About Us
Equity and Inclusion

History of Racial and Social Justice Work

  • Shady Hill School is founded. It is the first coeducational, independent, elementary school in the area.
  •  Katharine Taylor is the school's first Director. She establishes the Teacher Training Course (TTC).
  • Central Subject, an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, shapes the curriculum.
  • Shady Hill admits its first students of color.
1940s -1950s:
  • The Board votes to expand the diversity of the student body.
  • A scholarship trust fund is established to provide for a more diverse student body.
  • Summer sessions bring children in Grades 5-8 from Boston Public Schools to Shady Hill.
  • Shady Hill admits its first apprentices of color to the Teacher Training Course.
• The Board recommends a goal of 20% students of color in each grade.
• Funds are raised to create more socioeconomic diversity.
• The curriculum becomes more global with the introduction of Africa (in 1969) and The Middle East, including Islam, as the 6th and 5th grade Central Subjects.
• The first African-American teacher is hired.
• The Board develops a Long Range Plan to shape a more diverse community still "united by a dedication to educational excellence."
• Parents and faculty form a group to promote racial awareness.
Children of color represent 15% of the student body.
Diversity at Shady Hill (D.A.S.H.) is founded to promote and support racial, economic, and cultural diversity by increasing the number of students and faculty of color and engendering a mutually respectful school community.
• The updated 1988 Long Range Plan makes the recruitment of children of color a priority in the admissions process.
• D.A.S.H. holds its first Open House for prospective families of color in 1989.
• 1990s:
Students of Color Discussion Groups begin meeting weekly.
• A Multicultural Assessment Plan is conducted.
Multicultural Committee is established as a standing Board committee.
Diversity Coordinator Sharon Jones Phinney is hired.
• The Gay/Lesbian/Straight Task Force is established.
• An Adoptive Parent Group is established.
Antibias training begins for faculty, staff, and parent leaders.
Shady Hill partners with Summerbridge Cambridge to provide academic enrichment for Cambridge Public School students.
• $2 million of an $11 million dollar capital campaign is earmarked for scholarships to diversify the TTC.
• Grade 6 begins a partnership with a school in Tanzania.
• By 1993, SHS has attained the goal of 20% students of color.
• By 2000, 29% of students are African American, Asian American, Latino/Hispanic or biracial. Our families include many racially blended households, as well as families through adoption, and those with gay, lesbian, or single parents.
• The administrative team and Board membership are the most diverse in the history of the school.
• A three-year multicultural study project explores how well Shady Hill educates a diverse student body.
• The school continues to commit 15% of annual tuition to need-based financial assistance which, together with other funding, represents $1,303,000 during 2004-2005.
• Teachers launch a a year-long ethnography study to examine how teachers' identities inform what and how they teach.
• The TTC partners with the Tobin Elementary School in Cambridge to train diverse apprentices for teaching in urban public schools.
• The Board recommends that the percentage of faculty of color mirror that of the student body by 2006.
• In 2002, a new model emerges to forward the school's work with diversity, including oversight by the Associate Director in multicultural affairs and leadership from the Director of Outreach in recruitment of faculty of color.
• 2010s:
• The school community, led by DASH, commits to examining the topic of socioeconomic diversity within our community for the 2011-2012 year.
• Tahira Wilson-Guillermo is appointed School's first full-time Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
• To honor its first African-American teacher, the School creates The Faith Chase Fund to support professional development for teachers of color.
• Shady Hill adopts a new Diversity and Multiculturalism Mission Statement in January 2013.
• James Greenwood is appointed in 2016 as School's Director of Inclusion & Multicultural Practice
• Establish 3 Diversity Liason positions for Lower, Middle, & Afterschool in 2016
• The Board of Trustees forms the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force in 2017
• Continued the Diversity Liason positions in the Lower and Middle Schools.
• Renewed charter of Faculty SEED group in 2017
• Began the Parent SEED group in 2017

Where are we going? Goals for today and tomorrow:
Our Board is one of the most racially diverse among independent schools and continues to strive toward the truly inclusive school community "united by a shared dedication to educational excellence" envisioned from the 1940s. To respond to the findings of the multicultural research project, the school will focus on a number of goals to assure high and equitable achievement for all our students, together with clear and helpful communication between school and home. Some of the specific objectives that will shape our work in the years ahead include 1) enhanced strategies to recruit faculty and administrators of color; 2) more clearly defined teaching and assessment practices and curricular objectives and 3) sustained professional development, all designed to effectively serve a diverse community.