|A Tradition of Diversity and Inclusion|
When Georgetown Day School opened its doors in 1945, it did so as the first integrated school, public or private, in a segregated city. The parents who founded GDS wanted an alternative and believed that an integrated school would provide their children with a better and broader education. In a country where racial prejudice was all too prevalent, GDS created an environment of creative learning for all, where the individual dignity of each student was respected.
Today, that commitment to diversity remains a bedrock philosophy of GDS, fostering the intellectual, ethical, and spiritual dimensions of its students' lives. GDS encourages respect for the variety of beliefs and backgrounds reflected in its diverse community of students, teachers, and parents.
|From Historic Beginnings|
Georgetown Day School has evolved from its historic beginning as a color-blind institution to one that understands and celebrates the differences that make each of us unique and the universal values that we share.
GDS's commitment to diversity has been reaffirmed by the Board of Trustees and by the 2001 Strategic Plan as a core value to pursue "with intentionality and energy." The creation of the Diversity Task Force and the appointment of a diversity coordinator by the Head of School in 1999 strengthened the vitality of this effort. Subsequently, the Board adopted a diversity policy statement and empowered the Board Diversity Committee to assist the administration and the GDS community in supporting a school environment where all are welcome and respected.
|Why Is Diversity Important?|
Numerous studies have demonstrated that the diversity of a school directly contributes to the quality of its students’ education. Exposed to a variety of perspectives, students learn to think critically, to challenge their assumptions, and to explore many approaches and solutions. Multiple voices and differing backgrounds at GDS are integral to our strong academic program. The diversity of our community is matched by our emphasis on multicultural education. The awareness that we live in a global community, and that contributions to our society have come from every corner of the globe and every strata of society, is woven into the GDS curriculum. At GDS, we are preparing our students to live in the world.
So what do we do?
Staffed by two co-directors who are members of the administrative team, the Office of Diversity is charged with ensuring that diversity, as a foundational philosophy, is integrated throughout the community and the curriculum at GDS. The Office strives to promote social justice and support a wide range of anti-bias curricula and programs. These initiatives respond to a variety of needs, including support for gay/lesbian staff and students, religious pluralism, learning differences, young men of color, multiracial students, and a women's leadership group.
- Serves as a resource to parents, students, and staff
- Consults with administration and staff on how best to serve a diverse population
- Facilitates community dialogue
- Mediates racial and cultural misperceptions
- Counsels and mentors students
- Assists in the development of a multicultural curriculum
- Provides diversity and mediation training for faculty and students
- Represents GDS regionally