The Grace Way of promoting a culture of dignity and belonging within our diverse community emerges from bedrock commitments of the school.
Our Commitment to Academic Excellence
The Grace Way begins with our commitment to providing an excellent education for all of our students. We see belonging as an academic necessity. Students who feel a sense of belonging at school will be more likely to embrace challenges in the curriculum, ask questions in discussions, and engage deeply with our community of teachers and students. That’s a core reason we take seriously any obstacle to belonging at Grace, which includes the impact of systemic racism on our community.
In our academic work and in our community building, we strive to celebrate our common humanity while honoring our differences. We believe no student can hope to thrive in our increasingly diverse society without having the awareness, the language, and the cultural tools to navigate it. To take racial literacy as an example, we believe all students must be equipped to discuss matters of racial identity accurately and compassionately. For younger students, this commitment means developing an age-appropriate vocabulary for discussing race without judgment or shame. For older students, this commitment includes developing the capacity to examine historical and cultural sources with an awareness of voices past generations have overlooked and ignored.
Respect for differing viewpoints is a fundamental commitment of our current mission statement, in which the school celebrates "the ability to express one’s own ideas and to appraise those of others." The Grace Way seeks to cultivate the broadest possible curiosity in our students along with habits of effective scholarship like prizing intellectual humility, nuance, and candor.
Our Ethical Commitments
The Grace Way aspires to nurture a culture that opposes intolerance, promotes growth, seeks understanding, and lives up to the values inherent in our name. Our Episcopal identity and mission orient the school toward just and sound learning and to a set of ethical aims higher than individual academic achievement. We seek to help each student develop an active ethical consciousness, and we work to cultivate in our community mutual understanding, humility, respect, and kindness. Where there has been hurt, the Grace Way pursues healing and reconciliation.
Expressing Our Values Clearly
Grace seeks to provide its students with an outstanding education and with the desire to use it to make the world a better place. The Grace Way entails gaining knowledge about challenges the world is facing and gaining the skills necessary to do something about them. This aim is a fundamental component of the school’s “Commitment to Antiracism, Equity, and Belonging,” which the Board approved in 2018, and which appears below.
In the past few years, there has been a proliferation of different definitions and models for pursuing antiracism and equity. We have not always communicated clearly what we mean by those terms. For us at Grace, antiracism means something basic and fundamental: actively opposing racism in its individual and systemic forms. And at Grace equity means responding to inequalities in society by striving to provide equality of opportunity and access at school.
Our Commitment to Antiracism, Equity, and Belonging
Grace Church School seeks to provide its students with an outstanding education and with the desire to use it to make the world a better place. Every facet of our work is enhanced by the diversity and strength of our community. We believe that equity and inclusion are not only hallmarks of a just society, but also virtues essential to sound learning. And so, Grace seeks to recognize and honor the unique gifts of its students, families, faculty, and staff—and the cultures, beliefs, values, and experiences that have shaped them—striving always to cultivate mutual understanding, humility, respect, and kindness.
But inclusion is not enough and equity is an impossibility if we cannot name, acknowledge, and oppose the forces of racism and all forms of bias, hate, and fear that exist in our society and that seek to diminish so many in our midst. Knowing this, we commit ourselves to the work of antiracism and to the cause of justice: that all students may find in Grace a home, may learn from Grace their precious worth, and may hear from Grace a call to serve the common good and the dignity of humanity. -Grace Diversity Statement, 2018