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.