Whatever your preference, we are here and listening. Thank you in advance for investing your time and emotion in this collective effort.
As our country confronts systemic racism, Green Vale is focused on examining and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our community. We have accelerated our efforts and deepened our commitment in this realm at the Board level and throughout all school divisions and administrative departments.
We consider it of utmost importance to understand, confront, and address past and present wrongs, missteps, blind spots, and all forms of bias or marginalization experienced by our students and parents.
We have heard directly from several students and parents of color who have generously and courageously reached out to administrators to describe experiences of racism in our school. White students have had the courage to speak out about similar instances of racism that they have witnessed.
Hearing these stories is searing, but we must listen, and we must act. We must create and maintain an anti-racist culture. We must act to ensure that we are the school we aspire to be— one that lives its commitment to equal respect, safety, and visibility for every student and family every day— not the version of Green Vale that some students and parents of color have regrettably experienced. This work must be done by all of us. And we must act to instill in our students the character and values that will enable them to lead their generation in understanding and addressing race in new and better ways now and in the future.
We know there are other voices and other stories that will help us form a better Green Vale. The following channels of communication are the best means of engaging the School and being part of positive permanent change: email Head of School Jesse Dougherty or Associate Head of School Narinder Bhalla to share in writing or schedule a call, or submit content using this Google form.
What will happen next?
The Board of Trustees, the administration, and the faculty will continue to engage in critical conversations and actions as we place our practices under further scrutiny. Immediate actions include:
- Creation of a new role with Narinder Bhalla's title evolving to Associate Head of School/ Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion;
- Establishing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee composed of faculty and administration and chaired by Narinder Bhalla;
- Appointment of a committee of Board members to provide critical oversight of this work;
- Comprehensive examinations of all programs and policies of the school;
- Accessing external resources to help us examine and address shortcomings and improve programs;
- Providing professional development opportunities for faculty to advance their efficacy in this work;
- Inviting alumni and current/former parents and faculty and staff and community stakeholders to share recommendations with the DEI Committee;
- Surveying and meeting members of our community to better understand the experiences of Green Vale students and parents;
- Creating a student group to further discussion of DEI; and
- Further engagement of parents in these efforts through a partnership with the Parents Association.
These steps represent the start of a process, not an instant fix. We will continue to provide updates to the community as the work progresses.
If you are interested in learning more for yourself, we recommend the resource "Being Anti-Racist."
In closing, Green Vale can and will do more. This work will require significant conversation, introspection, and resolve. Green Vale is defined by its community, and that must be one that is wholly inclusive and aware. Both the administration and the Board of Trustees join us in this commitment.
Jesse Dougherty, Ed.D., Head of School
Christopher L. Garcia, President of the Board of Trustees