Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Yorktown
In keeping with our motto of ‘Equity, Excellence, Empowerment’, Yorktown believes in treating everyone with dignity and respect by valuing diversity, individual perspectives, and the uniqueness of every individual. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive, safe and anti-racist school community where both staff and students feel a strong sense of belonging and connectedness. As part of this commitment, we are dedicated to ensuring that every student receives the social-emotional and academic support they need to achieve at high levels. Yorktown’s Equity Team, composed of students, teachers/counselors, administrators, parents, guardians and caregivers, works to actively identify bias, inequity and discrimination at YHS and advocates for changes to ensure that each member of our school community feels valued, respected and empowered. Our affinity groups offer students the opportunity to build community and provide supportive, brave spaces for members and allies to speak up and share their perspectives. Among these groups are:
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Club
- Black Student Union
- Latinas Leading Tomorrow
- Minority Men United
- Muslim Student Association
- Native American Student Union
- Sister Circle
Inclusive teaching informs our pedagogical approach at YHS. This encompasses inclusive practices, such as ensuring that materials are accessible to all students, inclusive resources created by (and focusing on) people from marginalized identities, and creating classroom climates that foster and support constructive engagement. There are several clubs at YHS that promote inclusivity within the school community. Best Buddies helps foster one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. United Sound is a music education club dedicated to providing musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship. Students with and without disabilities can compete in the Special Olympics, an inclusive athletic program. The mission of the YHS Gender-Sexuality Alliance is to create a world of tolerance for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. In addition to many school groups that support and celebrate the rich diversity of our student body, YHS is currently in its 4th year of implementing the No Place for Hate program for school climate improvement through anti-bias and bullying prevention education.
The YHS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Coordinator supports historically marginalized and underserved students, provides professional development and coaching to staff, advises affinity groups, and organizes college tours, among other duties. First generation college bound juniors can access support for the college application process through the YHS College Bound program. YHS is a partner of the George Mason University Early Identification Program which provides year-round academic enrichment, personal and social development, civic engagement, and leadership training opportunities for middle and high school college-bound first-generation students.
Teachers are the backbone of DEI efforts at Yorktown and work collaboratively with their CLT (collaborative learning team) to implement culturally responsive and equitable teaching practices in their classrooms. This effort extends to reformed grading practices following the Grading for Equity framework. Students and families are also integral partners in creating a positive, supportive school community. Through this partnership, we can achieve the vision of Arlington Public Schools to be an inclusive community that empowers all students to foster their dreams, explore their possibilities, and create their futures.