Student Life_Diversity

In keeping with our Mission Statement, Connelly School of the Holy Child strives as a Catholic community to welcome students, staff, and families of different faiths and diverse backgrounds and is dedicated to including and respecting all. The school embraces the uniqueness of students, families, and staff who both enrich and promote diversity.

The school values all individuals at Holy Child through teamwork and Christian values. For the good of the community, we believe in the dignity and uniqueness of everyone. Holy Child promotes personal growth and development for all who participate in the life of the school. Our community practices peace and compassion through everyday life by creating a learning climate based on trust and reverence for the dignity and uniqueness of each person.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At Holy Child, our students and families represent a wide spectrum of cultures, identities, and backgrounds, all of which make our community stronger and richer. Our community believes that diversity makes our students, faculty, and community members smarter, wiser, and better able to fulfill our vision of graduating students who go forth to shape a better world.

As we seek to provide the opportunity for a Holy Child education to a diverse group of young women, we are also aware that this purpose can only be accomplished by deep commitment to increasing inclusivity, equity, and diversity on our campus. We acknowledge that learning occurs best in a safe, secure, and stimulating environment.

2020-2021 School Year Plans and Initiatives

General Initiatives

  • Personnel: If you know of a culturally competent person with experience in education that would be interested in working at a school, please send their resumes.
  • Curriculum: Continue to send recommendations in terms of books, lessons, or any information for curriculum. I will make sure to forward to the appropriate person.
  • Admissions: We are always looking for representatives to speak about a Holy Child education at local fairs.
  • Community Engagement: We need speakers in the following areas for throughout the school year, including our 2nd Annual Diversity Day.
    • Ability
    • Age
    • Ethnicity
    • Gender
    • Race
    • Religion
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Socioeconomic Status
    • Body Image
    • Microaggressions and Stereotypes
    • Being an Ally
    • Mental Health
    • Intersectionality
    • Elections
    • Biases
    • Other topics

School Year Plans

August 2020:

  • August 20: Building a Culturally responsive campus
  • August 21st: DEI Leadership lab
  • August 28th: All school Orientation DEI presentation and conversation in homerooms
  • Survey teachers and students

September:

  • First meeting of Diversity Committee and Alliances to create topics for the year
  • Speaker about how to be an anti-racist in Holy Child 9/15 (50 min)
  • Diversity Workshop: Conversations about elections – Historic Overview 9/21 (25 min)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Homeroom 9/29 (20 min)
    • DACA
    • Immigration
  • Diversity Steering Committee: Strategic plan to the board – September 16
  • Faculty and staff book club – White Fragility (session 1 – semester 1)
  • Meeting Teacher Diversity Committee

October:

  • Faculty and staff book club – White Fragility (session 2 – semester 1)
  • Workshops Conversations around elections (10/27) (20 min)
    • Facts
    • Voting rights and responsibilities
    • Respect each other (how)
    • Others
  • Meetings Student Diversity Committee and Affinity groups
  • Meeting Teacher Diversity Committee
  • First meeting Parent Diversity Committee
  • Presentation Parent Diversity Committee BLM

November:

  • Third meeting Diversity Committee and Alliances
  • Second meeting Parent Diversity Committee
  • November 2 to 6: National French Week (11/2) (25 min)
  • National Native American History Month (11/10) (20 min)
  • Diversity Workshop: Conversations after elections (11/16) (25 min)
  • Steering Committee
  • Faculty and staff book club – White Fragility (session 2 – semester 1)
  • Meetings Student Diversity Committee and affinity groups
  • Meeting Teacher Diversity Committee learning community
  • November 1 and 2: Day of the dead
  • Virtual BSDLC November 2020.
  • Virtual MOAS, November 4 – 6.
  • Parent Diversity Committee presentation: Interreligious conversations with leaders of different religious organizations (11/24) (50 min)

December:

  • Faculty and staff book club – White Fragility (session 3 – semester 1)
  • Virtual SDLC, December 2- 5
  • December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe (12/14) (25 min)

January 2021:

  • Faculty and staff book club – White Fragility (session 1 – semester 2)
  • Diversity Half Day Workshops Conversations around Diversity Topics: Microaggressions in the different identifiers (14 workshops) (1/13) (50 min)
    • Speaker
    • BLM – Anti-racist education
    • Interreligious Conversation
    • Elections
    • Privilege
    • Biases
    • Microaggressions
    • Economic Differences
    • LGBTQ
    • Body image
  • Meetings Student Diversity Committee and affinity groups
  • Meeting Teacher Diversity Committee Learning Community
  • Middle School Leadership Diversity Conference, Saint Andrew´s Episcopal, date TBD*

