DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION
Our Dedication to Diversity
Peabody cultivates a community of diverse learners, united through dynamic educational opportunities with mutual respect and value for the views of others. We affirm individual uniqueness while fostering connections across differences. We believe that expanding diversity within our community inspires creativity and original thinking, encourages the development of new understandings, and nurtures leaders who serve with courage and compassion.
Drafted and adopted by the Peabody School Diversity Committee, Winter 2018
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives
- Peabody School cultivates and supports an inclusive community that honors and celebrates differences. Our community incorporates an increasingly diverse student body with 25% students of color from a variety of nationalities.
- Socioeconomically, nearly 30% of our student body is supported by our financial aid program. We are committed to ensuring that all students who are qualified to be at Peabody have the financial support to do so.
- Geographically, Peabody is the only school in Central Virginia that provides gifted education services to all students. Our families come from towns as far away as Waynesboro, Earlysville, North Garden, and Louisa to learn here.
- In addition to our student body, Peabody School makes a concerted effort to increase the cultural and gender diversity of our Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff.
In the Classroom
- Peabody teachers are very intentional about choosing resources and vigilant about providing a wide variety of voices and perspectives in all subject areas. Primary source documents and content that offers authentic voices are used whenever possible, with the intent to provide an inclusive and global perspective.
- “Windows and Mirrors” is a key element of our pedagogy across the curriculum. A mirror is a story that reflects one’s own culture and helps build identity, while a window is a resource that offers a view into someone else’s experience. The entire faculty has focused on this in our social studies curriculum, and we are doing this same work with our language arts curriculum.
- Service learning has been a core component of the middle school curriculum for many years, and as we aspire to create “global citizens” we have transitioned this program into our arts and enrichment classes to include hunger, literacy, and social justice, among others. These classes have a community outreach component and allow students to explore these issues with more depth.
- Peabody faculty and staff are encouraged to enhance their learning through many different professional development opportunities, both inside and outside of school. Some of these events that pertain to diversity, equity, and inclusion work outside of school include:
- The NAIS People of Color Conference
- The Zinn Education Project
- Workshops sponsored by the Virginia Diversity Network
- Workshops with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
- Faculty recently participated in diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development program led by Dr. Joy Davis, an educational consultant and author of “Bright, Talented & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners” and “Gifted Children of Color Around the World.”
- Peabody partners with with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities to facilitate ongoing workshops for faculty and middle school students, as well as providing strategic guidance to school leadership.
Peabody is committed to partnerships in our local and global community that both expand our community profile and focus on bridge building. Some of these partnerships include:
- Our middle school students participate in the Charlottesville Debate League, where they can practice hearing and debating disparate points of view;
- A focus on social emotional learning with local motivational speaker, Freddy Jackson, founder of the Love No Ego foundation;
- Gold Star parent and author Khizr Khan speaking with our middle school students, and providing special recognition in the dedication page of his book, “This is Our Constitution;”
- Recruiting potential students from the Head Start program; and
- Partnering with ESL students in a pen pal program from a local elementary public school.
We recognize that diversity, equity and inclusion work is never done and our our entire school community is dedicated to this work. Some of our goals include:
- Increasing diversity in faculty/staff;
- An annual celebration of our community’s diversity;
- Continuing professional development with faculty/staff;
- Continually improving our curriculum.