As part of its mission, The New Century School embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) wholeheartedly. However, DEI must be continuously reaffirmed and new ways found to continue making TNCS a welcoming environment for all students. So last school year, the TNCS Parent Council’s Anti-Racism and Social Justice Committee in partnership with the TNCS administration decided to take the temperature of the TNCS community regarding race-related issues at TNCS.
An anonymous survey went out to families on April 8th with the message that, “Findings from this survey will help TNCS administration and the Parent Council assess where we are on the journey and identify the path forward toward ensuring a diverse, inclusive, and equitable TNCS community.”
On June 10th, Head of the TNCS Parent Council Tilly Gurman shared preliminary results with the TNCS community via email focusing mostly on participant demographics:
A total of 70 parents submitted surveys, and we are currently in the process of analyzing the data. Thank you to everyone who participated. Below is a quick snapshot of participants:
• 70% have 1 child at TNCS and 27% have 2 children at TNCS
• Average number of years at TNCS = 3.7
• Approximately 46% from people of color households and 54% from white households
• Relatively even distribution of number of children (n) in pre-primary (n=19), primary (n=20), and K-2 (n=20), with smaller representation among upper elementary (n=14) and middle school (n=9)
During the summer months, Ms. Gurman, Jay Golon (Chair of the Anti-Racism and Social Justice Committee), Roberta Faux (TNCS Co-Executive Director/Co-Founder), Shara Khon Duncan (former TNCS Head-of-School), and Tad Jacks (current TNCS Head-of-School) met “to go over the findings and to begin discussions about practical implications.” By early August, the Committee had synthesized survey findings and were ready to go public.
Although Immersed cannot publish their findings in their entirety, this effort deserves acknowledgment as the first of its kind at TNCS and a giant step in the direction of helping TNCS maintain an actively diverse, equitable, and inclusive atmosphere. We’ll offer some highlights here, and a link to the full results was shared with the TNCS community (if you did not receive it, contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
The primary upshot is that most parents (64%) talk to their children about race and racial identity, believe that participating in broader discussion about race and racism is important (94%), and feel that TNCS is a welcoming environment for every student (96%).
The survey rounded out a school year that demanded our attention to these paramount social justice issues. Although the survey was the first of its kind, TNCS has provided the community with other opportunities to discuss and engage with such topics. See Seeing Clearly in 2020: A TNCS Community Forum to Promote Anti-Racism and Second-Annual TNCS Black History Month Celebration Lifts Parent and Student Voices! for recent examples.