrest that took place during the summer of 2020 led us to take a deep look within ourselves, confront the mistakes of the past, and enact change. This change is necessary to become the school that we strive to be; it is change that aligns with our mission that values respect for others and embraces human diversity.

Since last summer, King School embarked on an intentional journey to examine every area of the school through a lens of equity and inclusion, with an overarching goal of becoming a more inclusive and anti-racist school.

The foundation of our work stemmed from the input we received from alumni, parents, students, faculty, and staff; community surveys; our strategic plan; and sincere consideration to the eye-opening and heartbreaking testimonies shared in various forums. We also created a DEI Task Force composed of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees, who outlined a detailed list of recommendations for making King a more inclusive community. 

Our plan derives from a firm commitment to be better and do better – as individuals and as a school. We deeply regret and apologize for the pain suffered by anyone within our walls. Our goal to become a more inclusive school and an anti-racist institution will require us to work to ensure a safe space for every member of our community – especially for those who belong to communities of color. 

In this report, we provide an update on the work accomplished to date in the areas of governance, culture, curriculum, hiring, recruiting, and retention, and community engagement.

As promised, keeping track of our progress and communicating it to you is one of the ways we hold ourselves accountable for progress and accountable to you, our community.

While thorough, this update is not exhaustive; rather, this is a snapshot of some of our progress to date. We recognize that there still is and there will always be significant work ahead of us, but we are eager to continue this work in partnership with and in service to you. Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership as we advance these efforts.

Progress to Date

DEI in Action

King School Announces New Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

King School is delighted to welcome Dr. Clyde Beverly III as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) starting on July 1, 2021.

Beverly shared his enthusiasm by stating, "I'm excited to join the King community and continue the work started by Dr. Jean-Baptiste. I'm looking forward to working with Carol Maoz, Interim Head of School, the Board of Trustees, the leadership team, and the DEI team to continue to create an environment at King that is safe, inclusive, and affirming for all members of the King community including students, families, faculty, staff, and alumni."  

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Middle School Advisories Celebrate Women at King for Women's History Month

In celebration of Women's History Month, middle school advisories organized an appreciation for women by acknowledging the wonderful contributions made by women at King School. The advisors identified a woman at King, referred to as a celebrant, that they would like to get to know better and prepared questions for an interview with her. Information about the celebrant is then featured on a dedicated bulletin board.

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Grade 3 students are inspired to advocate for change

Guided by their teacher, Ellen Eagleton, grade 3 students are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about and empathetic to social issues in the world. Adom Bedu-Addo is inspired by César Chávez because "people would still be treated like slaves on farms" without Chávez's advocacy on behalf of farmworkers. "People can now have freedom, though there is more work to be done to have people treated equally," Adom adds.

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Julie Lythcott-Haims shared her powerful story with the King community

Author, speaker, and activist Julie Lythcott-Haims engaged members of the King School community in a thought-provoking virtual conversation about race and identity that revolved around her memoir Real American. The book tells the author's journey of acceptance as a Black and biracial woman living in predominantly white communities.

The presentation, which took place on January 28, was part of the 2021 King Reads Together series sponsored by the Parents' Association, in partnership with the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at King.

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Lower School students grow as tuneful, artful, and musically literate musicians

Giana Mazotas, Grade 4 student, feels she "likes music class because there are so many songs that you can learn and instruments you can play. You can work with friends and practice independently when you're playing the ukulele. It helps me learn when we can talk to each other and move around the room to keep ourselves active. Because we know so many chords and songs, I feel like I can keep playing the ukulele even after we stop playing in music class."

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Upper School students create and facilitate civil rights activity in honor of MLK Day

When the Upper School's newly formed human rights cohort was asked if they would like the opportunity to create community programming for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the answer was a resounding "yes." Together, students worked to create an interactive board game style activity designed to uncover unsung Civil Rights heroes and stories.

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Lower School students explore the legacy of Dr. King and consider what it means to be a change-maker

Lower School students at King School learned about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the long-lasting implications of his lifelong work toward justice and equality. Students tackled questions such as, “What does it mean to be a change-maker?” and “What kind of change-maker do you strive to be?”

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Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff, Head of Lower School at King School, embraces the Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum and building relationships

Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff joined King School this year as Head of Lower School. In this conversation, she shares her perspective on how students benefit from the Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum and from social emotional learning, plus more. Read part one of the Q&A with Dr. Lizaire-Duff in which she describes her perspective on her focus during her first year and on how students benefit from experiential learning.

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SDLC and PoCC provide a meaningful experience for students and staffulty

A group of King Upper School students and staffulty attended the 2020 National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference (PoCC), and its student counterpart, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), and found it to be a meaningful and productive experience, despite the virtual format. "I personally enjoyed SDLC just as much as I did in person," says Sarah Cepeda '22, who attended the in-person conference in Seattle last year. "I wasn't expecting to have such a powerful experience." For King students, SDLC's affinity groups were the highlight of the conference. "The Latinx affinity group was amazing," says Sofia Izurieta '23. "Sometimes I've wondered if I really do belong here. Seeing and talking to other people who look like me and have the same background as me made me realize that I'm not alone. I do belong here. I do deserve to be here."

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2020 National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference: Q&A with King School Head Dr. Karen Eshoo

What does it mean to be a leader of a school community at this critical moment in history? What does it mean to be a leader and a person of color in a predominantly white institution? These questions and more were explored in Lora McManus's "You Are Not Alone: Experiences of Discrimination and Microaggressions Toward Women of Color (WOC) Heads of Independent Schools," one of the presentations at the 2020 People of Color Conference (PoCC). King School's own Dr. Karen Eshoo, Head of School, participated in the study that the presentation explores and was one of three presenters at the PoCC webinar.

Read more about 2020 National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference: Q&A with King School Head Dr. Karen Eshoo