Diversity and Inclusion
EMS is one of the most diverse independent schools in the country, with 56% students of color. Students receive many real-world benefits from learning to navigate a multicultural environment from a young age, and at EMS, our community includes more than 20 languages other than English and individuals from dozens of countries.
There are cognitive, social-emotional and civic benefits to our students simply by being in school with others who are different from them, but it's not enough for schools to be demographically diverse. At EMS, our offerings for middle school students include electives where students can explore their identities through discussions and art. Our early childhood students explore their identity with a self-portrait project and in lower school our humanities curriculum is shaped to ensure that students have the background that they need to become, as our mission states, 'global citizens.' A key component of our Lower School curriculum is our CORE curriculum which allows for social-emotional learning skills to be practiced by our students in a structured classroom environment.
Our faculty and staff also engage in local, national and international professional development around issues of equity and identity. These have included everything from cultural exchange trips to Korea to attendance at the National Association of Independent School's People of Color Conference to many opportunities that allow us to broaden our understanding of how different learners can find success in our classrooms. We are also committed to hiring practices that are designed to recruit the best candidates from the broadest varieties of backgrounds possible.
In 2017, our school completed the National Association of Independent School's Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism. This climate survey, which was administered to adult community members as well as students in third grade and beyond, is designed specifically for independent schools to assess the strength of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. We continue to use the results of that survey to find ways in which we can make this an even more welcoming community, in which we can all find a deep sense of belonging.
Read more from our feature in Apple Tree Magazine on the DEI Initiatives at EMS.
“In many situations, especially difficult
ones, children’s books share messages
and teach lessons. This holds especially
true when it comes to kids learning about
differences – different races, different
religions, different abilities, and more,”
says Vanessa Anderson-Zheng, Global
Community Liaison and Chilton House
remote learning teacher.