At City and Country School, diversity is a positive aspect of our lives and an essential element of education. We recognize and respect that diversity exists in the languages we speak, the colors of our skin, our gender identities, gender expressions, ages, and sexual orientations, the traditions we observe, the structures of our families, the financial and educational resources in our families, and the special needs we may have. We believe that our separate heritages, beliefs, and choices of expression help to define us as individuals and that our commitment to learning about one another and the larger world unites us as a community. Differences and similarities of all kinds are acknowledged and explored with respect.
We assume an ongoing responsibility to reflect the diversity inherent in our city. With family as the primary source of traditions and values, teachers help children appreciate their personal backgrounds and identities, while accepting and appreciating those of others.
Combating Anti-Blackness at City and Country School
During this time of national uprising against race and anti-blackness, C&C is committed to opening and continuing a dialog with our community that will bring understanding, healing, and change. Please read this letter from Director of Community Life, Equity, and Inclusion, Millie Cartagena, and Principal Scott Moran. We have also compiled a list of anti-racism resources that will be updated regularly.
Beginning in the 2s, social studies forms the core of the C&C program. Concepts logically “spiral out” from the concrete to the abstract as children get older. The youngest children learn about each other, family structures, and the school community. Concepts then expand to the neighborhood, wider City, and eventually cultures long ago and around the globe. Children study the daily life of the people who lived before us and investigate many topics, including gender roles, belief systems, and social justice issues, always reflecting back to how history has shaped our lives today. Middle and Upper School students in the Community Roots program learn service skills and participate in service initiatives at C&C and in the greater community.
C&C’s Social Justice integration work continues with structure recently laid in place to sustain the work going forward. This whole-school collaborative process that identifies the developmental ages when children understand specific concepts about race, identity, and class has established a common language and inspired consistent school-wide conversation about social justice in the classroom.
The School’s Director of Community Life, Equity, and Inclusion oversees a Parent Diversity Group, chaired by parent volunteers. Together, they organize and support a variety of programs designed to celebrate and promote diversity and social justice within the C&C community throughout the school year.
MONTHLY PARENT MEETINGS: Parents and administrators gather monthly and focus on building community, justice, equity, and inclusion in the C&C community; openly acknowledging and naming social inequities in our country.
ANNUAL PRESENTATION: The Diversity Group hosts at least one Parents Association meeting for the entire School, featuring prominent speakers, interactive workshops, and/or discussions relevant to our School and its mission and philosophy.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Parents, in collaboration with the Director of Community Life, Equity, and Inclusion, create opportunities for community members to engage in developing ongoing relationships with the local community.
BOOK DISCUSSIONS: Past titles have included Family Life by Akhil Sharma and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates for adults, and The Wall by Peter Sis and March, Book One, a graphic novel by Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis, for students/adults. We have had a number of authors join in the discussion of his or her book.
TRUSTEE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION COMMITTEE: Trustees, along with reps from all different constituencies, meet monthly to develop strategies that support the School’s commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion.
AFFINITY GATHERINGS FOR STUDENTS: Older children (ages 11-13) meet monthly with a staff member to discuss social, home, school, and life issues. Gatherings include: Students of Color, LGBTQ, and LGBTQ+.
STAFF OF COLOR MENTORING GROUP: Regularly scheduled meetings and one-on-one mentoring for new staff of color promote a welcoming, supportive environment.
EQUITY COMMITTEE: Staff members interested in justice examine school policy to ensure the School community is providing an experience that upholds our inclusive values. The Committee works closely with school administrators to recruit and retain faculty of color, provide leadership opportunities in the School, and, with the full staff, develop elements of diversity in our curriculum.
DIVERSITY WELCOME DINNER introduces new diverse families to C&C and marks the start of school-wide connections.
END-OF-YEAR INTERNATIONAL POT LUCK SUPPER typically features delicious foods, music, and entertainment from many cultures.
FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT screens topical movies with diverse themes. Past movies have included My Neighbor Totoro, Mad Hot Ballroom, Hidden Figures, and That’s a Family.
DIVERSITY BOOK FAIR: Each year, parents and teachers select a variety of books with themes relating to diversity, which are then made available to families for purchase for their own use or to donate to the School for our Classrooms and Library.