FISW Diversity Statement
At FISW, we empower our students, faculty, staff, and community to understand, value, and embrace differences. Our community celebrates diversity in all its forms. This includes race, ethnicity, culture, language, religion, belief, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, ability, and learning style. We are committed to learning together as we continue to grow our understanding of diversity and to create a space of belonging. We are educating and guiding the inclusive adults of tomorrow to become the global citizens who will shape the future.
Diversity, Equity, and inclusion (DEI) at FISW
To deepen and work on diversity over the long term, we have integrated it into our curriculum. Every aspect of diversity is worked on throughout our students' schooling, from preschool to fifth grade. Our students have the opportunity to experience cultural differences by working with and celebrating some of the cultural celebrations presented by different families in our community, to discuss and put themselves in the shoes of a person with a physical disability, to better understand the difficulties and improvements to be made in our society.
In order for diversity to be placed at the center of our learning, a DEI committee composed of parents, teachers and administration members meets monthly to improve the work on diversity in our community.
DEI In the Classroom: Diversity Day
At FISW, celebrating diversity is an important part of our community and our students’ educational experience at every grade level. In March 2021, FISW launched an annual Diversity Day, a virtual showcase of student work.
This initiative came from the staff, and the event ties into the ongoing work of the FISW Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee on the school’s Diversity Plan.
FISW compiled all the class projects into a padlet and shared with the school community. This format was a wonderful opportunity
to explore in the virtual environment the DEI work happening in the classroom.
Students explore DEI concepts using a wide array of modes of expression. From portraiture to recipes, quilt-work to oral and written storytelling, the work was truly impressive!
Thank you to all the FISW teachers for the dedication and care they put into these projects that were made in the spirit of celebrating each other, our differences, and our connections.
Inside the FISW DEI Committee
In order for diversity to be placed at the center of our learning, a DEI committee composed of parents, teachers and administration members meets monthly to improve the work on The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee was formed in order to create a plan focusing directly on the values of DEI as FISW defines them: Diversity is the variety of characteristics in our school community that includes a variety of identities, languages, cultures, nationalities, races, ethnicities, beliefs, religions, sexual orientations, genders, personalities, physical abilities, learning styles, and socioeconomic status; Equity is providing different levels of resources according to need in order to reach and attain equality; and Inclusion is providing each member of our school community with a sense of belonging and purpose.
During the 2020-2021 school year, the DEI Committee continued its work with school leadership to develop and progress FISW’s Diversity Plan including updating the diversity statement to its current form and setting DEI goals, success metrics, and progress evaluation based on recommendations from the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) and the needs of the school community.
The DEI Committee also continued defining existing strengths, opportunities, and challenges to enhance the principles of DEI at FISW. This work began with an intensive self-assessment of multiple areas including the FISW vision, leadership & messaging, school climate, and program & teaching. After assessment, the DEI Committee focused the year on development of strategies, timelines, and benchmarks for success to address the DEI needs of the school related to three major areas: Program & Curriculum, Admissions & Student/ Family Retention, and Hiring, Training & Retention.
The 2020-2021 DEI Committee then turned this strategy and success benchmarks over to the 2021-2022 Committee for initial implementation of the FISW DEI Vision. diversity in our community.