Programs and Strategic Plan
Creating a diverse and inclusive community.
The academic program includes courses that explore literature, languages, and histories from around the world and frequently take a global perspective. Specifically, the required Freshman Seminar on Identity explores the relationship between identity and community.
As part of their professional development, many Menlo faculty members attend and present at local and national workshops and conferences on diversity and inclusion, and the School hosts speakers at faculty in-service workshops.
In addition to many other conferences they attend, students and faculty attend and present at the yearly People of Color Conference and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference run by the National Association of Independent Schools. There, participants understand their roles in advancing their schools’ equity and justice around racial and ethnic identity, and students work with trained adult and peer facilitators to develop effective cross-cultural communication skills and effective strategies for social justice. Faculty also present on diversity topics at the annual California Association of Independent Schools conference.
Menlo hosts many events and speakers for students, faculty, and parents on diversity and global issues. Students and faculty also organize on-campus events that celebrate diverse cultures, such as Hispanic Heritage Month events, the biannual International Fair, and performances by groups from around the world.
2023-2024 EDIB Strategic Priorities
Menlo School is now in year five of its second five-year equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) strategic plan. We fundamentally believe that EDIB is the cornerstone of a well-rounded education and is essential to educational excellence.
Ensure Access and Belonging for All
Initiative 1: Implement the School’s new climate and culture survey to all stakeholders. This survey was created in 2022-2023 with the goal of gathering more consistent and reliable data that would directly inform the School’s EDIB strategic planning efforts.
- Initiative 2: Design, plan, and implement, a pilot mentorship program for incoming Knights Academy and Kickstart students that will enhance their sense of belonging, which contributes to their potential to develop confidence and agency needed to thrive.
Recruit and Retain a Diverse Professional Community
The School will successfully recruit and retain highly qualified educators, coaches, and staff representing diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.
Initiative 1: Develop and implement a fall, winter, and spring anti-bias and anti-discrimination resume review training modules. The training will be offered to senior administrators and other hiring managers (i.e. coaches) as a best practice to better understand hiring bias as well as help the School achieve its recruitment goals and successfully hire desired candidates.
Initiative 2: Implement annual “stay” interviews as a best practice, specifically for all faculty of color, to gain an understanding of the employee experience at Menlo and report back to hiring managers as a way to process, understand, and inform hiring decisions and strategies.
- Initiative 3: Successfully onboard the new Director of EDIB, Director of Student Belonging, and Assistant Director of Family Support in the service of long-term retention and the development of a high-functioning EDIB Team. Identify coaching resources to ensure a smooth leadership transition, prioritizing culturally sensitive practices and customized support systems.
Deliver Impactful Learning for All
The School will offer equity-centered learning opportunities for all employees and parents, introducing best practices that will become part of daily life and encouraging collaborative interaction with colleagues and families.
Initiative 1: Design, plan, and pilot a new academic readiness and college access program for first-generation college-bound students and their families in partnership with college counseling.
Initiative 2: Revisit new strategies that deepen the Standards of Excellence, in collaboration with the Middle and Upper School Directors and Dean of Teaching and Learning, with an explicit focus on classroom climate, belonging, identify-affirming, and neurological diversity best practices.
Initiative 3: The School will continue to work with the Dean of Teaching and Learning to develop and implement professional development modules for faculty that specifically address belonging, identity, and culturally responsive teaching.
- Initiative 4: Develop a companion program to Kick Start to address unequal academic preparation for students entering the Upper School.
Implement Strong, Clear, and Intersectional Family Support Programs Across the School
The School will curate and deliver impactful services to enhance and inform the parent experience.
Initiative 1: Establish a Parent Engagement Program to provide a hub for parent learning, expand parent engagement (with a special focus on Menlo Parent Groups and College Counseling), and bring resources to Menlo families.
Initiative 2: The Family Support Program will refine the recently adopted communications platform to increase outreach and engagement among all families. The development and upkeep of key systems and infrastructure will increase access, improve communication, and ensure efficient program delivery. Translation and interpretation services will be fine-tuned in partnership with the technology and communications departments and key faculty.
- Initiative 3: Design, plan, and implement a parent volunteer training and onboarding process for all parent volunteer opportunities, focused on fostering a sense of belonging for Menlo families.