February:

  • Black History Month (2/2) 20 min – 2/22 (25 min)
  • Tuesday, February 16: Mardi Gras (2/16) (20 min)
  • Friday, February 12: Lunar New Year (2/8) (25 min)
  • Faculty and staff book club White Fragility (session 2 – semester 2)
  • Meetings Student Diversity Committee and affinity groups
  • Meeting Teacher Diversity Committee Learning community
  • Upper School Leadership Diversity Conference, Saint Andrew´s Episcopal, TBD

March:

  • GLEAN Conference
  • Faculty and staff book club White Fragility (session 3 – semester 2)
  • Meetings Student Diversity Committee and affinity groups
  • Meeting Teacher Diversity Committee Learning community
  • Friday, March 6: World Prayer Day (3/8) (25 min)
  • Celebrate Women’s History Month (3/2) (20 min), 3/16 (20 min), 3/22 (25 min)

April:

  • National Autism Awareness Month (4/13) (25 min)
  • Meetings Student Diversity Committee
  • Meeting Teacher Diversity Committee
  • International Week (4/19) (25 min)
    • Workshops
    • Homeroom speaker
    • Food fair

May:

  • Asian Pacific Islander History Month (5/3) (25min)

 

We plan to have more in depth conversations during the school year for all to join. The conversations would take place under the following schedule, specific dates to come. Each meeting will be an hour long:

  • First Group - September, October, November
  • Second Group - January, February, March
  • Third Group - April, May, June

2020 Summer Updates

August 14th: We launched the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee are:

The members are:

  • Natalie Ludaway (Olivia '22) - The President of the Parent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
  • Jaden Faunteroy '21 - Representative of the Student Diversity Committee
  • Katia Vargas - Diversity Coordinator
  • Elizabeth Billett (US Counselor), Karen Craig (Social Studies), Ogechi Akalegbere (Christian Service Coordinator), Ida Pablo (Math), Ben Hatton (Social Studies), Alice Mercer (US Counselor) - The Diversity Co-Practitioners Team (Faculty/Staff Members)
  • Odis Braxton - The Board of Trustees Diversity Representative
  • Lesley Brown '04 - Representative of the Alumnae Diversity Action Committee
  • Devika Mahoney-Nair '08 - Representative from the Alumnae Council Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Julie Connelly - Dean of Students
  • Suzi Montes de Oca - Director of Development and Alumnae Relations
  • Shannon Gomez - Head of School

This team will present the Diversity Strategic Plan to the Board of Trustees at their meeting in September 16.

We also launched the Alumnae Council Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The role of the Alumnae Council’s Diversity Committee and  Inclusion Committee is to support the overall mission of the School by encouraging alumnae whose collective experiences, backgrounds, and cultures help us to see problems and challenges through a variety of lenses.  This Committee will help Holy Child embrace the value of inclusiveness and diversity in the community. It will also build purposeful associations with students, faculty, and the culture of the School, heightening the diverse alumnae pride, participation and philanthropic commitment to Holy Child.

Possible initiatives:

  • Help to identify Holy Child alumnae to Spotlight.
  • Assist in recruiting alumnae to participate in Career Day.
  • Identify and invite alumnae, when needed, to speak at events the school presents to different segments of our community.
  • Provide an outlet for student networking opportunities.
  • Identify outreach programs aimed at attracting a diverse group of prospective students.

 

DEI Activities during the Summer

Below is a list of the workshops that had taken place during this summer. It is important to note that they are so committed to the DEI work that they are taking their vacation time to join the following activities:

  • Unpacking These Troubling Times, Conversations June 4 – 10: Student, Alumnae, Parent, and Faculty & Staff Conversations
  • June 15: Caravan BLM
  • Juneteenth (June 19): Delivery of First Booklet
  • June 17: Alumnae Discussions: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Holy Child
  • June 24: Alumnae Town Hall
  • July 2: Shared Town Hall recording with Faculty and Staff
  • July 21: Delivery of the Second Booklet
  • Workshop: Teaching, Loving and Believing in Black Girls, The Wells Collective. 27 members of our Faculty and Staff have attended and will attend the workshops with follow up debriefing and discussion sessions.
  • Training: National Diversity Practitioners Institute, The Glasgow Group. The admin team, the Head of School, and one of our Upper School counselors attended.
  • Training: The Equity Playbook, Equity and Anti-racism 101, Co-creating Anti-Racist Classrooms + Curriculum, Supporting and Growing a Diverse Faculty and Staff, The Pushout: Examining Discipline Policies and Practices for Equity, Planning and Accountability for Administrative Teams to move from words to action, The Wells Collective. Several administrators attended the mentioned workshops.
  • Additional school-sponsored DEI workshops will be individually scheduled for each department
  • In-service week meetings to discuss the June 24th Townhall video, shared on July 2nd with the Faculty and Staff, in August.
  • We are working this year with Marcia Chatelain in training and a DEI assessment

Below is a list of books that we are asking the Faculty and Staff to read for this upcoming school year. We will have conversations about the books in small groups with all the members of our community.

