Goshen Friends School has a multi-faceted approach toward growing diversity awareness in our community through a culturally competent curriculum, professional development for staff, and events for the entire community.
Our efforts are led by teachers themselves as well as by our diversity coordinator, who is currently receiving informal training with a National SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project trainer. Through this training, our diversity coordinator provides a connection to current research on diversity, in addition to the tools and language that are crucial for having conversations around diversity and social justice.
Our commitment to diversity is demonstrated through:
- Professional development opportunities. Our faculty meetings periodically feature interactive workshops inspired by current events and research on issues surrounding diversity.
- Programs for students. Students engage in multi-cultural studies throughout the year, including lessons on countries from which our students and their families hail. In addition, students engage in anti-bias lessons about people of different color, religions, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, culture, and gender identity.
- Community-wide programs. Each year, our school hosts International Week, which features hands-on activities and presentations about those cultures represented by our students. The week ends with a festival that celebrates and honors those heritages. We have also hosted social events for our families of color, as well as diversity conversations for staff, students, and families.
Our school is also a member of the Greater Philadelphia Diversity Collaborative, a group of nine small area elementary and middle schools that are committed to discussions on difference, social justice, and equity in and around the classroom. In April 2015, eight third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from Goshen Friends School participated in a GPDC-sponsored diversity conference for young learners. GFS hopes to host the 2016 conference on our West Chester campus.