Human Resources |
Article by Carol Lerner, The Philadelphia School
From the September/October 2020 Net Assets magazine
During the 2015-16 school year, the Philadelphia School (TPS) began conversations about the experience of TPS students with different gender identities. The Board Diversity Committee made a point to discuss the issue when it met over the summer of 2016, and subsequently assigned the director of diversity, equity and inclusion and a member of the committee to lead this work. These leaders conducted research to understand gender inclusivity.
Then in the fall of 2016, TPS partnered with the Attic Youth Center, a local organization whose mission is to create opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and to promote the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. The Attic staff met with parents, faculty and middle school students.
At the same time, a Gender Inclusivity subcommittee formed, with leadership from the director of DEI, some members of the Board Diversity committee and a few faculty members. The subcommittee worked with the Attic on developing policies and best practices. The group collected samples of gender inclusivity policies from other schools, including area public schools. The School District of Philadelphia’s policy included many of the elements we at TPS wanted to incorporate into our own statement.
The Gender Inclusivity subcommittee identified six areas of focus:
During the winter and spring of 2017, the Gender Inclusivity committee worked with school administration to ensure the following items were in place by fall 2017:
The Gender Inclusivity committee met several times to draft and finalize a gender diversity policy. The Director of DEI worked with the rest of the administration to implement the facility and operational considerations for providing gender-neutral bathrooms, communication plans and professional development opportunities. These implementations were as follows:
Find the Philadelphia School’s gender diversity policy in the NBOA Library.
TPS recognizes that the gender identity policy is a dynamic and living document that will continue to evolve and change to support all members of our school community.
Download a PDF of this article.
Beyond Bathroom Bills: More Schools Go Gender-Neutral on Restrooms, Policies (web-only, April 2017)
Preparing for Transgender Students and Faculty (web-only, May 2018)
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