  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele
  • Small Teaching Onlineby Flower Darby and James Lang
  • Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman

Diversity Conversations

Faculty and staff seek opportunities and channels to increase an intellectually challenging and creative program of study that develops love for learning and academic excellence, and that supports diversity and respect among all people. The Holy Child mission is furthered when each teacher educates every student as an individual, recognizing and developing her unique talents, skills, personality and learning strengths.

 

Student Diversity Committee Learning Opportunities 

Student Diversity Advisor: Karen Craig, Upper School History Teacher

  • Leadership Camp, AIMS, August 2019.
  • Baltimore Student Diversity Leadership Conference, AIMS: November 9, 2019.
  • NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference, Seattle, Washington, December 2019
  • Middle School Diversity Conference at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, January 2020
  • GLEAN Conference, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, March 2020

2019-2020 Holy Child Diversity Events and Information

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Presentation by Ms. Kaliq Simms (AIMS) to the Administrators, Faculty and Staff, and Board of Trustees
  • Hispanic Heritage Month:
    • Morning announcements and Tiger Times
    • September 20th, homeroom in the gym, speaker’s conversation by Mr. Gabe Albornoz, Montgomery County Councilmember.
    • Merengue Class by Mr. Tony Thomas, Dance Teacher
  • Additional Homeroom in the Gym Presentations:
    • Diversity and Faith by Ms. Karen Craig, History Teacher
    • Indigenous People’s Day by Mr. Alex Barr, History Teacher
    • November 1 and 2: Día de los Muertos
    • November 1 to 7: National French Week by Madame Marie-Lise Bonneau, French Teacher
    • What is Privilege? by Ms. Karen Craig, History Teacher and Ms. Katia Vargas, Multicultural Diversity Coordinator
    • December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe
    • January 25: Lunar New Year, by Aurora Chen, Chloe McLean, and Halo Lyman
    • Tuesday, February 25: Mardi Gras, by Madame Marie-Lise Bonneau
    • Friday, March 6: World Day of Prayer
  • Diversity Half Day: Promoting Healthy Conversations about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    • Middle School and Upper School Workshops:
      • Socio-Economic Status
      • Ability Differences
      • Building A Bridge
      • Project 1619
      • Body Shaming
      • Microaggressions and Stereotypes
      • Acknowledging Privilege: Be an Ally
      • Religious Tolerance – the Golden Rule
      • Gender Gap in the Workplace
      • Mental Health
      • Your Vote Counts!
    • Click here to see the Instagram story highlight
  • Black History Month: Contributions of the Black Community in Pop Culture
    • Famous Black and African American Door Competition
    • Homeroom in the gym dance performance by Elyse Miller
    • Portrait for the Library – Natural Hair – by Aurora Chen
    • Conversations:
      • Sports – by Jaden Faunteroy, Ms. Karen Craig, Ms. Rachel Karanian
      • Cultural Appropriation – by Lola Hill and Nyla Belton, Ms. Nawil Jama
      • HairKayla Smith, Ms. Madie Bromiley, Ms. Elizabeth Billett
      • Movies and Media Jaden-Christina Baker, Lucy Williams, and Mr. James Carpenter
      • Fashion- Jaylen Butler, Pilar Arrendell, and Mrs. Lindsay Davis
      • Black Christians Amari Bryan Chavis and Mrs. Ogechi Akalegbere
      • MusicJayda Fomengia, Nadia Green, and Ms. Fager
  • Women’s History Month
    • Girl Power. #girlhero sticky notes to display, The Girl Up Club
    • March 12, Homeroom in the Gym. We had a conversation about how women are portrayed in the media and how that affects our self image of beauty. We wrote a love notes to ourselves.
  • National Autism Awareness Month – Homeroom presentation Officer Laurie Reyes of the Autism/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Outreach Unit of Montgomery County Police Department
  • International Week
    • International Trivia Game honoring our faculty and staff from international background
    • Cooking videos and cooking classes with international plates were offered
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander History Month Homeroom in the Gym presentation by: Chloe McLean, Ms. Cynthia Dillard, Mrs. Ida Pablo, Mr. Mark O’Dea, Nyla Choudry, and Benanti Kaur
  • Meetings throughout the year with the Middle School Diversity Club, Teacher Diversity Committee, Books and Bagels Book Club, and Diversity Team of teachers
  • Unpacking These Troubling Times Conversations with students, parents, faculty, and staff June 9 and 10, 2020.

