At the end-of-the-year celebration for Students of Color (SoC) and Uplift mentoring programs, students, faculty, and staff came together to acknowledge the contributions of several community members.
We are actively committed to diversity and fostering a strong sense of belonging.
41 school districts from which we draw students
35 percent identify as students of color
5.9 million dollar annual financial aid budget
16 percent of students are served by financial aid
6 staff members on the Diversity Team
"We are actively committed to diversity." - These words in the RCDS Mission Statement deliver the message that we do not simply acknowledge or value diversity—we act consciously and deliberately in order to create and sustain an inclusive community, a strong fabric woven from many different threads. RCDS's active commitment to diversity is integral to the fulfillment of every aspect of the school's mission, from core values of respect, understanding, and service, to the stimulation of individuals to meet their maximum potential and develop strength of character in an ever-changing world.
- Cultural Identifiers
- UPLIFT: A Mentoring Program for Students of Color
- Social Justice Committe
At Rye Country Day, we believe that diversity is the expression of human variety. Each one of us is diverse in multiple ways and in a variety of contexts. We recognize diversity as including, but not limited to, differences in ability/disability, age, ethnicity, family structures, gender, geographic origin, life experiences, physical appearance, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
As educators, we are committed to creating and sustaining a school community that is diverse and inclusive, one in which all members can participate fully and maximize their potential. We believe that only an inclusive school community can be equitable and just.
We are proactive about teaching our students the importance of diversity and inclusion in an increasingly inter-connected, multicultural, and ever-changing world. As we prepare our students for leadership in the world beyond Rye Country Day, we are responsible for teaching them how to communicate with and be respectful of others—beginning with those in our school community and extending to those who live beyond our nation's borders. Every global citizen should be able to thrive in a diverse and interconnected society.
Our commitment to inclusion enriches our community with diverse ideas and perspectives. Students grow and flourish in this type of environment, where they can safely explore their individual identity while developing and exercising strength of character, healthy self-esteem, and confidence.
Through our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we strive to be good role models for the individuals in our care so that their present and future actions and choices may positively impact the world.
- Sexual Orientation
- Socioeconomic Status (Class)
- Body Image ("lookism")
- Educational Background
- Academic/Social Achievement
- Family of Origin, Family Make Up
- Geographic/Regional Background
- Learning Style
- Beliefs (political, social, religious)
The UPLIFT program connects Lower and Middle School girls and boys of color with Upper School mentors. Mentors and mentees will meet during scheduled UPLIFT events as well as individually arranged gathering times in between. In addition, UPLIFT will hold affinity events to bring together faculty, alumnae, students, parents, and guardians of color.
UPLIFT seeks to support students in navigating their gender as it intersects with their race and/or ethnicity. It is important to create a safe space for students to foster connections, process specific experiences, and build self-esteem. Together, we will discover what it means to have a shared identity, celebrate successes, raise issues, inspire change, and learn. Throughout the school year, we will hold monthly gatherings centered around identity and empowerment.
When we talk about social justice, we bring our attention to issues of equality, access, and privilege within our own community and beyond. A social justice framework holds that all people deserve equal rights and opportunities. Through our workwe examine the impact of inequalities of power, privilege, and resources on our own identities and experiences, and we explore how these issues take shape within and beyond the classroom at school, as well as in the community outside of RCDS.
The Social Justice Committee's work includes:
- Large and small group discussions about issues, articles, and more
- Guest facilitators (both students and adults)
- Opportunities for conversation about relevant topics with Upper School students
- Interactive exercises that you can adapt for the classroom to use with students of any age
- Announcements about recent and upcoming Public Purpose and Diversity and Inclusion events and professional development opportunities
Congratulations to Peggy Helman '20 and Eesha Narain '21 for their nominations in the 2019 Metropolitan High School Theatre Awards.
It was wonderful and inspiring to be around so many students and faculty members from around the region who are passionately committed to the mission of diversity and inclusion in our schools.
Congratulations to seniors Faith Hardy and Patricia Bautista who have been honored with a Certificate of Accomplishment by the New York City Committee for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations for their demonstrated commitment to advancing race relations within the greater RCDS community.
Thank you to everyone who helped organize the annual Arts Festival & International Fair. It was a wonderful, warm, community event filled with interactive art activities, delicious foods from around the world, and captivating performances.
Congratulations to Upper School English teacher Iain Pollock for his nomination by the NAACP Image Awards in the category of Outstanding Literary Work - Poetry.
During February, students and faculty at RCDS recognize and celebrate Black History Month in various forms.
This week, Parents Committed to Diversity and The Office of Diversity and Inclusion presented a talk by Kyle Bryant, a cyclist and activist for the neuromuscular disorder Friedreich's ataxia (FA). Mr. Bryant, who was diagnosed with FA at age 17, inspired the RCDS community with his film and presentation about competing in The Race Across America (RAAM).
Last week, RCDS student leaders and faculty traveled to Nashville to attend the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference and People of Color Conference. SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9-12) from across the U.S., which focuses on self-reflection, forming allies, and building community.
Grade 6 students had the special opportunity of meeting award-winning author Nora Raleigh Baskin this past Friday at an assembly in Memorial Hall. Nora's book, nine, ten: A September 11 Story was a required summer reading for all incoming sixth graders. The thought-provoking story follows four middle school students from across the country in the days leading up to and following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.