Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The HF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force was established in 2019 to bring together administrators, teachers, parents, community members, and alumni. Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the work of the Task Force was shifted to the action steps associated with the Harborfields Strategic Plan. As indicated in the Strategic Plan, it is important that we work together, as One Harborfields Family, to develop strategies and best practices to ensure all stakeholders will be treated respectfully, fairly, equitably, and with dignity and inclusiveness.
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. Together, our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity has the potential to promote a positive change.
Initiatives and Programs in our Schools
Harborfields offers a variety of programs and events to support diversity, equity, and inclusivity 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:
- District-wide ENL Celebration:
This annual event brings together students and staff from across the district to celebrate the accomplishments of our English Language Learners. Click here to view the 2021 Harborfields ENL Celebration.
- Walk A Mile In Each Other’s Views:
On Thursday, April 22nd at 7:00 p.m., the District’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force hosted its first community engagement initiative: “*Walk
A Mile in Each Other’s Views*.” The essential focus of this event was to bring together the community to learn by sharing and listening to the perspective and experiences of fellow community members. This program was facilitated by renowned speaker and educator, Dr. Michele Hancock.
- DEI Booklists:
Curating inclusive collections and making decisions on what books to include in reading lists must be taken into consideration in our work as educators. The decisions we make about which texts to include in our classroom communities serve the purpose of supporting all students.
High School DEI Booklist
Oldfield Middle School DEI Booklist
Thomas J. Lahey DEI Booklist
Washington Drive DEI Booklist
- District-wide Black History Month Celebration:
This annual event brings together students and staff from across the district to celebrate Black History Month. Click here to view the 2021 Harborfields Black History Month Celebration.
- 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 accept themselves “as they are” and be proud of who they are. They are also encouraged to accept others for who they are as well.
- 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.