Resources

Diversity Team

  • Katia Vargas - Multicultural Diversity Coordinator
  • Ogechi Akalegbere - Christian Service Coordinator
  • Elizabeth Billett - 9th and 10th Grade Counselor
  • Karen Craig - Upper School History Teacher
  • Alice Mercer - 11th and 12th Grade Counselor
  • Ida Pablo - Middle School and Upper School Math Teacher

Faculty and Staff Diversity Committee

Diversity Coordinator - Katia Vargas

  • Ogechi Akalegbere – Christian Service Coordinator
  • Nichole Batluck – Librarian
  • Elizabeth Billett – 9th and 10th Grade Counselor
  • James Carpenter – Upper School Theater Teacher
  • Andrea Castelluccio – Upper School Spanish Teacher
  • Chip Comstock – Upper School Math Teacher
  • Karen Craig – Upper School History Teacher
  • Lindsay Davis – Director of School Counseling and Middle School Counselor
  • Cynthia Dillard – Music Teacher
  • Nora Fitzpatrick – Assistant to the Head of School
  • Ben Hatton – Upper School History Teacher
  • Nawil Jama – Upper School Math Teacher
  • Adam Lewin – Upper School Social Studies Teacher
  • Kevin Melendez – Technology Help Desk
  • Alice Mercer - 11th and 12th Grade Counselor
  • Ida Pablo – Middle School and Upper School Math Teacher
  • Sonya Payne – Upper School Art Teacher
  • Colleen Wealton-Mailander – Middle School and Upper School Spanish Teacher

Our health, philosophy, world religions, international program, and service-learning curricula embrace the multicultural and economic reality of our community, society, and world by considering and understanding our global interconnectedness and the ensuing need for social justice, constant striving for peace, equity, and service to others.

2019-2020 Faculty and Staff Professional Development Opportunities

  • NDPI (National Practitioners Institute), June 2019
  • Leadership camp, AIMS, August 2019
  • Kaliq Simms presentation to Faculty and Staff on August 5 and August 20, 2019
  • Baltimore Student Diversity Leadership Conference, AIMS: November 9, 2019
  • NAIS People of Color Conference, Seattle, Washington, December 2019
  • Model Organization of American States, Washington DC, November 2019
  • AIMS Talking About Race, November 2019
  • Middle School Diversity Conference at Saint Andrews Episcopal School, January 2020
  • Everyday Activism: Small Actions that Make a Difference in Independent Schools, Holton-Arms, February 2020
  • GLEAN Conference, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, March 2019
  • NAIS Diversity Directors, March 2020
  • NAIS Webinar for Financial Aid and How to Overcome the Economic Crisis Facing Us, March 2020
  • NDPI Diversity Directors, March 2020
  • New Oasis International Student’s Webinar, April 2020
  • SEVIS New Procedures for International Students, April 2020
  • NAIS Covid-19 and How to Help Kids in Need
  • NDPI New Ideas for Diversity Directors Covid-19 Anti-Asian Racism Webinar, April 2020
  • NAIS The Next Wave: Building Resilience, Connection Across Differences, and a Values-Based Approach to Community Health & Well-Being, April 2020
  • NAIS Meetup for International Student Program Directors, April 2020
  • NAIS Meetup for Diversity Practitioners, April 2020
  • Mental Health Matters: Fostering Resilience During COVID-19 School Closures, April 2020
  • AIMS EDIJ Practitioners, May 2020
  • NAIS Diversity Directors, May 2020
  • NDPI Diversity Directors, May 2020
  • NDPI, June 2020
  • Summer Reading Book for Faculty and Staff: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Student Life Staff

Julie Connelly
Dean of Students
301.365.0955 x2239

Jackie McCarthy
Associate Dean of Students
301.365.0955 x2114

Elizabeth Billett
9th and 10th Grade Counselor
301.365.0955 x2116

Alice Mercer
11th and 12th Grade Counselor
301.265.0955 x2228

Lindsay Davis
Director of Counseling and Middle School Counselor
301.365.0955 x2198

Katia Vargas
Multicultural Diversity Coordinator
301.365.0955 x2195

Catherine Albornoz
Campus Minister
301.365.0955 x2223

Ogechi Akalegbere
Christian Service Coordinator
301.365.0955 x2321