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Our Work with Gender Spectrum & Teaching Tolerance

October 27th, 2016

Dear CDS Families,

The principles of diversity and inclusion play a central role in CDS’ educational mission. We know that our families support us in our goal of providing a welcoming environment for our students (in our recent parent survey, more than 95% of respondents said that they appreciated our efforts towards cultural diversity and the elimination of gender stereotypes), and we always strive to do better in this area. Therefore, I’d like to share some recent developments in our ongoing discussion of inclusivity at CDS.

As you may have read in the Coop, all faculty and staff recently attended a presentation by Gender Spectrum, a Bay Area nonprofit that provides resources and help to youth, families, educators, and organizations to increase understanding and address concepts of gender identity and gender expression. Based on their recommendations, we already are working to reduce gender-binary language in our communications, and we have added gender-neutral options to our applications and event registration forms. For more information on gender identity and Gender Spectrum’s work to combat prejudice, we encourage you to explore the material available on their website.

Our teachers also plan to start working with a set of educational guidelines provided by Teaching Tolerance, a division of the Southern Poverty Law Center that provides materials and suggestions for schools to develop a diverse environment and curriculum. Their ideology is summed up in their Anti-Bias Framework, which we feel is a particularly important methodology for us to adopt. It provides a set of goals for students across all grade levels to learn about identity, diversity, and social justice, as well as the steps they can take to help craft a more equitable society.

In addition, the early childhood program at CDS has very successfully used the Anti-Bias Curriculum crafted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children for a number of years. The NAEYC’s annual conference will take place during the first week of November and our Early Childhood Program Director Antonette Greene will attend, along with at least one teacher from each of our Early Childhood Program classrooms. We’re excited for the opportunity to send teachers to this event, and we look forward to reporting on what they learned in the next few weeks.

Sincerely,

Molly