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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

 

 

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Over the past 10 years, diversity in Downingtown Area School District has more than doubled.

 


Recognizing that a truly inclusive environment is vital to the wellness and success of all students, teachers and staff, DASD has worked to better serve our diverse population by focusing on improving equity and inclusion, district-wide. To be completely inclusive, all individuals within the district must feel safe to express ideas, dreams and dialogues. There must be equal access to and opportunity for everyone to contribute fully. Hate, disrespect, intimidation and intolerance have no place in our district or in our community.

Creating a positive, inclusive and diversity-driven district takes time, patience and skill. In DASD, teachers, staff and students work together to create an environment where individuals can successfully pursue their academic goals and dreams without the interference of negative experiences caused by microaggressions and bigotry.

The administration, teachers and staff play a key role in creating and modeling an inclusive environment. All DASD employees must foster a sustained and long-term commitment to change and progress that recognizes diversity and multiculturalism. We must acknowledge that many individuals have complex identities in which their experiences have been based on gender, race, color, creed, sexual orientation and ability and we must respect these differences.

Mission

Our mission is to ensure DASD provides a culture of inclusivity and empathy, fostering educational equity that can grow, flourish and reach beyond the DASD community. Best-practice diversity and inclusion programs recognize mental health and well-being as a diversity issue.





 

Core Values

In order to foster a positive environment, the Downingtown Area School District will not tolerate bigotry, bullying, gender-inequities, homophobia, misogyny, racism, transphobia or xenophobia (fear/hatred toward people from foreign countries). Hate has no place in the district or in our community. We encourage upstanding citizens to support our “Good Neighbor” community. Student Agency  - Students are empowered, through voice and choice, to take ownership of their learning with guidance, support and accountability.

Vision

Downingtown Area School District will ensure a culture of inclusivity and educational equity. We will strive to take an empathetic approach with our district while creating an environment and culture that investigates core issues and recognizes all cultures and backgrounds.





 

 

 

Beaver Creek BLM Posters

Student Wellness

Students spend a significant portion of their time in school making choices related to academics and personal interactions. Positive mental and emotional well-being plays a significant role in supporting student learning, academic success and overall health and wellness. Schools that are inclusive and foster the whole child are better able to meet the wellness and academic needs of all students. Effective school-wide strategies that align wellness, inclusion, diversity and equity empower all students to meet their individual and unique goals.

Staff Wellness

Promoting overall wellness and addressing diversity, equity and inclusion is critical to creating an inclusive school culture that supports the overall well-being of staff. School-level equity teams focused on strategies to foster inclusive working environments support positive mental and emotional well-being; promoting positive school climate, and coping strategies to address the everyday challenges both in the classroom and in the community.

Shelda Perry and Deborah Kearney
East Ward students on swing

Community Wellness

School communities committed to meeting the academic and wellness needs of their students must recognize and design opportunities where positive mental health and emotional well-being can be fully integrated with diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Doing so raises awareness, promotes positive attitudes and encourages behaviors essential for student success, both in and outside of school. A diverse and inclusive learning environment promotes the well-being of the entire school community. 

Land Acknowledgement

Chester County is the ancestral home of the Lenape people, who occupied this land for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. As more and more European settlers began encroaching on their land, the Lenape people were systematically, and in many cases, forcefully removed. Eventually, most were driven as far west as Oklahoma, where they merged with the Cherokee Nation. Learn more about the Lenape people at Lenape-nation.org. We are privileged to live and work on the land we now occupy and wish to acknowledge the Lenape people and their land.