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A Closer Look at "Belonging"

By Tianna Butler, Associate Director of Diversity Planning

Country Day recently added the word “belonging” as an overarching goal to its work around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEIB). You may be  wondering why and how the addition of this word is relevant to the work we do at school to build community. In many ways, “belonging” is not additive, but rather elevating to our work in building a climate and culture of understanding, empathy, and acceptance.

A sense of belonging encapsulates the meaning and day-to-day intention of our Affirmation of Community. It means that students, faculty, and staff at Country Day feel secure and supported because there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity. Creating a sense of belonging is more than a moral and ethical way to behave as a community. Research shows us that students learn best when they are known, seen, and valued for who they are and have a strong sense of security and belonging in the classroom.

Rebecca Patterson Country Day Early Childhood Director

Creating a sense of belonging is a lens through which we view all our practice, not something separate from the high-quality instruction and curriculum we offer. We want kids to feel known and seen at school. We seek to maintain their eager curiosity about difference and build their empathy and understanding of the world.”

Read the full article below from the spring 2022 issue of Perspectives.