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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion*

Science & Arts Academy values the representation and full engagement of individuals within our community whose differences include – but are not limited to – age, ethnicity, family makeup, gender identity and expression, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. SAA welcomes and celebrates the diversity of our school, and works to create and sustain a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and just community that is safe and welcoming for all; we recognize to do so requires commitment, reflection, deliberate planning and action, and ongoing accountability.

*Adapted from NAIS’s Principles of Good Practice

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging Portrait of a Graduate

Science & Arts Academy is committed to ongoing efforts to advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging (DEIJB) within all facets of our community.  Upon graduating from Science & Arts Academy, 8th graders will demonstrate the following attributes pertaining to cultural competency, identity development, growth, allyship, and resilience.  SAA graduates will:

  1. Accept, acknowledge and validate that there are different narratives for each situation/event/story and not just the dominant narrative.

  2. Embrace exposure to cultures different from one’s own to make deep and honest connections, rather than superficial exposure to surface culture.

  3. Express an appreciation of differences, recognizing that difference does not equate to a deficit.

  4. Have a positive racial identity and acknowledge that identities are fluid and may change over time.

  5. Commit to personal growth (in spite of the possible discomfort or pain) required to promote social change.

  6. Be resilient: show a willingness to make mistakes and then grow from them

  7. Understand that allyship is not an identity, but a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups of people. 

  8. Confront oppressive jokes, slurs, and actions, and know that silence may condone oppressive behaviors and statements.

  9. Demonstrate a willingness to lean into discomfort and approach it with a learning lens that results in growth.

  10. Understand and supports “desirable difficulties”, meaning that students have perspective about problems to prevent them from giving up, quitting or losing hope.

Using the Understanding by Design framework, backwards planning is underway at SAA as teachers across all grade levels and subject areas are building curricular pathways to these outcomes.

Partnerships and Community Engagement

Recognizing the benefits and importance of building and sustaining diversity and equity programming, SAA began a partnership with  Single Story, Inc. in 2019 to help advance these efforts.  This partnership remains active today and includes professional development and curriculum work.  Single Story, Inc. has also administered community surveys and focus groups which aid in development of DEIJB goals for the school community.  

Through Single Story, Inc. teachers, administrators, parents, and other community members have joined together to participate in The National SEED Project. Standing for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity, this training program helps all participants develop the language and introspective lens necessary to effectively engage in a multicultural and diverse community.

Science & Arts Academy GIfted Des Plaines Illinois international book collection