We are actively working toward these important goals. It begins with our school’s DEI commitments, which reads:
- Support a diverse student community in which all are treated equitably;
- Encourage and motivate students to be respectful of other’s backgrounds and experiences when they differ from their own;
- Provide opportunities for students to have ongoing and open discourse about DEI, perpetuating a welcoming culture to create a richer context for community-building while appreciating individual similarities and differences.
- We commit to being culturally-responsive in our curricular choices, pedagogical practices, student policies, and academic pathways so that our students feel valued in our classrooms;
- Ensure that all students see themselves within the curriculum. All instructional materials used will highlight the contributions made to our society by a variety of cultures;
- Provide differentiated support and will build authentic connections to meet the needs of each student;
- Commit to equitable access for all student educational needs;
- Reflect on our identities and beliefs and address our own biases in the context of the communities we serve.
Faculty and Staff
- New West is committed to recruiting a talented and diverse team;
- We will provide extra support to make all staff feel empowered, appreciated, and successful in doing the critical work needed to fulfill our school DEI mission;
- Provide ongoing DEI professional development for all employees.
Recent and Ongoing Work
- Established DEI office effective August 11, 2020. Students now have a permanent safe place to bring any occurrences of or concerns about any forms of racism or biases;
- Staffed key administrator Mrs. Larika Clark along with the support of an experienced and trusted NWC Humanities teacher, Ms. De’Jour Newsome;
- Established DEI Working Group effective September 3, 2020. Instructional materials and literature will be reviewed by a group of veteran teachers within different disciplines;
- School Landscape Analysis, led by DEI experts Dr. Aisha Lowe and Foresight Strategy Solutions. Surveys will be conducted to gain a further qualitative and quantitative understanding of how race is experienced on our campus and how experiences have shaped the school's current social climate and impacted student experiences;
- DEI Professional Development effective August 2020. Faculty and staff have and will continue to engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion training this fall and further embedded throughout the 2020-2021 professional development schedule;
- Implemented a school-wide policy in 2020-2021. There is to be no use of the N-word, formally or informally, inside or outside of the classroom for any purpose. This includes instructional texts and materials such as Huckleberry Finn. Given the hurtful connotations connected to that word and its classification as hate speech, it is inappropriate to ever use. In addition, the English and Social Science teachers have begun a revision of their curriculum with equity in mind;
- Implemented a Literature Curriculum Process effective September 2020. Teachers must receive approval to use text or any instructional material that may be demeaning to a specific race, culture, or group of people. This process ensures that the minds of our students are protected;
- Cultural Understanding Club was created September 2020. The leaders of the club will provide all members with a greater cultural understanding and appreciation. Various topics specifically related to current events with an emphasis on racial standpoints will be discussed;
- Dialogue Circles effective October 2020. The DEI office will host events monthly so that students have an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas on race in other controversial topics in a safe environment.
- Multilingual Tutors effective October 2020. Our tutoring partner Paper has added a new equitable feature to its platform. Multilingual tutors are available across several subjects including math, science, history, and English so students can get help in their native tongue. This allows Paper to automatically pair students with tutors who can help them in their preferred language. By setting language preference in their profile, students can get the help they need faster, making academic support more accessible, more equitable for all students.