Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

DEI Commitments Outline of the work initiated (2020-21)

As a Sacred Heart school, we aspire to bring fully alive the Goals of Sacred Heart education in support of our mission. In this important moment, we are called especially to focus on Goal IV and the charge “to build community by promoting a safe and welcoming environment in which each person is valued, cared for, and respected,” as well as Goal III, and the call to a “critical consciousness that leads its total community to analyze and reflect on the values of society and to act for justice.”

Stone Ridge realizes that true transformation must begin now and will take not months, but years, of deep work. This process will inevitably be uncomfortable at times, but if we trust in one another and engage with courage and humility, the Holy Spirit will guide us towards clarity and grace. Our pledge as a School is to commit to this work, beginning with the following initiatives:

number 1

Analyze Culture and Current Operations

Are we developing our community members to have hearts as Jesus did? We must examine the perspectives we privilege and the experiences we marginalize by traditions, calendar priorities, and stories. Through thoughtful conversation and understanding, we must evolve this culture to be one of inclusivity, deeply rooted in respect.

  • Hosted listening sessions with Black alumnae, current Black students, Black parents, all parents, and employees of color; 

  • Collaborating between the Office of DEI and each Division’s counseling team on Social Emotional Learning and dealing with racial trauma;

  • Growing the Financial Aid budget to increase the size of awards and the percentage of students receiving aid to 35%;

  • Analyzing an expanded Financial Aid program to ensure that more programs and activities are accessible for all students, especially those receiving aid;

  • Adjusting fundraising strategies to focus on inclusivity and to increase transparency regarding the impact of philanthropy; and

  • Expanding the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion web page;

  • We are selecting a Climate Survey instrument and identifying a process for baseline assessment of School culture;

  • Collaborating with the Conference of Sacred Heart Schools and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools to examine our Sacred Heart mission, claim our past, and design student and adult programming around DEI

Number 2

Create a DEI Accountability Committee

Create a DEI Accountability Committee to work with the Office of DEI to review, respond to, and plan ongoing DEI work. This will include creating policy around anti-discrimination and equity, rooted in our Sacred Heart mission. The DEI Action Committee will include members of the Board of Trustees, Administrative and Management teams, alumnae, students, faculty, staff, and parents. 

  • Committee members have been recruited and will meet three times each academic year.
Number 3

Audit and Amend Stone Ridge Curriculum

Audit and amend the Stone Ridge curriculum from Little Hearts through Grade 12 to ensure that areas of study reflect the lived experiences of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and foster a realization that as a Sacred Heart school we are called to build a community in which the human dignity of each person is a sacred priority.   

  • Working with the Lower and Middle School and Director of Curriculum on Racial Literacy Curriculum; 
  • Supporting the math department on Non-European roots of mathematics; 
  • Selecting an instrument for a curriculum analysis. Currently, seven faculty members, across all divisions and several disciplines, have piloted two instruments by reviewing a unit or body of their content with each tool.
  • Reviewing the curriculum, class-by-class, to determine short-term adjustments and changes to be made during this school year.
Number 4

Examine Social Action Program

Examine the Social Action program through the lens of the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education to ensure that the program reflects our strong focus on authenticity and reciprocity.  

  • The Upper School Social Action Program is focused on racism this year. The Office of DEI is collaborating with our Director of Social Action on the theme of Radical Kinship. 
  • Designing a process to examine Social Action as part of our Culture Survey
Number 5

Educate Employees and Students

Educate all employees and students on allyship, anti-racism, microaggressions, and white privilege through increased training opportunities and annual personal and professional training for the Board of Trustees, Administrative and Management teams, faculty and staff, and coaches. 

  • Increased the support in Office of DEI from four to six DEI Co-Leaders; 
  • Increased the stipend for the DEI Co-Leaders. Increased the time allocated for DEI Professional Development in all-school employee orientation from 1.5 hours to 5 hours;
  • Offered faculty book discussions;
  • Created Equity Policies for students and for faculty/staff; 
  • Formed the Alliance of White Anti-Racist Educators (A.W.A.R.E.) group; 
  • Offered facilitation for two nine-month SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) cohorts including faculty, staff, and administrators, doubling the number of participants this year;
  • Formed the year-long DEI Continuous Learning Committee;
  • DEI director, as part of the Academic Leadership Team, Management Team and Student Support Team, provides ongoing coaching, consultation and education as needs arise.

