Resources Regarding Inclusivity at Highland School
Highland School has a deep commitment to creating a diverse community by fostering and developing a culture of inclusivity. As part of that commitment, Highland School created an Inclusivity Committee charged with creating our first Inclusivity Statement.
Highland's Inclusivity Statement
Highland School is committed to a culture of inclusion that affirms the innate dignity and worth of every individual as an essential aspect of our educational mission. The most enduring learning takes place in an environment where every member of the community feels safe, respected, known, trusted, and valued. We are deeply enriched by sharing different perspectives, traditions, and backgrounds. It is by including everyone in conversations and all areas of school life that we fully prepare students for engaged citizenship and compassionate leadership.
The Inclusivity Statement is the product of a two-year process designed for that outcome. It is a more specific articulation of what has always been true of Highland, as the history of our school includes demonstrated commitment to inclusion and equity. The diversity of our current student body includes first generation college students, international students from six countries, children of alumni, and every ethnic group in our seven county region. We take great pride in providing tuition assistance to more than half of our student body so students who can benefit from a Highland educational experience have access to do so.
On Friday, June 19th at 4:00 pm EDT, author Jason Reynolds is presenting "Hear You, Hear Me" a virtual program featuring conversations on race in America for kids.
Before taking on his current role as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature at @The Library of Congress, Mr. Reynolds visited Highland to speak to students in all grade levels about his novels. Mr. Reynolds will be joined by Jacqueline Woodson, the former ambassador. The hour-long chat will be hosted by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
Check out the presentations at the link below. The post also includes links to future events on race hosted by The Library of Congress: View upcoming presentations here.
Dear Highland Families,
The events in this spring of 2020 have left us all reeling and searching for ways to move forward responsibly. The pandemic has resulted in a devastating loss of life, health, and economic well being; additionally, it has exacerbated existing inequalities here and abroad. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are only the most recent indicators of the ongoing challenges we face in confronting a troubled history of racism. The combination of these struggles, pressures, and losses at times seems overwhelming. How do we move forward? Where do we find hope? We find hope in the obvious fact that it will take all of us coming together to solve these challenges. It is something we do together; in fact, it is the only way we make progress. We must listen to each other and make space for conversation, understanding that progress is difficult and messy, but that we are stronger together and can unite around shared ideals.
Educational institutions and communities largely exist to improve our society and the wider world. We began the 2018-19 school year with the publication of our Inclusivity Statement and a revised Mission Statement. The Inclusivity Statement was the product of the history of Highland as one of the first schools to integrate in Fauquier County and the work of a committee designed to capture key values of the school. Along with the Mission, the Philosophy, and the Honor Code, it is a core institutional document. The revisions to the Mission Statement were not extensive, but they were very important. The central change was a mandate to thrive, lead, and serve. It is this call to serve that is the essence of a Highland education and one we see reflected every day in the work of our parents, teachers, and students. Faced with much uncertainty, we can come together in the affirmation of our shared commitment to work in the service of a more just and equitable world.
Below please find resources included for your consideration.
Henry D. Berg
Head of School
NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Resources:
How to speak to children about traumatic events:
How to teach about racism and civil unrest:
How students can take action: