Beginning in Pre-K and Kindergarten, our students experience a wide brush stroke of curriculum with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our youngest students explore the world around them and open their eyes to the diverse world of artists and famous friends. They learn of the various ways that artists have embedded their history and culture into their artwork as well as the contributions of men and women in the fight for social equity. In first grade, our students are learning about the social systems that we all are part of. Students learn of influential individuals within social systems around the world that challenged oppressive systems and paved the way for the diverse communities that we have today. By second grade, our students are engaging with their personal heritage and immigration in their “Coming to America” unit. Reflecting on the obstacles that one faces when immigrating to a new country, students create connections and establish empathy for different cultures. Third graders reflect on the history of our school’s grounds by learning about the natives tribes, Tongva (Gabrielino) and the Luiseno (Juaneno), that previously inhabited this space. They explore the cultures of these important tribes by learning about village life such as food, legends, arts/crafts, and roles of men/women/children as well as their contact with European explorers. When students reach fourth grade, they’re stretched to look through different lenses and take on different perspectives when studying California’s rich history from the natives and explorers through the mission system and the California Gold Rush. Fifth-grade curriculum follows the fourth-grade trajectory of introducing students to a multiplicity of perspectives. Through social studies and art, students examine slavery as the underpinnings of colonial America, while also celebrating the achievements of African civilizations.
By middle school, diversity is interwoven throughout the various subject areas. In sixth grade, for example, while some students are making connections with current world movements and geopolitical events through their studies of the American Civil War, they are also practicing multiple perspectives through a socioeconomic lens as they read S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders
. In seventh grade, our students are introduced to multiple cultures and the foundations to a number of current major world religions. They see the importance of these cultures, make connections to their own lives, and analyze their roles in the world around us. In addition, our seventh-grade students visit the Museum of Tolerance to help them navigate their way through Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl
. By second semester, almost every unit in seventh-grade Spanish is a lesson on cultural traditions and how they are practiced in unique ways in Spanish speaking countries. By eighth grade, students are seeing diversity through the worldview of characters in literature and the poetry and reflections of our own students. They are researching and participating in socratic seminars about various types of racism and discrimination seen around us, and they learn to listen to many voices and worldviews, especially those of their classmates. This speaks to the very heart of our mission.