DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION 

At North Park Elementary School, we believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral parts of how we live, learn, and grow together. Our mission invites everyone in our community to be curious about the world, to be passionate about learning (especially about ideas and skills that may be unfamiliar to us), and to impact the broader community positively.

The ethos of our school supports and honors the unique identities of students, faculty/staff, and families as we grow our individual and collective cultural competency in all aspects of human identity, and celebrate our community’s diversity. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is reflected in our curriculum (which is always emergent and evolving), in our emphasis on social-emotional learning, in the professional development of our faculty/staff, in our hiring practices, in our admissions process, in student and family support services, and in the school’s interactions with the broader Chicago community.

NPES currently demonstrates its commitment to pursuing a more inclusive, just, and equitable community for every child, employee, and family by:

1. Providing opportunities in our curriculum and pedagogy for students to explore their identities, find and develop their voice, and live their authentic truth.

2. Striving to provide an experience-centered education, rich in diversity, and aspiring to include multicultural viewpoints across all classes.

3. Developing a faculty/staff culture with shared values about diversity, equity, and inclusion, with professional development aimed at growing our cultural competence and evolving our daily practice (nearly all NPES employees have now participated in the highly-regarded national SEED program, and our faculty/staff Diversity Action Team identifies concrete steps the school can take to become more equitable).

4. Actively seeking underrepresented applicants to our student and employee communities, and engaging in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion with all current and prospective employees, and prospective families.

5. Committing to listening to and affirming everyone’s story, building on our long-standing work with the Single Story organization.

6. Celebrating the unique abilities, different learning styles, and characteristics of NPES students and their families, and supporting diverse types of learners.

7. Partnering with Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to educate faculty/staff on best practice in gender identity and sexuality support and inclusion, and teaching all students in our school to be upstanders around gender and non-binary identities.

8. Providing opportunities for students to grapple with complex world issues that enable them to explore the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society as they work toward becoming engaged civic participant.

9. Instilling a sense of personal agency within each of our students through Responsive Classroom and Positive Discipline practices which empowers them to grow into active and aware global citizens.

10. Offering parent education programming through our accrediting agency ISACS and our professional development partners that provides opportunities for all to grow cultural competence.

11. Undergoing a DEI audit of our website with internationally-recognized consultant Dr. Derrick Gay, with inclusion and equity in mind, and undergoing a year-long DEI audit of our library collection to create more identity mirrors and windows for our students.

12. Aspiring to utilize technology to achieve global reach in our community and interact in an interconnected world.

13. Practicing communication, debate, and dialogue in a meaningful and respectful way, listening for understanding first, and debate later.

14. Seeking to strengthen with intention our students’ capacity to relate to one another, treat each other with respect and kindness, and challenge behaviors that oppress, exclude, or demean the humanity of others.

15. Creating purposeful spaces school-wide for leading DEI efforts, including the Diversity Action Team for employees and the Board of Trustees DEI Committee.

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