Community

Inclusion, Equity, and Justice at Peck

OUR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION STATEMENT:

At The Peck School, our diversity and inclusion efforts are guided by our firm belief in Consideration of Others, which has long been a hallmark of our school and the guiding principle for students, faculty, staff, and families.  Through our efforts, we foster a community of inclusion that respects the dignity and humanity of each individual. We genuinely embrace and celebrate uniqueness and promote respect for all. We honor and value each person’s identity, inclusive of diverse races, ethnicities, genders, religions, socio-economic classes, abilities, sexual orientations and learning styles.

Peck’s K-8 program actively seeks developmentally appropriate opportunities to teach empathy and embrace diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency.  Through a focus on developing a global perspective, Peck students gain a deeper appreciation for other cultures and backgrounds. The school is fully committed to equity, inclusion, and justice for our community and for the greater good.

Inclusion, Equity, and Justice Committee Work at Peck

Formed in 2016, The Peck School's school wide Inclusion, Equity, and Justice Committee (IEJ) meets monthly as an open group of faculty, staff, and administrators to discuss and advance the diversity and inclusion efforts at the school.


About the Steering Committee:

In 2020 Peck formalized the IEJ Steering Committee to allow for focused work on inclusion, equity, and justice-related initiatives relating to curriculum, professional development, teaching resources, and community norms. With representation from the Lower School, Upper School, and staff, the steering committee is itself a resource for members of the entire Peck community.  It acts as a vehicle to promote IEJ work throughout all aspects of the teaching, learning, and community aspects of Peck.

Steering Committee Charges (2020-21)
  • Supporting professional development opportunities, including training and conferences
  • Assisting in the creation of personal and professional IEJ-related goals for individuals, divisions, and the school as a whole
  • Developing IEJ curriculum for seventh- and eighth-grade Themes classes
  • Creating and rolling out an IEJ resource database and website
  • Exploring affinity group options
  • Establishing community conversation norms


About the K-8 Curriculum Committee:

In November 2020, Peck formed an IEJ K-8 Curriculum Committee to address topics relating to equity and justice throughout the curriculum. Working under the auspices of Peck's Academic Council, the committee is charged with comprehensively researching, reviewing, and formulating a plan for IEJ-focused curricular criteria at Peck.

K-8 Curriculum Committee Charges (2020-21)
  • Review Peck’s current IEJ frameworks and curriculum K-8
  • Research available IEJ curricula, as well as IEJ programs at peer schools
  • Create a K-8 scope and sequence for IEJ
  • Provide recommendations for implementing this scope and sequence, in regards to schedule, personnel, and training
  • Summarize findings and present a general plan for implementation to the Academic Council

Working Towards Antiracism

  

Andy Delinsky, Head of School

As a K-8 school, we have the incredible power and opportunity to partner with our parents to help our students learn, to help them be the global leaders we need, and to help them understand that injustice is not reserved for history books; it’s all around us, and our students can be the morally grounded and value-centered citizens who can and will bring change.

We pledge to ensure our work as a school is thoughtful, age-appropriate, mission-driven, and inclusive as we uphold the values we hold so dear. We welcome input and participation from all corners of the Peck community.
Peck's IEJ initiatives aim to touch upon all areas of the Peck experience, from academics to community to program. Over the past few years we have expanded our IEJ initiatives among parents, students, faculty, and alumni—a sampling follows. 

List of 8 items.

  • Alumni Survey

    This year, we eagerly sought alumni feedback as we sought to better understand how they were (or were not) prepared for what they encountered beyond Peck through the lens of diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion. The responses are informing us in the development of our plan to ensure our graduates have the tools they need to navigate and thrive in a vast multicultural world, where our differences are both acknowledged and celebrated. With these tools, and with our Peck values, we hope that our graduates will not be bystanders, but rather actors, when it comes to recognizing and disrupting systemic racism and injustice in all of its forms.
  • Far Brook 'Widening the Lens' Conference

    Each fall for the past three years, Peck students, faculty, and parents have attended The Far Brook School’s annual Widening the Lens diversity conference for New Jersey independent schools. The theme of the 2020 online conference was Lift Every Voice: Centering the Student Experience in Building Anti-Racist Communities.

