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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work at PSA

PSA’s dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion is firmly rooted in the Reggio Emilia approach. We see all children as capable and we value the many different ways they communicate who they are, how they learn, and how they understand the world. We are committed to intentionally creating a school environment where all children and families and all members of the school and wider community are valued and treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. We strive to see and celebrate our differences and commonalities in race, culture, ethnicity, language, ability, gender and gender identity, religion, family structure, and socio-economic experiences. 

We acknowledge that this commitment demands that we continually educate ourselves and our community, embrace challenging conversations, and transform this ideal into action, to the best of our abilities. We hold ourselves accountable to this statement by infusing diversity and inclusion in our day-to-day practices and in making decisions that impact our school and community. We expect this dedication from ourselves, our school, and our community because our children deserve an environment and experiences that support them to joyfully engage with, value, and nurture the diversity of the world in which we live.


History

The DEI Committee (formerly the Inclusion Committee) formed in 2013, made up of teachers and parents who were interested and invested in making sure the work of PSA encompassed the important topics and ideas of Diversity and Inclusion. During this time, we envisioned what a more diverse and inclusive PSA could be. We worked on the framework of our committee and our plans for PSA to move forward.

In 2016, the work of the committee expanded and became Board chartered. Our work gained momentum and our committee grew to include Admin, Board Reps, and many teachers. 

Eventually our work moved from philosophical discussions and theory to practice and action. Over the course of these last few years, our work has looked like marching together at the Children’s BLM March, creating and implementing a children’s Book Audit for PSA’s classroom and library books, investing in four roving libraries that contain vetted diverse books, researching and developing a scholarship application process, and in 2020 sending 22 people (teachers, admin, parents, board members) to Nehemiah’s Justified Anger Black History for a New Day course. These are all significant accomplishments to be recognized and celebrated, but there is still a lot of work to be done.


Leadership Team

Parent Co-Chair
Jenny Huffman, Board Member

Staff Co-Chair
Nina Soto, Music Specialist
Staff Co-Chair
Amanda Lautenbach, Music Specialist
Staff Co-Chair
Jo KaLhoun, Art Specialist
Staff Co-Chair
Kelly Blondin, Art Specialist

Jenny Huffman is a PSA parent and Board member who acts as a Liaison- making connections between the Board, Admin, Teachers, Families, and the Community. Her background as a social worker helps bring people into conversation with each other and work through challenges in a way that brings us to the best possible outcome for the organizational mission.

The arts always touch upon the events of the world, help express complex concepts and unify diverse voices. The Specialist team has the privilege of working with all classrooms and the whole school community to guide, challenge, vision and connect this work.

Wider Committee

Staff, Families, and Board members are the engines of the work, committed to actively engaging in the conversations and task groups that help to carry out the initiatives.


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