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).
We are actively committed to diversity and fostering a strong sense of belonging.
41 school districts from which we draw students
32 percent identify as students of color
5.6 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.
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.
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.
This past Saturday, Rye Country Day co-hosted the "Saturday Summit on Social Justice" with The Masters School. Roughly 110 students, administrators, and faculty from independent schools throughout the Fairchester region attended the event, including nearly 30 from RCDS.
During challenging times like this, we as a school community need to come together in unity to support one another and reassure our students that school is a safe, respectful, and comfortable place for everyone - people of all races, religions, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, abilities, and socio-economic status. The diversity of our community is the strength of our community, and it enriches the experiences of everyone.
Every summer, Rye Country Day runs an academic enrichment program for highly motivated public school students who will be entering Grades 7, 8, and 9. The program runs every morning through the month of July, and seeks to expand the academic and intellectual horizons of promising students from local communities.
Kioni Shropshire-Maina '19 was recognized by the Westchester Chapter of the NAACP for her participation in the annual NAACP ACT-SO Competition. Kioni won a gold medal in the Poetry Written category and has qualified to compete at Nationals in San Antonio,Texas, this summer. Congratulations, Kioni!
Eleventh grader Samantha Buchbinder, President of the Être Girls Club, sponsored the club's second discussion of the year for twenty of our middle school students.
During February, students and faculty at RCDS recognized and celebrated Black History Month. Several Upper School students handed out pins featuring the colors of the Pan-African Flag, and even though February is now behind us, many are still wearing the pins. Ali Morgan, director of Diversity and Inclusion, says: "Black History Month is a time when we make a special point to celebrate the achievements of African Americans, but we also work all year long to make sure that black people and all people of color see themselves reflected in our curriculum and in our community.