A Letter from Head of School Susanna A. Jones
Dear Holton Community,
The Holton-Arms faculty and staff have been reflecting on the personal and professional role we have in either perpetuating or breaking down systemic racial injustice in our own community. We are committed to standing by our students and alumnae and holding ourselves accountable. To this end, I’m pleased to share with you the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI & B) Roadmap for the 2020-2021 school year. The DEI & B Roadmap is an articulation of our action steps for the year toward each of the priorities we’ve outlined in our Diversity Mission Statement and our commitment to anti-racist education.
I want to take a moment to elaborate on why we thought it was important to add the notion of “Belonging” to how we talk about the important DEI work we’ve been doing. As you’ve heard me say before, our founder Mrs. Holton hoped to create a school that would feel like a home for all students. This kind of belonging stems from knowing that you are seen, heard, and valued by your community, that you are an integral part of its fabric now and in the future. We know that we have not always lived up to this vision for all of our students. What we also know is that each one of our students deserves to see themselves reflected in the Holton experience—to feel that she belongs.
Through our 2020-2021 DEI & B Roadmap, we are committed to creating a sense of deep belonging for all of our students in the classrooms and hallways, on the fields and stages, and throughout the curriculum. The Roadmap is a collective response to our commitment to the Diversity Mission Statement and our understanding that diversity is a fact, equity is a choice, inclusion is an action, and belonging is the outcome of a school that strives for excellence and prepares students to take action for positive change.
In response to Holton’s 2015 AIMS Self-Study and Strategic Goals, our community committed to centering and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Since that time, this focus has driven so much of our work internally, yet we recognize that we can and must do better—both in terms of the work itself, and communicating with our community about all that we are doing.
This year, we are committed to being more proactive about sharing our progress toward this mission and the Roadmap itself. Over the next few weeks, community members will be receiving the latest issue of Doorways magazine (also available online), which we hope sheds light on some of the context in which the Roadmap is rooted, including through first-hand accounts of why this work is so critical for our students and alumnae and what the work looks like at the curricular level. Additionally, as we approach milestones in the Roadmap, I will share those with our community via email and other forums.
If you are interested in learning more about the Roadmap, please watch your inbox for information about upcoming town hall gatherings, workshops, and other events. (Emails recently went out to alumnae and parents regarding several such sessions; if you did not receive them, please let us know.)
Thank you in advance for your partnership in this important work. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Holton are deeply rooted in our mission and vision and now, more than ever, are mission-critical for our students to thrive both at School and in the world beyond our walls.
Susanna A. Jones
Head of School