We will unflinchingly challenge our assumptions and make necessary institutional changes to create a safe, equitable, and anti-racist learning community at Poly.
—John Bracker, Head of School

Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

adopted 2020

Diversity of ideas, experiences, and identities within the school enriches the experience of everyone and inspires transformative teaching and learning. At Poly, we celebrate and value the uniqueness of each individual in the community to fulfill the school’s mission and vision.

An inclusive community fosters academic excellence and personal growth to ensure that all students are seen and heard, empowering every student to be authentic. Faculty and staff practice inclusivity and appreciation to create a safe learning environment where differing viewpoints and multiple perspectives are expressed and honored. Conformity of thought is not required. At Poly, we value all cultures and ethnicities and the richness they bring to our shared community. Poly strives to ensure all families experience a sense of belonging and are able to participate fully in the life of the school.

We believe all members of the Poly community share a collective responsibility to foster an equitable and just community. We strive to:
  • Value and create connections amongst all members of the community;
  • Weave the practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the curriculum and fabric of the school;
  • Seek and provide feedback to promote growth;
  • Approach decisions with integrity, kindness, and generosity;
  • Encourage empathy and see the best in each other.

2022-2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Priorities

List of 4 items.

  • Professional Learning

    In collaboration with Education Elements, Pacific Oaks College, Spelman Johnson, and other DEI expert practitioners, Poly will offer professional learning on mitigating bias and equitable and inclusive practices for all faculty and staff.
  • Strategic Planning

    Following the successful administration of our DEI Survey in Spring 2022, Poly will engage faculty and staff in developing a 3-year DEI Strategic Plan that outlines key areas of focus, goals, and strategies for cultivating an inclusive community throughout our school.
  • Community Building

    We will strengthen spaces and sources of support in each of our divisions that actively see, hear, and value our students for their authentic selves—and foster a sense of connection through systematic practices and approaches that bring together adults throughout our Poly community.
  • Recruitment and Hiring

    We will live our mission-driven institutional commitment to the recruitment, hiring, and retention of faculty and staff who advance our DEI values through the adoption of equitable and inclusive practices that are consistent and cohesive throughout divisions.

Poly's DEI Ecosystem

DEI-focused groups exist throughout our student, school, and adult communities. These groups work in unique and focused ways towards our common goal of an inclusive Poly community that fosters academic excellence and personal growth by ensuring that all members are seen, heard, and valued as their authentic selves.

List of 3 items.

  • Board of Trustees DEI Committee

    The Board DEI Committee interfaces with other board committees on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They partner with the Head of School and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to develop Poly’s long-term DEI strategy for Board approval. Additional activities include supporting the monitoring and identification of key DEI metrics, and others that are outlined in “A Message from the Board of Trustees on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”.
  • Divisional DEI Teams

    The Divisional DEI Teams are faculty members who are keenly attuned to the need to offer developmentally appropriate learning experiences that ensure all students feel seen, heard, and valued for their unique contributions to our community, and that help students learn about themselves and the world around them. The Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School each have a divisional DEI team that collaborates with the DEI Director, their divisional peers, and each other to advance Poly’s work of diversifying our curriculum and adopting more equitable and inclusive pedagogy and practices.
  • K-12 Parent Guardian DEI Committee

    The K-12 Parent/Guardian DEI Committee is guided by the Parent DEI Committee Mission and Vision Statement that was adopted in April 2021. It is a school-wide alliance group committed to partnering with the broader Poly community to achieve shared DEI goals and objectives, and to inspire a culture of action surrounding topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Members seek to bolster a parent/guardian community and learning environment where everyone feels equally recognized, valued, and celebrated. Thus, the committee works in partnership with the DEI Director and Assistant Head of Enrollment and Strategic Initiatives to focus on facilitating continuous DEI education opportunities and community-building for parents/guardians.

Previous and current parent/guardian DEI education offerings include:

List of 3 items.

Alumni Reconciliation Sessions

In light of the national focus and the role anti-Blackness has played in recent police brutality controversies, Poly took immediate action to create dialogue within our community. We accelerated the formation of our Alumni-Affinity Groups and held reconciliation sessions to explore the various forms of bias disclosed through social media. All Poly community members were invited to come together during these sessions and shared their frustrations, disappointments, as well as ideas to address bias dynamics at Poly. The first reconciliation session was moderated by Dr. Camille Rich in August 2020 and focused on sharing truths about anti-Black bias and was an immediate and constructive place to start this conversation. Also, sessions in the Fall of 2021 focused on anti-Latinx bias and anti-Asian bias, as well as forums for LGBTQ+, Jewish, Muslim, South Asian, and Middle Eastern community members. We allotted time for these affinity groups to convene and appointed leadership to facilitate the forums.

For more information, please contact Emily Fischer, Executive Director, Alumni and Community Relations

Parent DEI Committee Mission and Vision Statement

adopted April 2021

The Parent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is an alliance group committed to partnering with the broader Poly community to achieve shared DEI goals and objectives, and to inspire a culture of action surrounding topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek to bolster a parent community and learning environment where everyone feels equally recognized, valued, and celebrated.

We are committed to:
  • Facilitating continuous DEI education opportunities for parents
  • Uniting families around shared identity via affinity groups
  • Serving as a safe space to help surface inequities and opportunities for improvement within the Poly community

Parent Education Series

In recognition of our diverse learning community, Poly introduced parent education sessions specifically focused to meet the pressing needs of parent groups across grade levels. This new programming is based on the understanding that to strengthen the Poly community, we must acknowledge our distinct histories and experiences as a multiracial community. 
Reflecting upon what we have recently learned by listening and examining concerns surfaced on Dear_Poly and other social media posts, one of our primary goals is to ensure that our children and families of color equally feel that their experiences are central to the Poly experience. In response to immediate questions and needs of our parent community, we are excited to offer parent education sessions for Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School parents of color, as well as for the general parent group.

A Vision to Move Forward

As Poly moves forward, we do so with a new vision. We understand that diversity and difference only enrich our community. We believe that every student, parent/guardian, faculty, staff, and alumni share a responsibility to create a space of true belonging for all members of the Poly community. We are committed to providing our families with developmentally-appropriate tools, discussion spaces, and exploration experiences that will build confidence and belonging for every student at Poly.

From diversity to inclusion and equity

The importance of diversity work in independent schools