Read below about the ongoing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work at Hackley.
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The school partnered with over thirty families to bring heritage month celebrations to the school including an inaugural Holi celebration for Middle and Upper School students. Alumni returned to campus for our first Varying Perspectives in Action series, where speakers engaged with students and families on topics related to DEI that bring theory into action.
The Alumni DEI Committee extended an invitation to alumni to engage in discussions related to allyship, inclusion, and varying perspectives. The evening was titled “Sustaining a Community of Shared Intention and Purposeful Impact.”
Hackley introduced resource groups to the school community. These groups are designed to meet periodically throughout the year and will include the following:
Differently-Abled/Disability Resource Group
First Generation Resource Group
Black Resource Group
Latiné Resource Group
AAPI Resource Group
Multi-racial/Multi-ethnic Resource Group
LGBTQ+ Resource Group
White Allies Resource Group
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Leadership Team Appointment
Hackley announced the appointment of the Assistant Head of School for Community and Inclusivity, effective July 1, 2021. Cyndy Jean, currently the Director of the Middle School and Chair of the DEI Coordinators Team, will oversee the school’s ongoing efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will continue to serve as a member of Hackley’s Leadership Team, reporting to the Head of School.
Dr. Derrick Gay will work directly with students and parents in an ongoing series, building capacity and understanding around diversity, equity, and inclusion and echoing the early work with faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees.
Division DEI Advisory Groups
Each division is creating advisory groups of students, faculty, deans, and parents, all with different perspectives. The intention of these groups is to provide a sounding board for division directors as they lead faculty and students through discussions on race, informed by ongoing work with Dr. Gay.
Community Climate Assessment
Dr. Gay will help Hackley conduct a climate assessment to better understand the experiences of students and adults in the community.
Updated K-8 Curriculum
During the 2020-2021 school year, the Lower and Middle Schools implemented portions of the Pollyanna racial literacy curriculum to strengthen our foundation in character education, social-emotional learning, and academic content areas, as well as preexisting curricula and programs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The Pollyanna curriculum provides Hackley educators tools to teach about inclusion and racial literacy, and provides a framework for important conversations around civil discourse. It includes and amplifies positive messages around voices that are sometimes underrepresented in literature or history books, for example, and provides mirrors and windows for students to see themselves and others represented in the community.
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Employee DEI Summer Reading
Hackley developed a required summer reading program for faculty and staff that included 10 diversity, equity, and inclusion-themed texts. The adult community read these texts and discussed them in small groups once school resumed.
Employee DEI Professional Development Begins
In August, Dr. Derrick Gay conducted the first in a series of ongoing professional development workshops for faculty, staff, and administrators in an effort to build capacity and understanding related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. He returned in February for the second session; the third session in June was postponed due to COVID-19 and took place in November 2020.
DEI Statement of Purpose Approved
Hackley’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statement of purpose was presented to and endorsed by the Board of Trustees, underscoring Hackley’s broad institutional commitment to DEI work.
Admissions Team Trained in DEI Awareness
In multiple sessions over the course of the year, Dr. Gay worked with the Admissions and Financial Aid team to build a deeper understanding of race and class, supporting this team in its efforts to work to recruit and admit a diverse student body.
Trustees Engaged in DEI Awareness
Dr. Gay led the Board of Trustees through a full-day retreat to explore the topic of diversity and its importance in schools and leadership.
Hackley Hiring System Updated
The hiring system was further updated to mitigate biases during resume screening and interviews.
Hiring Team Training
Anti-bias training for the hiring team, which was originally scheduled for March 2020 and postponed due to COVID-19, took place in September 2020 prior to the hiring season.
EDC Develops School Visit Rubric
The Executive Diversity Committee developed a rubric for visits to other schools, allowing for targeted visits to better learn from other schools’ curriculum, policies, practices, and programming related to diversity, equity, and inclusivity.
Curriculum Review Underway
The English and History Departments are reviewing their curricula to map the perspectives and viewpoints present throughout. This work will serve as the basis for continued exploration and broadening of perspectives.
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Leadership Team Begins DEI Professional Development
Led by Dr. Derrick Gay, a leading practitioner and consultant in areas of diversity, inclusion, and global citizenship in schools, business, and non-profits, Hackley’s Leadership Team engaged in professional development to model the work that would later come for faculty, staff, and other administrators. These efforts kicked off Dr. Gay’s multi-year and on-going relationship with Hackley.
DEI Task Force Develops Statement of Purpose
Dr. Gay partnered with key administrators and those faculty that served on the Task Force on Community and Inclusivity as they developed a Statement of Purpose for diversity, equity, and inclusion work in the school. K-12 faculty, parents, and students were later included in the process to create this vision for Hackley.
Hiring Practices Reviewed and Improvements Implemented
Division directors and those who participate in the hiring of faculty took a critical look at hiring practices in an effort to broaden the funnel to include candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. The school advertised in different places and attended new hiring fairs in an effort to recruit a more diverse population of employees to Hackley.
DEI Professional Development
A senior administrator presented, and several faculty attended the NYSAIS Diversity Conference.
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New Title Introduced: Head of School
Michael C. Wirtz changed the title of Headmaster to Head of School.
DEI Professional Development Opportunities Expanded
Professional development policies were changed to recognize the importance of affinity-based professional development, especially for educators of color. These opportunities are no longer counted in an individual’s allotted professional development funding, providing increased access.
Professional Development Program Reviewed
The professional development system was revised to emphasize and catalog DEI-related offerings.
Hackley’s Portrait of a Graduate Released
K-12 faculty developed Hackley's Portrait of a Graduate with input from parents, alumni, and students. This aspirational document informs future-looking work and incorporates insights from the Task Force on Community and Inclusivity. It was presented to the Board of Trustees in June 2018 and informed the development of the strategic plan.
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Board Forms Community and Inclusion Task Force
Hackley’s Board of Trustees established the Task Force on Community and Inclusion, comprised of trustees, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. This task force studied issues of diversity and inclusivity across different areas of the school, including governance, hiring, curriculum, professional development, and community programming. The recommendations formed the basis of a multi-year approach intended to make Hackley a more inclusive school.