The American International School of Cape Town (AISCT) is a diverse learning community providing students the opportunity and confidence to positively impact the world. Our focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) has strengthened in recent years, and our Head of School, Dr. Daniel Jubert, recently reflected on the work being done.
Diversity in International Schools
International schools often have diverse communities because families and students join the school from all over the world. However, it is not enough to simply state that a high number of different nationalities makes for a diverse, inclusive, and just school community.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) should be reflected in all aspects of school life, including curriculum and learning, admissions, human resources, sports and ASAs, support for students, families, and staff, and outreach to the greater community.
AISCT has a DEIJ committee which continues to grow in size and now has sub-committees working on specific projects. The committee includes faculty and staff from all divisions, portraying diversity. One recent change was the addition of “Justice” to the DEI(J) mix.
“Justice is about fairness, balance, and dismantling barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals and communities can live a full and dignified life. Justice requires that we acknowledge how the history of our communities, institutions, and society has shaped the present and that we use this understanding to build a better future. It clearly belongs as part of the greater conversation,” added Dr. Jubert.
Focus on the Whole Community
There has also been a number of tangible changes in and around campus. A team of staff members has worked to help increase the feeling of belongingness among the AISCT maintenance, custodian, office, IT, learning assistants and interns, teachers, and administrative staff by structuring a number of engaging and purposefully planned activities. These activities have been highly successful in breaking down any barriers there may have been.
Other action items have revolved around the inclusion of all staff for house competitions, additional student voice, feedback, and presentations on DEIJ topics, such as the student-led presentation on gender representation and identification. There has also been more focus in the school newsletter and a commitment to further integrate African arts and culture within the curriculum. There is also continued focus on getting more parent and student involvement within the DEIJ journey as they play a fundamental role in our AISCT community.
“The work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) is the responsibility of every member of our community and is critical for all of us to participate in a complex and interconnected society. I am fully invested to ensure AISCT both continues this important journey and continues to evolve as we move forward,” shared Dr Jubert.
To learn more about DEIJ at AISCT, visit the DEIJ webpage which includes links to our philosophy, policies, action plan, and resources. There is also a spot to leave comments and/or suggestions as we move forward on this journey.