Phone: (831) 425-0519

Diversity Statement

Diversity Statement

Diversity & Inclusivity Principles

 

The most important thing is to establish an education through which human beings
learn once more how to live with one another.
” Rudolf Steiner, October 1922

   Waldorf education is inspired by the nonsectarian principle that all human beings have a spiritual nature. An intention of Waldorf Education is to bring students to an understanding of the common humanity of all of people, transcending stereotypes, biases and prejudices relating to race, gender, religion, nationality, and ability. Waldorf education strives for an awakening into freedom of thinking and conscious choice of actions based on wisdom and love. At Santa Cruz Waldorf, we are working to build a school community that reflects the diversity of peoples of the Santa Cruz area as well as the broader global community. We honor the diversity in individuals and groups that have historically had different social experiences which give rise to diverse perspectives. We recognize the school is located on Amah Mutsun Tribal Band territory and we honor their ancient and continued stewardship of the land. As we move toward the future, we recognize that we carry the gifts and the hurts of the past.

A guiding principle of the Santa Cruz Waldorf School is the creation and maintenance of a school culture that is welcoming and inclusive to families and individuals from all religious traditions. We project a universal spirituality of the human being and nature in all aspects of SCWS life. As the curriculum progresses through the grades, classroom decoration will reflect the curriculum specific to that grade which will include certain specific regions of the world and their historic religions. All school celebrations and festivals will commemorate the universal nature of spirit in the human being and the world. We will do all we can to overcome the historic perception of Waldorf schools as representing any particular religion and create a culture of universal spiritual celebration.

Since its inception in 1919, Waldorf Education has been constantly evolving. It is based on the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, though Anthroposophy is not taught to the students. By the end of 8th grade, each student will have experienced a panorama of major world religions within the curriculum. SCWS education provides students constant opportunity to examine preconceptions and explore multiple perspectives and ways of thinking. We give students a rich experience of varied religious traditions, global cultures and historical periods, including in-class lessons, classroom decoration, recommended and required readings and individual grade celebrations of seasonal festivals. Our creative all-school celebrations will have a universal quality that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds.

We are dedicated to creating an inclusive community of students, families, teachers and staff that respects and affirms each of its members, honoring their diversity of culture, ethnicity, race, religion, family structure, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical abilities, and unique learning styles. We promote socioeconomic diversity through our approach to keeping tuition affordable and providing tuition adjustment to the best of our ability.

Our students learn about and celebrate many of the world’s great spiritual traditions and hear stories about heroes and courageous people from around the world. Whether it is studying California indigenous people, hearing stories from Africa, China, India, Russia, and South America, or studying the heroes of recent history such as Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Wangari Maathai, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Harvey Milk and Greta Thunberg—the curriculum provides our students and families with opportunities to learn about and appreciate contributions of people from all cultures and varieties of people.

Attention to diversity and inclusion is not only experienced in terms of curriculum content, but also in terms of teaching methods. Teachers integrate different learning styles into lesson plans, are sensitive to the range of abilities in each class. Activity groups always integrate genders, and assumptions are not made about gender identity. Use of language is approached with sensitivity and respect for the personal beliefs of students and families.

We recognize that exclusion and antisocial behavior are detrimental to the health and growth of our school community, and for the children and adults who are a part of it, and therefore we take seriously the activity of creating and rebuilding connection. We employ the practices of Non-Violent Communication and Restorative Justice (see our SCWS Restorative Practices Manual), among other tools, to create safe classrooms, to work with bias and discrimination among both students and adults, and to create resolution to social challenges and hurts.

Though inclusivity and diversity are central to the health and viability of our school, we recognize that mistakes will happen. We promise to carefully and honestly self-reflect, and with hope and enthusiasm always strive to learn from our errors and to heal any hurts.

We realize that everyone has biases, unconscious and implicit, of which we are individually unaware, and that traditions exist, some of which are based on collective biases which over time have created structures of power and non-inclusivity. These Diversity and Inclusivity Principles articulate our intentions for self and community development. These Principles are firmly founded on the idea that through individuals engaging in conversation on these issues we can raise collective awareness and begin to create an inclusive culture and an environment where everyone feels safe. When we meet each other with genuine curiosity we change the world. The success of these Principles rests on individuals taking responsibility for speaking up when hurts are experienced, and on individuals listening to those who feel hurt with an open mind and an attitude of curiosity. For these Principles to truly blossom, they have to be alive in all aspects of SCWS life, from the classroom to the Board of Trustees, from the Parent community to the Faculty, and the Committee life of the school.

The Santa Cruz Waldorf School values and relies upon the clear and open communicating and working together between teachers, board members and parents. We strive to create and maintain a community of adults and children who share the core values of respect, responsibility, equality and equity, and listening to each other to resolve challenges. Our community members inspire, nurture and challenge one another.

May the Spirit of the World
Be unveiled to those who are seeking,
In the healing Light shining by which we can see,
In the singing of the choir of Peace, resounding in human hearts,
And in Love streaming into human deeds.

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Contact

Email: enrollment@santacruzwaldorf.org
Phone: (831) 824-2161
Address: 2190 Empire Grade
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Location: Next to UCSC,
10 minutes from downtown
Aftercare: After 1PM, Aftercare can be reached at (831) 425-0346
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