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Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

 

Equity, inclusion, and belonging at The Oaks is not a tagline or a slogan.  As you explore our website and spend time getting to know our school, you will quickly learn that for over 10 years we have treated these terms as action words and have been critical lovers of our school to create and continue to support equity, inclusion, and belonging.  

 

By attending The Oaks School, our families deliberately choose to participate in a multicultural anti-bias community.  We actively explore the multiple identities we all hold, navigate the complexities of advantage, and cultivate cultural fluency and a sense of belonging as we seek to foster a deeper and more meaningful understanding of each other. 

 

Inclusive, multicultural practices are central to our curriculum and student experiences. Kindergarten through sixth grade teachers implement interdisciplinary and culturally responsive practices in the classroom to support students’ sense of belonging and understanding and appreciation of themselves and others. As students engage in units of study that highlight various aspects of identity and difference, they begin on their journeys to recognizing social inequities, discovering what is important to them, and becoming empowered to take on the roles of ally, advocate, and activist in their communities. 

 

We have a wide range of associations focused on increasing multiculturalism, justice, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our community. Multicultural Leadership at The Oaks is about more than just increasing diversity — it is about implementing day-to-day practices that help families, students, faculty, and staff engage with difference in more meaningful ways.

 

Definitions

Equity:  We choose to use the word equity with the understanding that equality means individuals or groups of people are given the same resources or opportunities.  We feel this is an inadequate response to historical injustice.  Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and seeks to allocate resources and create the processes needed to reach an equal outcome.  Diversity and justice are inextricable parts of our equity work.

Inclusion:  The action of creating spaces, resources, policies, and processes that take all identities into consideration, with the intention that everyone is seen and has access to all opportunities on campus.

Belonging:  The culture of any environment sends signals of belonging or exclusion.  We strive to create ways of belonging through our Guidelines for Inclusivity, Brave Spaces, Anti-Bias Education, Restorative Practices, and the design of the spaces we inhabit.  You can find more detailed descriptions of these community-building activities by clicking on the titles listed above.

 

Please contact Tanynya Hekymara, Director of Admission and Civic Engagement for more information.