Accomplishments

  • Equity Work at St. Patrick's is organized and facilitated by an Equity Coordinator. Erica G. Thompson serves in this role.
  • Through the efforts of the Equity Committee, the St. Patrick’s faculty adopted a set of Equity Principles. These principles are published in the school’s faculty and parent handbooks and are on this website. They served as the basis for a comprehensive diversity audit completed by faculty members and for a close examination of the school’s curriculum. Each of these studies resulted in changes in policy and practice within the school.
  • St. Patrick’s is a Black Student fund member school. We participate in the work of the Fund, recruit students at its annual school fair, and employ its resources to support our community. Many St. Patrick’s faculty and administrators have taken Equity, Race, and Education courses as well as other Fund-related courses.
  • St. Patrick’s also belongs to the Latino Student Fund and works regularly with the East Ed Resource Collaborative, an organization devoted to educating educators on issues of equity.
  • Each year St. Patrick’s sense a contingent of faculty members to the National Association of Independent School’s People of Color Conference. Faculty members from St. Patrick’s presented at the 2001, 2003, and 2004 Conferences.
  • The St. Patrick’s Parents Association created an executive position, Equity Liaison. This Parents Association officer is charged with working with the faculty Equity Committee and building parent participation in equity work. Since that time, the position has been renamed Vice President for Equity.
  • Each year, the St. Patrick’s Parents Association and Equity Committee co-sponsors a Parent-Teacher Equity Forum in order to foster dialogue about equity issues. A growing number of participants have helped us identify strengths in place and challenges that we face in achieving equity goals.
  • Parent affinity Groups such as the Parents of Black Students Association and the San Patricio Club for Spanish-speaking families offer a forum for the sharing of issues of identity and the strengthening of community and culture. 
  • There is a student affinity group, C3 (Culture, Creed, Community), for black students that meets in multiple peer age-groups to support and affirm their identity and experience at St. Patrick's.  
  • The Parent-Teacher Equity Forum featured University of Pennsylvania teacher and researcher, Dr. Howard Stevenson, speaking on “The Dynamics of Race in Independent Schools.” In each subsequent year, at least one forum or conversation has featured an expert speaker, including Sexuality and Family Life Educator, Deborah Roffman, in 2006 and 2007, Dee Dee Myers in 2008 on “Why Women Should Rule the World,” and Gene Batiste of NAIS, who addressed socio-economic diversity in the 2008-2009 school year. Marilyn Benoit, former President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, spoke in the spring of 2010.
  • Some Equity Forums feature panels, including panels of current parents , a panel of alumni in 2004, and a panel of alumni parents, each panel representing a broad spectrum of diversity with participants speaking frankly about their experiences here.
  • In response to community requests for more discussion, we added Equity Salons and then moved to Equity Community Conversations on varying themes. After hearing a faculty panel on nurturing equity through empathy in the classroom, participants broke into small discussion groups to talk about nurturing equity through empathy at home.  Following the results of the Parent Equity and Diversity Survey and remarks by Marilyn Benoit, former President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the evening concluded with a candid discussion of “where do we go from here?”
  • The committee proposed and the administrative team adopted a more comprehensive recognition of Heritage months.
  • A specific Mission Statement for Equity and Diversity was drafted and adopted.
  • A three-part Equity and Diversity Survey, supervised by the Board Equity Committee, is in progress, with the parent portion completed during the 2009-2010 school year and the faculty portion completed during the 2010-2011 school year.
  • Instead of hosting independent community conversations, the equity committee highlighted equity as an essential ingredient of an excellent academic education and supported incorporation of equity issues into the year’s discussion of Nurture Shock.
  • Addressed needs of faculty by beginning preparation of packets that provides the right language for discussing different areas of diversity. Packets now available:
    • Adoption
    • Disability
    • Hispanic/Latino
    • Gender and Sexuality Diversity
    • Race