2021–2022 UPDATE

St. John's College High School, as a Catholic institution, is committed to preparing students to actively participate in building a more just society by taking affirmative steps to deconstruct systems of injustice and realize the common good. From our conversations with the SJC community, we learned that students seek more consistent exposure to conversations about racism and currents, and that they support and encourage our to increasing BIPOC faculty and staff, and to further building an empathetic and inclusive community. To that end, we are moving forward with the following initiatives for the 2021–22 school year:

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: 
St. John's will continue our work in restorative practices and culturally responsive teaching. Through our partnership with OneTilt, we are also working to target the power of language, empathy, bias, oppression, micro aggressions, privilege, prejudice, and personal reflection. 

STUDENT PROGRAMS: During the 2021–22 academic year, St. John's
 will provide additional opportunities for students to learn from each other and from faculty to develop tools and strategies when encountering challenges and uncertainty.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION COMMITTEE: St. John's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion faculty committee will meet regularly to support these goals throughout the school year.

CURRICULAR UPDATES 

Religion:
the Hebrew Scripture curriculum has been amended to focus on inclusivity and racial justice.

English: new texts have been added across grade levels to help students see reflections of themselves in literature and to guide them to an understanding of justice and equity.

Social Studies: curricula for World History, US History, Justice in Modern American History, Global Studies, and the American Experience will include the history of oppression, achievements of BIPOC historical figures, along with myriad resources to engage students in a deeper understanding of past and present civil rights movements. 
 
As ever, our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is deeply rooted in the Lasallian tradition of meeting each student where they are and affirming in them their God-given dignity. As we walk in the footsteps of our founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, we will strive to build and nurture a culture and tradition of inclusivity and concern for all members of our community. "Preach by example, and practice before the eyes of the young what you wish them to accept." (Med 99.2) In our daily habits and institutional commitments, we will model and reinforce Gospel values. We will create an inclusive culture that celebrates the rich diversity of our school community.


LASALLIAN CORE PRINCIPLES

List of 6 items.

DiversityCelebrating difference, not "different." 

We believe that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God and endowed with human dignity. Our community is comprised of diverse members with complex and various identities. Our diversity  becomes a life-giving interpersonal community through exploring and celebrating one another as irreplaceable unique gifts. We value collegial conversation and debate and learn from each other. The fundamental notion of respect for all people is what shapes and drives our relationships with one another and with those we serve.


Social JusticeStanding with the marginalized.

The Lasallian educational vision renews its call for us to stand with those impoverished and marginalized, to identify inequity and exclusion created by society, and to actively respond to the human dignity of all people with charity, courage, creativity, and compassion. This pursuit embodies the Lasallian vision, dispatching its practitioners to go to the roots of poverty and injustice to collaborate with the persons, families, and communities we serve to discern their good and the means to realize it.

Inclusion: Creating accepting, affirming, safe, empowering, and supportive conditions. 

Inclusion expands the sense of community to include all by providing an equitable voice. Being inclusive means recognizing inequities and ensuring co-ownership and shared responsibility among all members of the school community. It empowers individuals to carry out their role or roles successfully.

Equity: Creating, supporting, and sustaining social justice. 

Equity safeguards fairness and impartiality for all people and is based on the God-given dignity of the human person. It aims to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent full participation in school life. Equity ensures each person has access to the opportunities, programs, and resources they need to realize their full potential.

PROGRESSING IN OUR SCHOOL

Although we know it is not enough to be diverse, St. John's is grateful that it is a diverse and inclusive community. We must take affirmative steps to purposefully educate our students to deconstruct systems of injustice and realize the common good. Our school community—including staff, faculty, the Board of Trustees, and members at all levels—has given special focus to the work involved with diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. We plan to continue to make this work an integral part of our personal, professional, and institutional development.

Members of St. John's Board of Trustees and the DEI Committee have taken the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment, leading to increased awareness in areas of strength and growth at the school and within faculty leadership. Additionally, several alumni and current students met with members of the Valbrun Consulting Group to discuss their experiences at the school. Recently , the DEI faculty and staff committee created and reviewed a questionnaire for students and faculty to gain their perspective. This survey gauges the school's climate and the ways in which diversity, equity, and inclusion exist at St. John's.  
 
The school has adopted a restorative justice philosophy to build community within classrooms and throughout the school. Before Thanksgiving, the faculty completed training and certification in restorative justice. The teachers learned how to listen to their students, empathize with their situation, and convey these important tools. In early March, our consultant, Valda, led the faculty in professional development with Zaretta Hammond's work, Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain
 
The English, religion, and social studies faculty have engaged in DEI curriculum development this year. The departments are working on a diverse curriculum that encourages student dialogue with an emphasis on social justice.