Post #1: What We’ve Learned. Celebrating Ten Years.

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Post #1

If you are a family of color thinking about, or already enrolled in independent schools, this post is for you! Attending an independent school can have huge returns on education, networks, extraordinary experiences, and skills that can have a positive effect on the future of families and communities.

During the past decade, RIISE has learned that although there is diversity among families of color, many of us experience similar challenges navigating independent schools. The challenges are more systemic than they are individual and despite the virtues, bias does exist in elite educational spaces. We must be present if we want to be seen, heard and advance the issues. We want what we’ve learned to inspire more families of color to apply and fully experience independent schools if they pay $1,000 or $51,000 a year to attend.

As my kids moved from one division to the next, I remember a mom sharing how important it was to introduce myself, my thoughts about my children, and my expectations for them to each teacher, at the same time. With some scheduling assistance from the dean’s office, I was able to pull off thoughtfully advocating for my kids with teachers who, regardless of intention, may have implicit biases that can affect my child of color in the classroom.

Consider:
1. Be present ahead of time to apply to independent schools.
2. Being present is crucial to the overall success of our kids.
3. Being present means showing up as often as possible, building relationships, being curious and uncomfortable.
4. Like our kids, we should ask really good questions, put in the time, and take risks.
5. Sharing our diverse perspectives brings value to our schools and helps our kids be ready and resilient.

Look out for Post #2 tomorrow, before midnight!

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