Enriched by Differences
Our differences are what we have in common.
We are committed to being a community where all are welcome and valued, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, cultural practices/beliefs, nationality, or perspective.
In recent years, diversity and inclusion have been at the center of discussions within most school communities. While we believe WIS has been an inclusive environment throughout its history, there is always room for improvement. Our faculty, staff, and students participate in activities, events, and clubs that explore how we can learn from each other and express our ideas, beliefs, and opinions with empathy and civility.
IDI at WIS
A focus on IDI (international-mindedness, diversity, and inclusion) is one of the five key goals in the 2020 Strategic Plan. We established the following definitions so community members will have a common understand of these terms.
International-Mindedness: A view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility to its members. It is an awareness of the inter-relatedness of all nations and peoples, and a recognition of the complexity of these relationships. Internationally-minded people appreciate and value the diversity of cultures in the world and make an effort to learn more about them. (This definition comes from the International Baccalaureate.)
Diversity: The full range of differences and similarities — visible and non-visible — that make each individual unique.
Inclusion: The process of recognizing, valuing, and fully leveraging different perspectives and backgrounds to drive results.
WIS students and their families hail from nearly 100 countries. Click on the image above for an interactive version of this map.
- In February 2021, Lisa McNeill (Director of Co-Curricular Programs) assumed the role of IDI Coordinator.
- Dr. Philip McAdoo, who performed an IDI Audit for WIS in late 2020/early 2021, briefed the Board, the WISPA Board, the Faculty IDI/Parent IDI groups, and student leadership in key clubs during sessions held the weeks of March 15 and 22.
- There will be more sessions following Spring Break to update broader segments of our population regarding the Audit and future steps.
- We are developing a tool to allow faculty and staff to self-assess their competency in regard to IDI. Once individuals complete the assessment, they will be able to access a database of resources in order to address areas of weakness and interest.
- WIS is developing a Position Paper on IDI to clearly define how IDI intersects with the School's mission.
Activities and Initiatives
- WIS began a comprehensive review of library resources and the curriculum in 2020, to determine alignment with the Strategic Plan curriculum and diversity goals.
- Diversity Inclusion Partnership: Established in summer 2017, DIP is an annual three-day summer program that allows a small group of WIS faculty and staff to explore topics related to race, identity, and diversity.
- Upper School student clubs (Student Diversity Leadership Collaborative, Pride Alliance, Latinx-Hispanic Student Union, Black Student Union, Asian Heritage and Culture Club) meet on a regular basis to discuss issues and advance understanding within the School community.
- WIS students and faculty members attend and present at the annual People of Color Conference.
- Upper School students attend the national Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC); students and staff work with a local SDLC group.
- Middle School students participate in the annual Middle School Diversity Conference hosted by St. Andrew’s Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.
- WIS parents, staff, and students participate in workshops facilitated by experts in the fields of diversity and inclusion.
- Faculty learning groups meet regularly to focus on topics related to identity and associated issues.
- Faculty/staff and parent IDI (international-mindedness, diversity, and inclusion) groups meet regularly.
- By design, the WIS curriculum strives to deliver content that incorporates multiple perspectives, rather than reflecting the view of a single nation or people.
Parents were asked to identify their children by ethnicity. Their answers are reflected in the pie charts above; respondents were permitted to choose more than one option.