Respecting Differences Days is observed in September and April of each year. The two days are for reflection on our individual commitment to honor our core values of Courage, Honesty, Empathy and Respect. In September, the school focuses on family constellations, name calling, and respect for all differences. In April, a topic is chosen for reflection by a speaker, or student/faculty/staff presentation. Past topics include Disability as Diversity and Racism.
At the annual MLK celebration assembly, the Fenn Martin Luther King Medal is presented to one or more individuals who through example and dedication exemplify Dr. King’s teachings, principles, and philosophical beliefs. The award honors Fenn community members who make significant contributions to the furthering of Dr. King’s approach to transforming racial, economic, and social injustices, and to stand up to make a difference.
The goal of the Fenn Diversity Institute is to sustain an inclusive, supportive, safe, respectful, and nurturing school community with opportunities for all constituents of the school to grow and became part of an institution where students, faculty, staff, and parents can thrive. The Fenn Diversity Institute (FDI) is an educational opportunity for faculty and staff to meet and explore issues of diversity, and to apply lessons to work relationship, pedagogy, and creating inclusivity. It provides the adults in the school with tools to engage inevitable cultural and institutional shifts. Workshops and learning opportunities are planned by an experienced and dedicated committee of faculty and staff.
Outcomes of the FDI: The FDI provides a common language, guides self-reflection and conversation, helps individuals interpret their work and make informed decisions, connects diversity goals with developments as professionals, and helps maintain a safe and supportive environment for faculty and staff. The FDI curriculum keeps issues of diversity and inclusivity alive and institutionalized in line with Fenn’s mission of maintaining our dedication to a safe and informed community. Through the continued education of our faculty and staff, we hope to sustain a school culture that enhances the potential of adults and students.
Among the topics covered:
1. Personal and Professional Growth
3. Classroom Environment
4. Instructional Strategies
5. Relationship Building
7. Materials and Resources
The Multicultural Educators Forum was formed as part of a Fenn diversity program outreach initiative. It also has become an opportunity for community building and networking with our area schools. Since its inception in February 2010, our Multicultural Educators Forum has provided our colleagues from independent schools throughout New England a day-long opportunity to engage in conversation and reflection about our work fostering school communities which are diverse, inclusive, and just. By design, these forums are interactive and offer a variety of avenues for faculty, staff, and administrators to share their thoughts and questions about their work as multicultural educators.
The MEF is scheduled for February each year. Our position as a school is that teachers interested in furthering multicultural education and competently engaging every student must be aware and skilled, and supported not only by our respective institutions but also by our peers in other schools. All educators have unique experiences to offer and by sharing these experiences with each other in the spirit of learning, we promote schools that are more inclusive, fair, and just.
Forum participants are encoruaged to:
- Reflect on the day-to-day, hands-on challenges of teaching or working in a school investing in diversity
- Synthesize multicultural education practices and explore skills to improve practice
- Develop/change our ways of thinking about multicultural education
- Strengthen each other and create a working network
- Share Fenn School’s experience with the AIM study process