Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The HF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force has been established to bring together administrators, teachers, parents, community members, and alumni. It is important that we work together to develop strategies and best practices to ensure all stakeholders will be treated respectfully, fairly, equitably, and with dignity and inclusiveness.
Together, our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity has the potential to promote a positive change. We will come together and have bold conversations that will bring systemic change to create a fully supportive environment for our students and our community.
The Harborfields Board of Education is committed to enhancing our Harborfields culture of appreciation of the diversity of all students through analysis and alignment of curriculum and instruction, programs, recruiting and hiring practices, and implicit anti-bias training.
Initiatives and Programs in our Schools
Harborfields offers a variety of programs and events to support diversity in our schools. Below are some of the programs that are offered. For further information on these programs, please visit the each of the school’s webpage:
- Empathy Mural:
A visual reminder which reflects characters from children's books which explore topics such as empathy, diversity, and acceptance
- Piloting of the Planting Seeds Program:
A Social Emotional program for all children aimed at developing perspective-taking, acceptance, empathy, compassion, leadership, and emotional regulation skills
- Start with "hello" program (Sandy Hook Project):
Signs with hello displayed around the school in different languages. An assembly is held to remind students to be inclusive and Start with Hello. Within this program, students are encouraged to develop new friendships and be inclusive of all.
- Mindfulness for teachers:
The six week meditation group for staff aimed to begin a meditation practice which increases self-awareness and emotional regulation. We also discussed relevant social-emotional topics including acceptance almost every day
We compiled two new Book Lists which were presented at our Bagels and Books program for staff that includes many topics related to acceptance, empathy, and compassion and are now displayed on our library shelves. Creation of section in the library to include books on celebrating and accepting differences
- Buddy Bench (on playground):
When students are looking for someone to play with, they sit on the buddy bench. When other kids see someone on the bench, they then know to go over and invite them to play. Our Girl Scout troops donated two buddy benches (one for each playground).
- Peaceful School Bus Program:
A school wide program that encourages students to treat one another as members of a community when on their bus. Students meet with their respective buses three times a year. Each meeting is run by members of our building team (teachers, TAs, support staff, administrators, etc.). The older students are encouraged to look out for the younger students and all students are encouraged to treat one another with respect and make sure that they offer a seat to anyone in need.
- Beautiful Me:
This is a program that is offered by the Hance Foundation to promote self-esteem and a sense of ‘self-worth’ for girls/women. In the elementary building, this program is run for our grade 5 girls. They meet as a group 3 times over a 3 to 4 week period. We have multiple teachers who were trained within the program in order to run the sessions with our students. Our students are encouraged to learn that they are beautiful inside and out, no matter what differences they all may have from one another. With this, they are encouraged to except themselves “as they are” and be proud of who they are. They are also encouraged to except others for who they are as well. This program is designed for girls only. We have implemented it over the past three years. We are currently looking for a similar program to offer our fifth grade boys too. We are hopeful that we will be able to have something for both the fifth grade girls and boys next year.
- Our Character Education Program:
Teachers and staff reinforce our PRIDE character traits throughout their classrooms. (Patient, Respectful, Having Integrity, Being Dependable, Having Empathy). These traits are reinforced within our Peaceful School Bus program as well.
- No Place for Hate School:
The Anti-Deformation League (ADL) provides this program to schools. The focus is on creating safe schools where all students are included and treated with respect. Within our NPFH committee, we have teachers, administrators, TAs, parents, and students as members. The committee meets multiple times throughout the year in order to develop building wide projects that support and implement the No Place for Hate message.
- Secondary level clubs/events: Multicultural Club, GSA, Global Justice Club, Multicultural celebration dinner, etc.
- Black History Month Celebrations and research projects into famous African Americans
- ENL field trip: ENL students and AP Spanish students get together and share experiences