Commitment to Anti-Racism

I've committed Dalton to becoming a visibly, vocally, structurally anti-racist institution. Many of you have asked me what that means for Dalton. Like each of you, I want Dalton to be a place where community members thrive and reach their fullest potential. Unfortunately, as our BIPOC* community members have so bravely shared with us this summer in conversations with me and in listening and information sessions, we have much work ahead of us. That's why I'm committing all of us – students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and school leadership to achieving the following goals
and vision through action.

~ Jim Best, Head of School
* The acronym BIPOC refers to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Board of Trustees – Anti-Racism Vision

  • All Dalton students will be full participants in our community and will flourish free from bias and disparities.
  • All Dalton students will have a deep historical understanding of racial and structural inequities in the U.S., and particularly the history of anti-black racism.
  • All Dalton students will have opportunities to further enhance their understanding and make a positive impact addressing current societal inequities by participating in community service activities that contribute to change outside Dalton.
  • All Dalton community members will have deep appreciation for their fellow community members’ dignity; understanding of differing life backgrounds; empathy; and the ability to engage and listen with respect even across differences.
  • All Dalton community members will be held accountable for not meeting our standards, but we also recognize that we are a learning community that supports and provides the space for community stakeholders to grow in their understanding of others and their ability to contextualize their own lived experience.

Anti-Racism Progress Report

Below you will find a list of goals with actions that were completed this summer and will be completed during the 2020-2021 school year to advance Dalton’s anti-racism and inclusion work. Check back for updates on our progress.
Updated - 12/7/20

Ensure that all community members understand Dalton's anti-racist and inclusion vision and their role in achieving it

Convene meetings and honest conversations with students, alumni, faculty & staff, and parents to better understand how Dalton is and is not achieving its DEI goals
Form a Board task force - the Racial Equity Working Group (REWG) - to oversee Dalton's planning to achieve its stated goal of becoming an anti-racist institution
Develop and have the Board of Trustees approve Dalton's anti-racist vision
Develop comprehensive schoolwide and departmental DEI plans with specific goals and anticipated outcomes
Implement a faculty and staff Equity Council that is responsible for implementing institutional priorities and action items
Restructure all volunteer groups (e.g., Parents Association, Alumni Council) to best align with Dalton's vision and anti-racism and inclusion goals
Expand alumni programming (e.g., Alumni Mentoring Program, Young BIPOC Mentoring Program) to serve BIPOC community members

Create metrics to gauge and communicate progress towards achieving our anti-racist and inclusion vision

Create anti-racist website that includes metrics to measure progress and hold us accountable
Conduct a climate survey for the Dalton community 
Develop a schoolwide formal evaluation for students on their curricular learning experiences
Adopt schoolwide DEI metrics via recommendations from the Board's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

All faculty and staff will ensure an inclusive and equitable educational experience

Pilot new student orientation activities around identity (e.g., students designed videos/multimedia projects to help generate ideas for faculty and outside experts)
Develop a racial literacy curriculum for grades K-8 
Increase College Office engagement and programming for BIPOC students
Expand outreach to recruit faculty and staff candidates of color
Continue training for hiring managers to explicitly address racism and unconscious bias in the hiring process
Expand faculty and staff mentoring program to improve professional success and retention that is comprehensive and attentive to specific challenges facing faculty of color

All students will learn to engage and listen with empathy, respect differences, and more fully understand the history and implications of systemic racism

Identify and map diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts onto the curriculum school-wide K-12
Implement English and History curricular changes for more diverse representation and richer understanding of culture and history of BIPOC people

All students will be given the tools to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally to become responsible school citizens

Revise HS House curriculum to more explicitly address anti-racism 
Update Middle and High School student handbooks to include expectations regarding citizenship, the N-word, and social media usage along with emphasizing the importance of practicing and promoting respect for self, for others, and for the environment we share; practicing and promoting integrity and responsibility; insisting upon justice; acting with empathy and compassion
Review and update the Dalton Code of Student Conduct to more explicitly address acts of racism, disciplinary responses, and administrative actions
Review our K-12 disciplinary approach and procedures
Create and implement a clear bias reporting process for all community members 
Revise High School Peer Leadership curriculum to more explicitly address anti-racism 
Develop Middle and High school buddy program to strengthen mentoring of BIPOC students
Enhance the Health and Wellness curriculum and programming to explicitly address racial wellness, racism, the effects of bias and stereotyping, and racial identity formation

All community members will take responsibility for creating an anti-racist and inclusive environment and will be accountable for supporting related goals.

Create a shared leadership approach where the DEI Office explicitly partners with school departments taking on and sharing clear responsibilities
Create a Community Compact to highlight and engender commitment to Dalton's values and expectations
Design and pilot inclusion orientation training for new parents and families 
Develop and execute DEI training and educational forums for administrative and volunteer leadership groups of the Board of Trustees, the Parents Association, and the Alumni Council
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