Provide Support to Affinity Groups

Number 6

Provide additional support for the Diversity Cultural Groups that already exist in the Upper School and add Diversity Cultural Groups in the Middle School. Develop affinity groups for students.

  • Upper School Diversity Clubs continue to receive support from the faculty and administration. The DCGs in Upper School include: Allies, AMIG@S, Asian AppreciAsian, Spectrum, Black Student Association, and Middle Eastern Student Association. 
Number 7

Strengthen Student Policies

Strengthen the policies in our Student Handbooks that specifically address hate speech and misconduct related to racism, equity, and inclusion. We will clearly communicate how students will be educated on our mission-based community expectations. We will also review the process we use to investigate and communicate about any violations of our expectations.  

  • Created equity policies for students and for faculty/staff;
  • Rewrite of the Middle and Upper School Student Handbooks to include more inclusive language and address topics such as free speech, hate speech, microaggressions, safety/comfort, marginalized/minoritized;  
  • Created an Online Bias Incident form for Middle and Upper School students;
  • Collaborated on the institution of a Restorative Justice model throughout the school; 
  • Continued Middle School advisory program assistance.

Expand Outreach and Access

Number 8

Expand outreach and access to support the enrollment of Black and historically underrepresented students. The Admissions team is analyzing all aspects of outreach and recruitment, especially to communities of color and under-represented communities. 

  • Collaborating with Consortium of Catholic Academies and other schools that serve communities of color and underrepresented communities to recruit additional applicants.
  • Conducting one-on-one interviews as part of the admissions process in order to get a fuller appreciation for the profile of student applicants.
  • Retained Connor Associates to conduct an analysis of the local market, demographics, and perceptions of Stone Ridge, and to improve our messaging and outreach plans. 
Number 9

Create Additional Strategies and Support Systems

Create additional strategies and support systems to increase the diversity of our employees through more deliberate hiring practices and retention efforts. 

  • Formed faculty/staff of color affinity group; 
  • Conducted extensive research over the past three years with regards to our hiring process and onboarding process to recruit and support people of color. Additional training has been conducted for those involved in the hiring process.
  • Developed plans for additional professional development for all faculty and staff, including the Administrative Team and Management team.

Allocate Resources for DEI 

Number 10

Allocate resources for DEI by engaging the work of the Board of Trustees in strategic direction and governance. We will partner with our outside DEI consultant to assist with this mission-inspired work and analysis. 

  • The Board of Trustees formed a DEI Committee. Composition includes current Trustees and several other stakeholder groups in our community;
  • Head of School has been working with the Committee on Trustees, for several years, to increase diversity on the Board of Trustees and on Committees that prepare community members for Board candidacy.
  • Added financial resources to the budget to support DEI initiatives, research, positions, and programs.
Number 11

Continue to Promote Parent Education and Cultural Collaboration

Continue to promote parent education and cultural collaboration by expanding the Better Together program and by providing ongoing resources for parents/guardians to educate themselves and their children on race and other DEI topics at home.

Initiatives include: 

  • Offered a parent Book Discussion offering (How to be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi);
  • Increased the number of Better Together parent diversity events;
  • Partner with the Stone Ridge Parents Association and Fathers Club to ensure accessibility and inclusivity the events;

Form Meaningful Partnership with Black Alumnae Association

Number 12

Form a meaningful partnership with the Black Alumnae Association and create additional affinity groups for alumnae. We will create mentoring programs connecting alumnae to one another and to currently enrolled students. 

  • Created a DEI Committee of the Alumnae Board to assist with the creation of alumnae affinity groups;
  • Utilizing the resources provided by the DEI Coordinators to create a “DEI Resource Corner” in the Online Alumnae Community