Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging
and Social Justice
The Lang School celebrates diversity and understands that we all learn and grow best in an environment rich in differences — different racial and ethnic backgrounds, experiences, cultures, abilities, genders, inclinations, interests, expertise, and perspectives. Lang embraces and prioritizes inclusive practices and an inclusive mindset, extending that mindset to all staff, students, and their families. We are committed to examining work through an equity lens: looking at the intersections of identities and the identities of the students and colleagues with whom we work, and reflecting on opportunities to learn and grow.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) are part of our daily practice of teaching and learning. At Lang, we build and create a strong sense of community and equity through our mission, curriculum, and daily interactions. We model culturally competent practices and have mindful and meaningful conversations all with the ongoing purpose of forwarding DEIB work and social justice initiatives.
Some Guiding Principles for our DEIB work
Civility, self-reflection, growth-mindset, and community are central to the learning experience at The Lang School. Our teachers lean into challenges, own their impact, speak up and stand up for equity and social justice to model these core practices. Additionally, the culture of The Lang School reflects and supports the school's mission in a number of important ways: Celebration of Exceptionality: The Lang School's culture embraces and celebrates the exceptional abilities and diverse learning profiles of our students. Rather than viewing learning differences as obstacles, our school's culture fosters an environment where students feel valued and empowered for their unique strengths. This culture of acceptance and celebration encourages students to embrace their exceptionalities and recognize their potential for success. Empowerment and Self-Advocacy: Our school culture places a strong emphasis on fostering independence and self-advocacy skills in students. Lang students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning, express their needs, and advocate for the support they require. The culture reinforces the belief that students have a voice and can actively participate in shaping their educational experiences, thus empowering them to become self-advocates throughout their lives. Nurturing Passion and Purpose: The Lang School's culture recognizes the importance of nurturing students' passions and talents. We provide an environment where students can explore their interests and develop their skills in various domains. Through personalized instruction, project-based learning, and ample opportunities for creativity and self-expression, the culture of the school supports students in finding their purpose and pursuing their passions. Commitment to Equity and Social Justice: Lang’s culture is deeply rooted in principles of equity and social justice. Students are encouraged to critically examine societal issues, engage in discussions, and undertake projects that promote fairness, inclusivity, and positive change. By fostering a culture that values and addresses social justice, we equip students with the knowledge, skills, and mindset necessary to be agents of change in their communities. Collaboration and Community: The culture at The Lang School emphasizes collaboration and community-building. Students, teachers, leadership, parents/guardians, and trustees work together in a supportive and inclusive environment. Open lines of communication, collaborative problem-solving, and a shared commitment to the mission create a strong sense of community and foster a culture of belonging and mutual support. STRATEGIES, PRACTICES AND INITIATIVES THAT SUPPORT OUR CULTURE Our school culture plays a vital role in ensuring that students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally, while embodying the principles and values at the core of the school's mission. These keystones of our school culture serve as the foundation for the various strategies and practices through which we create and maintain a respectful environment for all members of our community: through various strategies and practices: Valuing Diversity: We recognize and value the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of our students, teachers, leadership, parents/guardians, and trustees. We seek to foster an inclusive culture that appreciates and respects the uniqueness of each individual, thereby promoting a sense of belonging and acceptance. Clear Expectations: The Lang School endeavors to set clear expectations for behavior and communication that emphasizes the importance of respect, empathy, and active listening. Students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue, express their thoughts and opinions, and listen attentively to others. These expectations apply to all members of the community and are consistently reinforced by teachers, staff, and leadership. Social-Emotional Learning: We incorporate social-emotional learning (SEL) into our curriculum and daily practices. SEL helps students develop skills such as empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, and responsible decision-making. By focusing on these areas, we foster a culture of respect, kindness, and understanding among our community members. Conflict Resolution and Restorative Practices: We provide resources and support for conflict resolution and restorative practices when disagreements or conflicts arise. Students are taught constructive ways to address conflicts and resolve them through open communication, empathy, and consensus. Teachers and leadership play an active role in facilitating these processes and guiding students towards peaceful resolutions. Professional Development: We invest in ongoing professional development for our teachers and staff. This includes support for the growth of pedagogical practices as well as training on cultural competency, diversity, equity, and inclusion. By equipping educators with the knowledge and skills that are required to create a respectful and inclusive environment, we ensure that the values of respect and acceptance are consistently upheld. Communication and Feedback: We work to maintain open lines of communication among all stakeholders. Regular channels of communication, such as parent-teacher conferences, newsletters, and community meetings, provide opportunities for dialogue, feedback, and collaboration. We encourage active participation and involvement from parents/guardians, ensuring that their perspectives and voices are heard and respected. Policies and Procedures: Our policies and procedures explicitly address respect and inclusivity. These policies outline expectations for behavior, consequences for misconduct, and guidelines for fostering a respectful environment. We endeavor to ensure that these policies are communicated clearly to all members of the community and consistently enforced. Through the implementation of these strategies, we have created and continue to maintain a respectful environment where we hope that all individuals feel valued, heard, and supported. Our commitment to respect and inclusivity are central to our culture and serve as a foundation for the cultivation of positive relationships and meaningful learning experiences. The principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are integral to our efforts to create a respectful environment. These principles are reflected in initiatives that seek: Value in Diversity: We recognize and celebrate the diversity of our student body, which consists of twice-exceptional (2e) children with a range of learning differences. The school embraces students from various backgrounds, cultures, and identities, promoting an inclusive community where differences are seen as strengths. The acceptance of diverse perspectives and experiences fosters an environment where all students feel valued and respected. Equity in Education: We are committed to providing an equitable education for our students. Recognizing that each student has unique learning needs, we tailor our curriculum, instructional practices, and support systems to address individual strengths and challenges. By prioritizing equity, we seek to ensure that every student has access to the resources and opportunities necessary for their academic and personal growth. Support for Inclusive Practices: We strive to incorporate inclusive approaches into our teaching and learning practices. Teachers employ differentiated instruction to meet the diverse needs of students, adapting their approaches to accommodate various learning styles and abilities. We promote collaboration, cooperation, and teamwork, creating a sense of belonging where students learn from and support one another. Cultivation of a Sense of Belonging: We are committed to creating a welcoming and supportive community where all students feel a sense of belonging. This is achieved through intentional efforts to foster strong relationships among students, teachers, and families. We emphasize the importance of social-emotional learning, ensuring that students develop self-confidence, self-advocacy skills, and a strong sense of identity within the school community. To Address Bias and Stereotypes: At Lang, we actively address bias and stereotypes by promoting awareness, understanding, and empathy. Teachers facilitate discussions and activities that encourage critical thinking and challenge stereotypes, fostering a culture of respect and appreciation for diversity. By engaging in these conversations, we help students develop a deeper understanding of social justice and equity. Greater Parent and Community Engagement: The Lang School recognizes the importance of engaging parents/guardians and the wider community in fostering a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We actively encourage parents/guardians involvement in the learning life of their child, seek their input to help inform program design, and encourage their participation in school activities. This collaborative approach strengthens the connection between the school and our families and promotes a shared commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive environment. By incorporating these principles into our daily practice of teaching and learning, The Lang School works to ensure that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are not only valued concepts, but actively embraced and integrated into the school's culture and practices. At Lang, we build and create a strong sense of community and equity through our mission, curriculum, and daily interactions. We model culturally competent practices and engage with students in purposeful, meaningful and action-focused dialog about diversity, equity and inclusion. Our school's commitment to these principles helps to create a safe and empowering space where all students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.