Here are some updates to Valley Christian’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial reconciliation.
- Our school year began with Unconscious Bias training and Micro-Aggression training for all HS and JH faculty. We look forward with excitement to further training moving forward. The Elementary School faculty is scheduled for this training next month.
- Both Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Juneteenth have been added as paid holidays for VCS employees.
- Conversation has begun to include diversity, equity, and inclusion with an intentional focus as part of the curriculum review and adoption process as well as VCS performance evaluations.
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, each teacher features age-appropriate book selections in their classroom, expanding their libraries to include a broader selection of titles in light of the theme of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Every month is Black History Month in eighth-grade History! The issue of slavery, in particular, is a significant focus of the entire year tracing the Black experience throughout the school year.
- The last unit is entirely about Reconstruction after the Civil War. We trace how the policies and failures of Reconstruction led to Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and many of the lingering racial troubles in America.
- We will hold debates on current event topics to give the students the chance to think critically about things happening in the world around them, verbalize their opinions, listen to people who disagree with them and disagree respectfully.
- We are finding ways to encourage students to have a voice and develop listening skills with our students to develop empathy for the struggles of others.
- We will be holding monthly lunch forums where students are invited to share topics that are meaningful to them such as: immigration, learning differences, sexuality, gender roles, the upcoming election, and police shootings.
- A high school Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council has been created to ensure we have a pulse on our students' needs.
- We are working to ensure our curriculum has more than one narrative viewed through the lens of Scripture. The Bible, Social Science, and English departments focus on the following books in our curriculum, including The Third Option by Miles McPherson and While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry.
- Student clubs are encouraged to be inclusive on campus and find new ways to inform our students regarding varied cultural differences.
- VCS student outreach into public schools and guest speakers focus on how we grow in inclusion and diversity, building bridges of authenticity, listening, and learning. They also provide opportunities to view the image of God in all people.