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Creating an Equitable Environment

A group of diverse WRUS students discussing socially constructed identities along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay near Centreville, Maryland

Discussing the "Big 8" socially constructed identities (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, religion/spirituality, nationality, and socioeconomic status) can make adults as well as children uncomfortable. We lean into that discomfort at Wye River Upper School because we know that difficult conversations stretch our learning. As educators, we know that helping students think critically about the "Big 8" is imperative for their success in the future. We are committed to ensuring that students are well-versed in personal identifiers and giving them tools and knowledge to analyze social problems. Both of these are foundational to our educational program. We strategically teach students how to think, not what to think.

Our goal is to generate conversations about these identities that are well structured and based on developmental research. In particular, we help our students understand the connections and differences between equality (everyone gets the same thing) and equity (everyone gets what they need) because we understand that many of our students are very concrete learners and think in terms of fairness. We want them to realize where they stand in society, and we want them to understand the privilege and struggles of others in the community.

We aim to cultivate a supportive and inclusive community that reflects our school's diversity, values, goals, and mission. We strive daily to help our students become global citizens by coming to terms with privilege on all levels.

To learn more about how we are creating an equitable environment, please contact Tracie Spence, Director of Enrollment Management and Communications, at 443.262.8292.



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