Institutional Initiatives

Being Responsive to  Community Feedback: School-Wide Assessment and Metrics
The Hockaday 360 research project we undertook last year provided us with detailed comments and feedback about student and Alumnae experiences at Hockaday and their perceptions of our school culture. In addition, community members submitted many personal stories. We developed a summary of this feedback which we shared with faculty and staff last fall to help inform their practices.  
This academic year, Hockaday will continue its work in the National Association of Independent Schools’ Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) survey. The data from this survey will provide us with deeper insight and understanding of our climate of inclusion, and in concert with the Hockaday 360 data, will help to inform and enhance our strategic equity goals. This is an important component of being an organization that is self-reflective and committed to continuous improvement.

Program Inventory
We have developed a framework for a school-wide inventory of our existing efforts that support diversity, equity, and inclusion and have begun to assemble a preliminary list. Faculty and staff will be asked to contribute to this inventory on an annual basis to make sure we are tracking these efforts over time.

Curricular Review
Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs Dr. Laura Leathers and Director of Inclusion and Community Tresa Wilson have investigated best practices for curricular review, and we expect our formal process will continue over the course of the 2021-22 Academic Year. In the meantime, preliminary changes have been made to specific course content where we received significant community feedback. 

Alumnae Engagement
Director of Alumnae Relations Amy Spence ’87, Alumnae President Isabell Novakov Higginbotham ’98, and other members of Hockaday Alumnae Association Board of Directors met with Affinity and Special Interest Group Coordinators and alumnae who advocated work in this area and were interested in being involved in new initiatives. They launched a pilot program called Black Daisy Circles, which presents an opportunity to build and strengthen connections among Black Alumnae of The Hockaday School through peer-to-peer discussions and networking. In order to encourage sustained engagement of Black Alumnae, Black Daisy Circles support personal and professional growth of Black Alumnae through small groups with shared interests. Marlena Reese McKnight ’99 serves as the coordinator. The Alumnae page and Resource Board on Hockaday’s website features information about each individual Alumnae Affinity and Special Interest Group. 
Alumnae in the Class of 1977 made contributions to their Class of 1977 Endowment Fund, which supports Hockaday’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs and initiatives. Dr. Ann Bateson ’63 established The Carol Ann Bateson Endowed Financial Aid Fund, which will provide financial aid to Black students and other students of color who qualify. 
The 2020-2021 Alumnae Association Board of Directors participated in a training session led by Dr. Howard Stevenson to help Alumnae leaders establish a common language and framework around cultural competency and racial literacy.

Faculty and Staff Recruitment
The Board of Trustees and the Leadership Team are strongly committed to enhancing the diversity of our School leadership, faculty, staff, and student body. As outlined in our strategic plan, The Hockaday Difference, we are committed to sustaining a culture of genuine inclusion throughout our entire community, and one important component of this is ensuring we have a diverse student body and workforce. While we have more work to do, we have made great progress over the past several years to attract individuals with diverse backgrounds who bring their talents and enriching perspectives to our campus. 

Admissions Recruitment
Tiffany Nelson, Director of Admission and Enrollment Management, is working with her team to develop a strategic enrollment management plan that enhances our efforts to enroll a diverse student body. Additionally, the office works to ensure there is implicit bias education and training during the Admission process for all committee members involved in the applicant review process. Tiffany has also convened an advisory group and will have more information to share as the plan develops. 

Goal Setting
As was the case last year, every administrator, faculty, and staff member has been asked to establish one or more concrete goals for this year that advance our equity and inclusion work. They will receive professional development on how to set effective goals and will do more work throughout the school year. 

DEI Resource Guides
In addition to a community-wide resource list, divisional teams have developed age-appropriate resource lists (books, readings, articles, videos, etc.) for parents and students. 

Lower School Programming
Head of Lower School Randal Rhodus ’97 and Director of Inclusion and Community Tresa Wilson continue to meet with potential partners for developmentally appropriate curriculum and programming related to racial literacy and anti-bias. We will have more to share after we have fully vetted these external groups. 

Professional Development for Faculty and Staff
During the August in-service, new faculty and staff participated in a workshop with Dr. Howard Stevenson to establish a common language and framework around cultural competency and racial literacy. We will continue to build on this foundation throughout the year with our faculty and staff. 

Character and Courtesy Education Series
The Character and Courtesy Education Series is a school-wide commitment based upon the Four Cornerstones that is designed to meet the needs of the student body at age-appropriate levels with a focus on identity development and cultural competence. The theme for the 2021-2022 Academic Year is “developing one's ability to resolve conflict across differences and hold courageous conversations throughout our daily interactions both inside and outside of the school community.”

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