Welcome...

With our new Strategic Plan goal of Equity and Social Justice designed to create an inclusive learning environment that engages teachers, students, families, staff, and administrators in a commitment to equity, social justice, and intercultural awareness, I’m excited to serve as Portledge School Diversity Coordinator. As a diversity practitioner, I’m honored to support Portledge School’s mission and vision as it engages every member of the community in a commitment to equity, social justice, and intercultural awareness. Students, faculty, staff, and parents are partners in supporting diversity education as Portledge prepares its students to thrive in a global and multicultural community. Portledge community values and cultures allow for a wide range of human experience.

Diversity means acceptance and respect. Embracing each others’ differences allows us to understand that each individual in our community is unique. Working to foster a deeper understanding of and respect for diversity within and beyond our school community is a rewarding task as I collaborate with all three divisions to enrich multiple perspectives found in our community, work together as allies in support of education for all, and explore how to move forward in a creative, flexible, and safe environment building supportive programs that will prepare every student to compete in a globalized society.  

Diversity education is part of the Portledge experience. Our students bring different talents, cultures, and experiences in support of our mission. As diversity coordinator, my job is to connect these talents with the Portledge Pillars of kindness, purpose, honor, and respect throughout our academic program and co-curricular offerings. Portledge works to foster diversity and inclusion by establishing a system of collaboration within the many different branches of our school. Our multicultural approach focuses on not only awareness but active participation in school-wide activities. To celebrate our commitment to diversity Portledge seeks to nurture an inclusive and diverse school community that embraces differences and views issues from multiple perspectives. Our program prepares students for rich human encounters and abundant opportunities not only today but as they move forward in future endeavors.

Ms. Florentino
Coordinator, Equity & Social Justice
 

Justice, Equity & Diversity Institute - 2018-2019

The Institute aims to equip its participants to advance the work of justice, equity and diversity in schools. It is for NYSAIS schools who currently have a Director of Diversity who would benefit from this experience and NYSAIS schools without a Director of Diversity who wish to strengthen their efforts by seeking this training for a faculty or staff member who may or may not fill this formal role.

Portledge's Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion was selected to attend this year-long program among a selective group of candidates.

Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Reading Corner:

This list of books is about equity, inclusion, diversity, and social justice. 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 new 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 source book of theoretical foundations, pedagogical and design frameworks, and curricular models for social justice teaching practice. Thoroughly revised and updated, this third addition 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 - www.nnstoy.org

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 work to develop an inclusive community that values respect for social justice and equity. We aspire to instill and embrace all perspectives. Through our efforts, we continue to realize that our differences will always link us in our most common bond - that of our humanity.

Upcoming Events

List of 1 events.

  • Nov
    28

    2018 POCC

    People of Color Conference
    Nashville, Tennessee
    November 28 - December 1
    The NAIS People of Color Conference is the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools' commitment to equity and justice in teaching and learning. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. POCC equips educators at every level, from teachers to trustees, with knowledge, skills, and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in their schools, as well as the attending academic, social-emotional, and workplace performance outcomes for students and adults alike.
View All Events

Equity and Social Justice Consultant

Tracy Garrison-Feinberg is a lifelong educator with over 25 years of classroom and teacher training experience. She was a high school social studies teacher in Austin, Texas in the early 1990s. From 1995 to 2013, she worked as an educational consultant for the international non-profit organization Facing History and Ourselves, specializing in curriculum and lessons around issues of racial and religious diversity. She was the education director for school programs at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County from 2013 to 2017. Currently, she is a 7th grade Humanities teacher at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School (Clinton Hill Middle School) and continues to consult with schools and museums on curricular and equity and social justice issues.

Affinity Groups & Campus Clubs

The term Affinity Group is used as a bringing together of people who have an identifier in common, e.g. race, gender, ethnicity, religion, family status, sexual orientation. Affinity groups are for individuals who identify as members of the group and can speak to the experience of being a member of the group from the “I” perspective. 

Affinity groups serve the following purpose in schools:
  • Provide a place of safety and comfort for its members to be authentic
  • Affirm identity
  • Help to build resilience
  • Empower its members
  • Allow the members to feel a part of a critical mass
  • Help its members to prepare to engage deeply with other groups

Club Descriptions

List of 4 items.

  • Diversity Club

    Mission:
    We the students of Portledge School 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.
  • Portledge World Cultures Club

    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, performances in French or Spanish, World Food Day).
  • PRIDE Club

    Mission:
    To serve the LGBTQ+ community of Portledge School through outreach, service, and education. We want everyone to know that no matter their 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 may not be 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, no matter their personal identity, and will not face discrimination or hate of any kind.

    Goals:
    • Periodic events to support the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+ focused organizations (Human Rights Campaign, Day of Silence, The Trevor Project, etc.)
    • Educate the Portledge community about the issues facing LGBTQ+ people (youth in particular); this includes topics such as: homophobia, pronouns, stereotypes, etc
    • Discussion of current events relating to/impacting the LGBTQ+ community of the United States and the world.
  • 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.

    Major Initiatives 2017-18:
    Movie screening of Soul Surfer for Disability Awareness Month
    Visit to sing for local assisted living residents
For information about other Portledge Student Clubs & Activities, please visit our Club page.

Past Highlights

Diversity Education

Portledge School’s commitment to educating its students for national and global citizenship is aligned with our new Strategic Plan goal of Equity and Social Justice. Portledge implements co-curricular programs of intercultural education equipping students with the knowledge and skills they will need for leadership and life in a diverse and interdependent world. This new strategic plan goal is designed to create an inclusive learning environment that engages teachers, students, families, staff, and administrators in a commitment to equity, social justice, and intercultural awareness.

The Diversity Coordinator is responsible for the development and leadership of intercultural education activities, training, and programs. These interactions help educate and promote awareness, understanding, and appreciation of diversity and inclusion on and off campus, as well as increasing multicultural competence throughout the school community. In addition, Portledge’s vision and mission statements serve as the main platforms that support our students’ cultural communities, support clubs, and issues related to academic achievement, student development, leadership, conflict resolution, community building and collaboration with other students, and student groups on campus.

In the 2016-2017 academic school year, Portledge began the groundwork that would lead the school in their commitment to preparing its students to navigate in a culturally diverse world for a more tolerant and integrated future. The faculty, staff, and administrators participated and collaborated in different professional development opportunities as well as individual and group training that prepared all of us, as educators, to achieve results and equip our students with the knowledge and skills needed before graduating from Portledge. Through this institutional training, Portledge School promotes commitment to intercultural education and schoolwide initiatives for inclusiveness as every department collaborates and contributes to educating the whole child.

Students have participated in a variety of co-curricular programs and activities reflecting Portledge Pillars of kindness, purpose, honor, and respect. The Portledge Pillars serve as the backbone to our academic and co-curricular programs. Intercultural education encourages students to see issues of diversity as part of their everyday life preparing them to acquire skills that will shape them through adulthood. Our efforts continue to be focused on student-centered learning to give each student the opportunity to explore, create, and excel in all aspect of school life.