As we reflect on our nation’s current climate, with racial unrest, pandemic crisis, rights of LGBTQ in question, and the culmination of years of systemic racism, it is now more than ever a time to reflect, hope, and plan for our school community going forward that aims to educate and promote a socially just world. We must ask ourselves: Do all members and constituents feel included, seen, heard, or even simply part of our community? In what ways does Lowell do this work? Do we do it well? How should we stretch ourselves and grow? It is only from taking the time to ask the questions that we can continue to build on our strengths and grow our community.
Lowell’s mission of creating “an inclusive community” where “each individual is valued and respected” motivates us to tackle this important new project as we embrace this unprecedented year using the National Association of Independent Schools Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM). AIM is a comprehensive assessment tool that will help us take a more in-depth look at our school community to determine where we currently stand in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and curriculum representation, our strengths, and areas that we hope to grow and dream of being.
To accomplish this challenging and rewarding task, we need all hands on deck! It won’t be easy, and it will require everyone to participate, but the results will help us ensure that Lowell can be a truly inclusive community.
In the coming weeks and months, community members, including parents, faculty, staff, and alumni, will be asked to participate in discovery groups (focus groups). Each facilitated discovery group will use an appreciative inquiry-based approach, responding to preselected questions. The second phase of the tool will utilize an online climate survey. In addition to the groups already mentioned, we will also include student voices by inviting our students (ages nine and up) to participate in this phase! Our goal is to reach 100% participation!
In addition to participating in the process, we need volunteer support. We are looking for individuals to join our steering committee, facilitate or take notes during discovery groups, and cheer us on! Anyone interested in participating in one of those roles should contact April Greene, email@example.com
, and Michelle Belton, firstname.lastname@example.org
The findings from this in-depth study will help us to create intentional short and long-range planning for our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. We will look forward to sharing the findings and new plans with our community promptly.