About Us

Inclusion and Multicultural Practice

Our Diversity Mission Statement

approved by the Board of Trustees in January 2013

Shady Hill is a diverse, inclusive school that offers a rich multicultural curriculum. It is our diversity — in ethnicity, family structure, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background — that makes us a wiser and stronger community. We teach children to explore human similarities and differences, to challenge stereotypes, and to understand how our perceptions affect our ideas about truth. A Shady Hill education validates children's individual lives and prepares them to succeed in a multicultural society.

We are committed to building a community that understands and values our diverse world and we actively seek students, faculty, and staff from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. We promote social justice and seek to eliminate bias in school life, including admissions, hiring, and financial aid. Our board maintains and affirms this commitment by formally reviewing the diversity of our community and our admissions, hiring and retention results on an annual basis.

Climate Study 2015-Present

Diversity at Shady Hill (DASH)

DASH (Diversity At Shady Hill) was founded in 1987 by a group of parents and faculty to help foster and celebrate the diversity of the Shady Hill community.  DASH strives to cultivate an atmosphere of mutual respect and welcomes participation from ALL members of the Shady Hill community. DASH accomplishes these goals by: 

1) organizing educational, supportive, and enrichment opportunities for parents,
2) coordinating events to support underrepresented families through our family affinity group structure,
3) hosting social gatherings for the full Shady Hill community.

DASH is led by volunteer parent co-chairs who work closely with the Director of Inclusion & Multicultural Practice. The 2020-2021 DASH Co-Chairs are: Sherri Ettinger and Kafi Garrus. Groups that are part of DASH include:

Parent Affinity Groups: SHS parents and guardians connect through shared experience and shared identity via activities and learning opportunities. Affinity groups are open to those who identify with these specific affinities. Parent leaders of these groups and their emails are highlighted below. 

If you are interested in getting involved in affinity group leadership, please contact Erica Pernell.

Parent/Guardian Learning Cohorts: SHS parents and guardians connect and build relationships through robust learning communities that challenge prejudice and create meaningful action. Learning cohorts are open to all parents/guardians.

  • Parent/Guardian SEED: An opportunity to engage in a series of engaging, interactive sessions on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Multimedia stories, hands-on simulations, conversation, and reflection generate deep conversations and action about race, gender, and class equity. Led by SHS community members trained as facilitators by the National Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) Project.
  • Grown-ups for Racial Equity: A space for Shady Hill parents/guardians to learn about race, racism, and racial justice, and work collectively for racial justice. This group is open to people of all races, and will gather as a full group and break out into racial affinity groups. Led by SHS community members with racial justice facilitation experience. Some sessions will be taught by racial justice experts.
 

A Commitment to a Diverse Faculty

Recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty is one of our top institutional initiatives. Shady Hill strives to increase the number of faculty of color to mirror the make-up of our student body. In 2019-20, 20% of faculty identify as faculty of color. 37% of students self-identify as students of color. This fall, Shady Hill will welcome its most diverse group of faculty and administrators in its history.

Why We Have Student Affinity Groups


The primary purpose of these short meetings has been, and continues to be, to provide time and a safe space for children of shared affinities from different classrooms to come together in an environment where they make up the majority. We help all students understand the definition of affinity and explain that having these groups is not an act of intentional exclusion. These are voluntary meetings for children who identify with these affinities.

Affinity Groups are by no means the only time children discuss diverse, multicultural topics related to affinity. These themes are explored throughout our grades and our curriculum, and in-class discussions take place on a regular basis. 
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