Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We prioritize equity of voice for all members of our community.
At French American + International, we honor the variety of beliefs and backgrounds reflected in our diverse community of students, faculty, staff, and parents. By committing to honoring the lived experiences of all who call French American + International home, we create a school culture where diversity is a catalyst for both personal and collective growth.
We celebrate the diversity that defines our school, our community, and the world. We seek to understand one another and to appreciate differing perspectives. We act with empathy and compassion.
We are committed to working toward an equitable and inclusive experience for all members of our community.
Our Mission, Values, and Commitment to Equity establish the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion that guide our community. Our bilingual and international school includes many kinds of diversity, all of which we value. Our students and parents, however, speak movingly about the power of microaggressions to undermine their sense of belonging in our school. We are committed to working toward an equitable and inclusive experience for all members of our community. In light of ongoing anti-Black violence and in the context of systemic racism in this country and the world, we are deliberately centering the voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in our work this year.
In these efforts, we must begin by listening. In initial conversations with alumni, families, and trustees, we’ve heard valuable feedback and insights that we’ve grouped into overarching themes under Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In order to work toward an equitable and inclusive experience for all members of our community, we will frame our work this year using these themes:
Increasing, while also making visible the many and sometimes intersecting, dimensions of Diversity: While we are proud of the different and broad dimensions of diversity that exist in our multilingual international school, we know that we have much more work to do in increasing our Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) representation in particular. An intentional focus on the recruitment of BIPOC students, families, faculty and staff, and trustees will be a key component of our work in increasing diversity. Proudly making visible the array of other identities represented in our community is also part of our diversity work.
Attending to Equity: Recognizing the power of the school’s curriculum and programs in the experience of our students and families, we will take a hard look at including a greater representation of BIPOC, LGBTQ, and other marginalized voices and people in our materials and programs while also examining ways to provide equitable access for all students to the curriculum. This includes ensuring that all of our students can succeed and thrive academically at French American and International.
Ensuring Inclusion: Knowing that belonging is at the heart of learning and of community, we will support BIPOC and LGBTQ students, families, and faculty to ensure they feel known, respected, valued, and included in our school. We will focus on interrupting microaggressions (internally) and anti-Black violence (externally) through professional training and teaching about standing up and speaking out, while also building a school community and culture where all members can thrive.
We create opportunities for student & faculty leadership in diversity and inclusion.
Diversity Councils: Developing student leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion has taken the form of diversity councils in the Middle School and High School. Both councils lead assemblies and various initiatives throughout the year—lunch-and-learn movie screenings, the curation of diversity-themed displays in the hallways, discussion club activities and, in the High School, student-led Advisory sessions.
Each year, the Student Diversity Council organizes the Day of Action, an event that allows students to engage with the world and issues beyond our school. Instead of classes, students attend sessions, seminars, and workshops led by guest speakers, artists, student-led affinity groups, and faculty members.
DEI Committee: Our school-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee includes section deans, Assistant Principals, other administrative staff, counselors, and faculty coordinators. Committee members are charged with supporting students and Affinity Groups in their sections and with helping to plan faculty and staff learning. The entire committee receives training and support from a diversity consultant and are also be supported by section Principals, the Director of Teaching and Learning, and the Leadership Team. Their support of faculty and students creates a shared culture, language, and understanding of diversity school-wide, while fostering respectful cross-cultural dialogue and empathy.
Professional Learning: Our faculty not only participate in professional development opportunities centered around teaching and learning as equity, but the also help design, facilitate, and lead diversity initiatives. This work creates a shared culture, language, and understanding of diversity school-wide, while fostering respectful cross-cultural dialogue and empathy. Examples of this professional development include annual attendance at the People of Color Conference, Culturally Responsive Teaching in the High School, and workshops ranging from socio-economic diversity in independent schools, cognitive diversity, and growth mindset, to name a few.
Affinity Groups: Our students, across many different social identifiers, crave spaces where they see themselves in others who identify similarly; we refer to these spaces as Affinity Groups. These spaces are about validation, personal and intra-group growth and consciousness. They are about sharing, asking questions, and finding the support to understand the various ways in which we can help ourselves and others.
We currently have following student-led Affinity Groups:
- Anti-Racism Allies and Advocates
- Asian Student Union
- Black Student Union
- Gender Sexuality Alliance
- Jewish Club
- Indian Student Union
- Latinx Student Union
- Students of Color (Lower School)
We also have a parent-focused Affinity Group, Parents of Students of Color (POSOC).
POSOC is an affinity space devoted to parents and adult allies in our community who support students of color and their families. Once a month, members gather to reflect, learn, and to discuss salient issues that impact the learning, well-being, and resilience of underrepresented groups in our community. In gathering, parents find community, a network of allies, opportunities to celebrate their culture, as well as a brave and gracious circle within which to ask difficult questions.
We are committed to socio-economic diversity.
Our school’s commitment to diversity also includes socio-economic diversity, made possible by our robust financial aid program. More than 30% of our students receive some sort of tuition support. We also provide travel grants so that all of our students have the opportunity to experience learning beyond the classroom through our renowned Global Travel Program, and computer grants to ensure all students in Grades 9-12 have access to laptops as part of our Bring Your Own Device program in High School.
Our SUCCEED program provides supplemental support for families on the highest levels of financial aid so that all students have full access to our program. The SUCCEED program provides additional support for:
- School Spirit Events: free or subsidized tickets to Prom, formals, and dances
- Supplemental Lunch Assistance: students have monthly access to vouchers for lunch at neighborhood food vendors such as Urban Remedy, Patxi’s, Dragon Eats, Starbucks, Project Juice, and RT Rotisserie
- Academic Equipment: Scholastic equipment support and purchases: class materials, calculators, and standardized testing materials
- Athletic Gear & Equipment: Sporting gear and equipment related to High School athletics