Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

One of the four pillars of the James River Strategic Plan is: Broaden our community in a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Since the strategic plan was approved in 2019, I have worked to promote DEI at the school in various ways. Our faculty have received DEI training and have read books on the topic. I have encouraged faculty to include a broader perspective in social studies and to read literature from a wider range of authors and viewpoints. Discussions regarding social justice are not uncommon in our middle school.
In the spring of this year, I met with a group of interested parents whose goal was to write a proposed DEI mission statement for the school that could then be approved by the Board of Trustees. After many discussions and hours of work, the group submitted a statement, which the Board approved at its September meeting. I am so appreciative of the dedication of this group of parent volunteers and the work they did to draft the following commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our school community and the larger world.
The JRDS community is committed to ongoing evaluation and enhancement of our school culture, curriculum, and practices to foster an inclusive learning community enriched by and reflective of a diverse and global world.
At the Board level, there is a subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Swathi Prabhu, whose purpose is to take this DEI Mission Statement and use it to guide the school as we take steps into a future where all persons and perspectives are honored and respected at James River. The group has already met once, and I look forward to working with them.
A diverse, equitable, and inclusive school is a better, stronger, more vibrant school. Moving forward with DEI is what’s best for the kids--all the kids. I am so excited for the future of James River!