From the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a college preparatory academic institution, we cannot speak of excellence in education without embracing the role of Diversity in our school. Portledge seeks to nurture an inclusive and diverse school community that embraces differences and views issues from multiple perspectives. Portledge aims to promote respect, awareness, understanding, and appreciation of diversity and inclusion on and off-campus, as well as to increase multicultural competencies throughout the school community. A commitment to diversity and inclusion entails acceptance, respect, and inclusion to empower participation and collaboration.

The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is responsible for the development and leadership of intercultural education activities, continuous DEI training, and all-school community events that are rooted in cultural competence and the school’s four Pillars of kindness, respect, honor, and purpose. In collaboration with members from all three divisions, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee as well as with parents and staff, Portledge embraces each others’ differences which makes our school culture stronger and appreciative of each individual uniqueness. As aligned with the school's mission and vision, and the strategic plan, we are committed to cultivating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive school community for every member of our school by building an educational framework that prepares our students to become thoughtful leaders in our diverse society and our multicultural workplaces. Our efforts are embedded in our engagement as a team that fosters academic and social outcomes for all students grounded in:
  • Portledge’s School Mission Statement
  • Portledge’s School Diversity Statement
  • Portledge’s Four Pillars
  • Portledge’s School Strategic Plan
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training and workshop
  • Portledge’s Parent Association
Portledge school believes that diversity, equity, and inclusion work is essential to the kind of work that distinguishes our school changing landscape. As a college preparatory school, our efforts in the area of DEI work is of continuous and thriving endeavors while keeping the education of the whole child and the thorough coaching of young people to be people of a globalized society at the forefront our commitments. I invite you to join us as we strive to open minds and hearts, build character, and create an environment where each and every community member can thrive. A diverse, equitable, and inclusive school community provides the best learning environment for all students.

Leading with the heart, head, and hands.

Olga Florentino
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion

These books serve as resources for the type of work the Portledge community embraces as the school continues to create an inclusive learning environment that engages teachers, students, families, staff, and administrators in a commitment to equity, social justice, and intercultural awareness as aligned in the current Strategic Plan.

List of 5 items.

  • Multicultural Teaching: A Handbook of Activities, Information, and Resources

    Multicultural Teaching: A Handbook of Activities, Information, and Resources
    8th Edition - Pamela L. Tiedt
    If you need activities that will help you roll out a curriculum that respects diversity and celebrates it, this handbook is very helpful.
  • Teaching Controversial Issues: The Case for Critical Thinking and Moral Commitment in the Classrooms

    Teaching Controversial Issues: The Case for Critical Thinking and Moral Commitment in the Classrooms - Nel Noddings, Laura Brooks
    Eminent philosopher and Stanford University Professor, Nel Noddings and his daughter Laurie Brooks explain how teachers can foster critical thinking through the exploration of controversial issues. The emphasis is on the use of critical thinking to understand and collaborate, not simply to win arguments. The authors describe how critical thinking that encourages dialogue across the school disciplines and across social/economic classes prepare students for participation in democracy. They offer specific and concrete strategies for addressing a variety of issues related to authority, religion, gender, race, media, sports, entertainment, class, and poverty.
  • Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice

    Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice
    Third Edition - Maurianne Adams and Lee Bell with Diane J. Goodman and Khyati Y. Joshi
    For 20 years, Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice has been the definitive sourcebook of theoretical foundations, pedagogical and design frameworks, and curricular models for social justice teaching practice. Thoroughly revised and updated, this third edition continues in the tradition of its predecessors to cover the most relevant issues and controversies in social justice in a practical, hands-on format. Filled with ready-to-apply activities and discussion questions, this book provides teachers and facilitators with an accessible pedagogical approach to issues of oppression in classrooms.
  • Teaching for Social Justice

    Teaching for Social Justice 
    William Ayers, Ann Hunt, and Therese Quinn
    These are great readings and real-life applications for classroom teachers with additional readings and sources for further. They run the gamut in terms of thinking and teaching about social justice issues.
  • The National Network of State Teachers of the Year

    The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) - Teachers Leading -

Club Descriptions

List of 6 items.

