We are deeply committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community.
At Beaver, we know that kind of commitment needs to be unwavering and must be part of our everyday lives.
One way schools can work effectively with students, faculty, and families is by administratively supporting a Distributed Leadership Model. In any institution, diversity initiatives are successful and add to the positive experiences of all students when all members of the community own their responsibility to the work of equity, inclusion, and social justice.
Our diversity director heads the global history department, teaches Upper School English and Middle School percussion, greets people at the front desk, coaches field hockey and baseball, advises sophomores and sixth graders, directs the spring musical, leads each division, fosters positive alumni relationships, and interviews prospective students. In other words, diversity, equity, and inclusion are important aspects of every position.
As with any institutional priority, every teacher, administrator, and staff member needs to take responsibility for the work.
At Beaver, the diversity director is a collective we. Conducive with this “we” approach, in the Middle and Upper Schools we have administrative leadership supporting this work both on a strategic and day-to-day level.
Students & Families
We nurture belonging, motivation, and high achievement among all students, and we recognize the unique experiences some underrepresented students, families, faculty, and staff may have at independent schools. We work diligently to promote success for everyone. Through a broad range of activities and programming—in addition to the work done every day in the classroom—we help students affirm identity, build community, and cultivate leadership skills.
IN THE CLASSROOM
All Middle and Upper School students explore diversity, equity, and inclusion topics—including gender identity, ethnicity and race, and socioeconomic status—in their classes. These topics are taught throughout the curriculum across disciplines. In addition to this foundation, students also have the opportunity to engage in collaborative, multi-disciplinary projects, such as “Power as a Force,” where English, science, and history classes combine to explore power through different perspectives. In the US, they can take classes such as “Race, Class, and Identity,” “Women’s Rights and Other Social Movements,” and “Ideologies.”
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
To give students the ability to work effectively within a learning environment that is genuinely diverse, we host gatherings of different affinity groups throughout the year. These voluntary meetings give students a safe place to explore identity, discuss and share current events, and encourage and challenge one another. This cultivates confidence, a sense of belonging, and often translates to engaging in other aspects of school life: academics, sports, the arts, civic engagement, and clubs.
- Asian, Asian Pacific Island Heritage
- Black, African Heritage
- Hispanic, Latinx Heritage
- Middle Eastern Heritage
- Multiracial Heritage
- White, European Heritage
- Girls of Color
- Students of Color Community Meetings
- Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA)
Conferences & Workshops
In addition, our students are committed to being a part of the larger conversation and have a voice at workshops, conferences, and movements nationwide, including:
- Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)
- The City School & Boston Mobilization Social Justice Leadership Institute
- Empower Peace International Women2Women Conference
- Boston Pride Parade
There are also several student organizations and on-campus events in both the Middle and Upper Schools, including:
- Middle School Social Justice Retreat (2020 Program and a student’s experience)
- Identity Card Project (Also for parents)
- International GLSEN Day of Silence
- Alumni/Upper School Student Mentoring Program for Students of Color and LGBTQ+ Students
For Beaver families, we have created more in-depth, engaging, and specific programming to support students and families of color as well as LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and families. We host events for Families of Color and LGBTQ+ Guardians and Parents that foster a diverse, inclusive community where everyone feels valued and engaged.
Faculty & Staff
Throughout their time at Beaver, students have access to teachers, administrators, and staff who support them and learn and grow alongside them. We are focused on providing support and professional development to faculty, staff, and administrators to ensure students have the best experience possible with teachers who are well equipped.
Conversations we’re having & resources we’re providing
- Faculty, staff, and administrators meet regularly to discuss supporting students from underrepresented populations to ensure they have a positive experience at Beaver. Our “Rethinking Teaching For Learning Workshop Series” allows faculty and staff to delve deeper into topics of DEI, learn about culturally responsive pedagogy, and hear from experts on these topics.
- In our “Break Bread Series”, faculty meet for informal get-togethers to discuss diversity and excellence through equity.
- Faculty, staff, and administrators are committed to being a voice in the larger community and present our work at AISNE, POCC, and NPEA.
- We use data and analytics to further inform our practice, routinely surveying our community.
- We differentiate and support faculty who may be beginning their journey in exploring their racial identity.
- All teachers, administrators, and staff members work with our Director of Engagement & Inclusion (MS) and the Director and Associate Director of Student Life & Equity (US) to nurture belonging and high achievement among all our students.
Explore the work in more detail
In this Distributed Leadership Model, our Director of Engagement & Inclusion (MS) and our Director and Associate Director of Student Life and Equity (US) help support the ongoing work of the BVR community.