    The Far Brook conference is notable for its emphasis on the representation of various constituencies from participating schools, including students, faculty, trustees, parents, alumni, and Heads of School. 
  • NAIS AIM Survey

    In January 2020, the Peck community (students, faculty and staff, and current parents) completed the NAIS AIM Survey (Assessment for Inclusion and Multiculturalism). This survey is designed to elicit feedback on school climate and culture and was intended to assist the Board and Administration in identifying strengths that can be built upon and areas that need work to ensure our community’s continued growth. In the assessment of results, community members noted that the school is a warm and welcoming environment where both students and adults are treated with respect. The school’s commitment to ethical values and character development led to a sense of pride in Peck for many. 

    Survey respondents indicated a need for multiculturalism and related efforts to be more deeply woven into the curriculum, with a greater emphasis on promoting diversity and inclusion.
  • NAIS POCC Conference

    Peck sends several community members to the NAIS People of Color Conference each year. The conference strives to provide a safe space for leadership, professional development, and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. Among the many opportunities provided for professional development, this is consistently named as one of the most impactful by Peck employees. 
  • Parent Association Diversity Initiative Book Club

    In partnership with the school, the Parents Association’s Diversity Initiative (in association with the World Cultures Committee) aims to develop a deeper understanding of identity, foster consideration of others, and support an inclusive and equitable school community.

    As part of their efforts, the PA hosted an online book discussion in November 2020 featuring the wildly popular young adult book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.

    The event, moderated by Upper School History Teacher and Inclusion, Equity, and Justice Coordinator Alex Soudah, provided an opportunity for Peck parents to dialogue and explore issues of diversity and race. Participants shared ideas for actively working towards an antiracist community—including student affinity groups, book clubs, virtual museum visits, and curriculum development.

    The next book to be discussed in April 2021 will be “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo.
  • Parent Education Series with Liza Talusan

    Following the successful book discussion, the PA offered a series of three one-hour-long Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Parent Workshops led by Dr. Liza Talusan—the renowned educator who also facilitated Peck's faculty/staff workshops. Parents attended sessions covering the following topics:
    • Why diversity, and race in particular, matters
    • Learned biases and how they show up in our work and personal lives
    • Action steps to support diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Professional Development with Liza Talusan

    This fall and winter, all Peck faculty and staff attended a series of workshops led by Dr. Liza Talusan—an engaging, award-winning educator and facilitator for topics on diversity, inclusion, and antiracism.

    Topics discussed included:
    • Defining diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice
    • Identity-conscious leadership
    • Working toward antiracism
    • Dismantling oppressive structures
  • Board of Trustees Diversity Committee

    The Diversity Committee works to examine and define the definition of diversity as it applies to the Peck community and our mission, especially with regard to racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds; to understand key trends across independent schools with regard to diversity and the support of it, and to ensure Peck’s policies support an inclusive and diverse community.

IEJ Committee Membership

While all Peck faculty and staff are members of the full Inclusion, Equity, and Justice Committee, the IEJ's steering and curriculum committees are the primary vehicles through which Peck is able to advance IEJ-related initiatives throughout the full Peck experience for students and their families. 

IEJ Steering Committee

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Alex Soudah

    Alex Soudah 

    Upper School History Teacher
  • Photo of Scott Beil

    Scott Beil 

    Upper School Visual Art Teacher
  • Photo of Tayler  Hedgepeth

    Tayler  Hedgepeth 

    Grade 1 Associate Teacher
  • Photo of Maribel Mohr

    Maribel Mohr 

    Kindergarten Homeroom Teacher
  • Photo of Virginia Savage

    Virginia Savage 05

    Upper School English Teacher
  • Photo of Kerianne Skobo-Trought

    Kerianne Skobo-Trought 

    Advancement Associate

IEJ Curriculum Committee

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Sadie Albertyn

    Sadie Albertyn 

    Head of the Upper School
  • Photo of Alex Soudah

    Alex Soudah 

    Upper School History Teacher
  • Photo of Jane Attah

    Jane Attah 

    Grade 2 Homeroom Teacher
  • Photo of Laura Rose

    Laura Rose 

    Upper School Math Teacher
  • Photo of Sarah Chan

    Sarah Chan 

    Upper School English Teacher, English Dept. Chair