  • DEI Club - Upper School

    Students strive to raise awareness in our community and empower all of our members to know that they have something to contribute to our community through their voices and through service to others. We do all we can to be positive role models who appreciate and respect each other. We value and treat everyone equally. Through our weekly gatherings, we continue to realize that our differences will always link us in our most common bond - that of our humanity.
  • Gender Sexuality Diversity Club - Upper School

    Gender and Sexuality Diversity Club mission statement:
    The students have defined the group as one that promotes understanding, knowledge, and acceptance of the GSD community in order to provide a safe, non-judgemental space for everyone as a support network in Portledge School.
  • Portledge World Cultures Club - Upper School

    Portledge World Cultures Club both celebrates the cultural diversity of the Portledge community and promotes interest in world cultures through study sessions (e.g. on Chinese history or French literature), service projects (e.g. fundraisers for communities in need), and school-wide events (e.g. the Asian New Year celebration, dramatic performances in French or Spanish, World Food Day).
  • PRIDE Club - Upper School

    We serve the LGBTQ+ community of Portledge School through outreach, service, and education. We want everyone to know that regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, they matter and their feelings are important and valid. This club is open to all students of Portledge School, even if they are not a member of the LGBTQ+ community. We hope that this club will help to create an environment where all students will feel welcome, appreciated, and accepted.
  • Upstander Club - Middle School

    The Upstander Club is designed to promote kindness within and beyond the Portledge community. It raises awareness about issues of injustice and then brainstorms and enacts ways to combat them. The club members are advocates for tolerance and understanding. The Upstander Club also emphasizes the importance of community service and the celebration of differences.  We have screened Soul Surfer for Disability Awareness Month and Remember the Titans to raise awareness of social justice and equity issues.
  • World Cultures Elective - Middle School

    Students in the World Cultures elective explore celebrations and holidays of different cultures through research and hands-on activities in alignment with when the events fall on the calendar. Special foods are sometimes sampled to enhance the learning experience.

DEI Consultants

“My vision is a world where schools and organizations are built upon and operating from strong foundations for equity and justice, and where the people in them are inspired to be their best selves.” - Martha Haakmat
    • Molly Davis

List of 1 items.

Portledge School Diversity Statement

The Portledge School community strives to raise awareness about the beauty of diversity in its many forms.  We work to empower people in our community to know that they have something to contribute to our school through their voices and through service to others. We strive to develop an inclusive community that values respect for social justice and equity. We aspire to consider all perspectives. Through our efforts, we continue to realize that despite our differences, we will always be linked through our most common bond - that of our shared humanity.

DEI Committee Mission

Our mission is to help our inclusive and diverse school community further embrace differences and view issues from multiple perspectives. The committee works to promote respect, awareness, understanding, and appreciation of diversity, equity, and inclusion on and off-campus, as well as to increase multicultural competencies throughout the school community.

Cultural Identifiers

  • Ability
  • Age
  • Beliefs
  • Ethnicity
  • Family of origin
  • Gender
  • Geographic/regional background
  • Language
  • Learning style
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Body image
  • Educational background
  • Academic/social achievement

Diversity Education

Portledge School’s commitment to educating its students for national and global citizenship is aligned with our current strategic plan goal of Equity and Social Justice.  Teachers, students, families, staff, and administrators partner together to deliver and support diversity education in an inclusive learning environment. Portledge readies its students to thrive in a globalized society and multicultural communities. We offer a curriculum and co-curricular programs that build the knowledge, understanding, mindset and skills students will need for leadership and life in a diverse and interdependent world.  Students are positioned for rich human encounters not only today but as they move forward in future endeavors.

Past Highlights

Alumni Corner

Alumni Zoom Meeting
DEI Information Session I: A Discussion on Diversity
June 24, 2020
In light of the recent events that have sprung in our nation after the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked some of the largest protests in U.S. history. Portledge School partook in meaningful conversation with its alumni by hosting an information session to discuss and engage in honest conversation on the issue of race and racial tension in America. Alumni voiced their concerns, discussed common grounds for their alma mater, and engaged in authentic and meaningful dialogue through the sharing of diverse perspectives that bettered the school and will continue to do so in the future.
Alumni Zoom Meeting
DEI Information Session II: Mobilizing for Impact
July 23, 2020
The second session addressed the different ways Portledge School intends to educate its school community on becoming an anti-racist institution. The DEI Coordinator, along with members of the DEI Committee will facilitate the discussion and update their alumni community on the steps the school is committed to as it prepares its students to have the skills necessary to tackle issues of race and racism in an ever-changing world.
Brown-Gary Associates - Engage. Lead. Change.
DEI Training: Why Create an Inclusive School Culture?
August 28, 2019
After defining the synergy between “diversity,” “inclusion” and “multicultural practice,” this workshop makes the Demographic, Business, Psychological and Educational cases for why independent schools need to create and sustain an inclusive culture. The presentation proceeds to describe what elements constitute an inclusive culture at a school and to assess where your school is on a time-line of inclusion.