Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

Jessica Lynch

Melissa Rais Profile Image

Jessica Lynch joined Sturgis West in 2011 as a Special Education Teacher after being an educational consultant and teaching in Cambridge. MA at both the high and middle school levels. In 2014, she became the Special Education Coordinator at West and has served as the co-leader of the Equity Professional Learning Community. At the state level, Jessica has been a presenter on self-advocacy for special education students.  She is thrilled to join Melissa on the DEIB team.

Melissa Rais joined Sturgis West in 2018 as a Spanish teacher. She previously taught Spanish in  New Orleans for five years and then moved back to her native Colombia to teach high school English for eight years. In her second year at Sturgis, Melissa joined Camille Manrique as the Community Outreach Liaison, where she assisted in developing a plan to reach out to the greater community on Cape Cod, particularly the Hispanic, Brazilian, and Haitian communities. The Outreach team is greatly responsible for the annual magazine Sturgis Soundings, which includes a collection of projects and memorable moments in the daily lives of students and faculty. This year, Melissa is very excited to join Jessica Lynch as the DEIB Assistant Coordinator and continue her passion to support multiple communities around Cape Cod with a strong message of diversity and inclusion.

Sturgis Charter Public School remains steadfast in our mission of providing a world-class, rigorous education to all students regardless of prior academic performance or experience. In recent years, we have deepened our understanding about diversity, equity, and inclusion in our classrooms and in the world, and acknowledge that there is still work to be done. After a year of study and reflection, a team of teachers and administrators created the office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. Sturgis has long believed that relationships and rigor go hand-in-hand, and creation of the DEIB team is a crucial step in a multi-year process to develop a robust programme that supports belonging for all our students.

In recognition of the evolving needs of our educational community. Sturgis Charter Public School reaffirms its commitment to our mission of IB for All. In accordance with the International Baccalaureate Organization, we strive to create a better world through education. To this end, Sturgis Charter Public School acknowledges our responsibility to foster global citizenship, conscientious stewardship of the environment, and celebration of our differences. Sturgis recognizes that there is work still to be done to foster learning that builds a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world and commits to creating a learning environment that is safe, supportive, and welcoming for all our students.In addition, we offer the following commitments:

  1. We will strive to embed diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging into all aspects of student learning, including policies and procedures in order to increase a sense of belonging for all community members.
  2. We will apply an anti-bias and anti-racist lens to examine our practices for employees and students.
  3. We seek to uplift and amplify the voices of those impacted by systemic oppression, colonization, personal or historic circumstances, and those with traditionally marginalized identities.
  4. We acknowledge how privilege and power structures impact our learning community.
  5. We commit to continually develop our understanding of how implicit and explicit biases can impact learning for both educators and students.
  6. Our community supports efforts to be more diverse, open, and inclusive while standing against injustice and intolerance in the form of prejudice, racism, homophobia, discrimination, and marginalization.

More than 50 years ago, the IB was born out of a commitment to develop a new way of thinking about teaching, learning, and assessment–grounded in education for a better and more peaceful world. Our historic mission emphasizes our shared humanity and the bonds that tie us together in one global community. Our responsibility to the world and to the people and systems that shape its future is enormous. Our resolution to continuously improve to create a better and more peaceful world through education that builds intercultural understanding and respect must always reflect current thinking and changing expectations around the globe with respect to DEI. Humanity and its relationship to and with the planet are complex. We want to understand and celebrate our differences while recognizing and valuing the things that we share in common with each other and the rest of the earth.

As we begin our journey under new leadership and set out a renewed strategy that will guide us forward, now is the time to refresh and solidify our commitment to a series of values, and to commit to living by them both in our work internally as an employer but also as a global education organization with enormous reach and responsibility to shape the learners of the future.

I. The IB will embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in our work—and reflect this commitment as we develop our policies and procedures—both as an employer and as an educational organization
II. We commit to promoting human rights and the idea of one shared humanity in all our work, both as an employer and as an educational organization>
III. The IB commits to promoting justice—social, economic and ecological—in our work, both as an employer and as an educational organization
IV. Alongside our community, we will work to help protect the environment and the local ecosystems that form it
V. The IB will foster a sense of agency and enquiry in both the people we work with and the young people we help to educate
VI. We embrace learner variability so that our learners are not excluded on the grounds of any of their characteristics, and so that our stakeholders can develop and thrive in a culture of equal opportunities for learning, personal growth, and developing the ability to make positive change
VII. The IB commits to act supportively and with consideration for young people affected by difficult or adverse circumstances, their own changing personal histories or contexts, or other challenges affecting their life as IB students
VIII. We will work to promote the voices, identities, and leadership of marginalized people in our work, both as an employer and as an educational organization. We will be transparent in all our policies relating to the people we work with and as we work with our educational programmes and resources through a DEI lens.
IX. We will explore new ways to open our programmes and our work to new languages, cultures and contexts
X. The IB commits to being fully focused on the needs of our staff, IB World Schools and their educators and students, as we challenge ourselves to become a more diverse, open, inclusive, and accepting organization, standing against racism, prejudice, discrimination and marginalization wherever we can
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