Diversity and Inclusion
A Common Humanity, an Inclusive Community
Rooted in the hallmarks of our founding order, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, The Summit embraces the gift of diversity and seeks to develop an inclusive community where each individual’s unique attributes are respected and used to strengthen and enhance the larger community in which we live, work, pray and celebrate.
Mindful that we are all God’s children, The Summit welcomes to our community people of diverse cultures, ethnicities, races, socio‐economic circumstances, genders, ages, sexual orientations and faith traditions. We are a multicultural community that enjoys all the blessings and benefits of diversity with a student body representing a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnic cultures, religious affiliations and nationalities.
About 40 percent of our student body is non-Catholic. Ethnic minorities comprise about 26 percent of our student population. We have attracted first- and second-generation families from 22 countries into our multinational community. Each year, more than 130 new students enroll from other private, public and international schools. To ensure that The Summit’s excellent educational opportunities are available to all, financial aid is available to qualified families whose children are in grades seven through 12.
Programs to Prepare for the World
We acknowledge representation is only one indicator of a diverse community. The Summit’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion starts with professional development for our faculty and staff. In 2016, The Summit joined The National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity), the largest peer-led professional development program in the country. SEED creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity. Faculty and staff gather on a monthly basis to learn from each other and scholarly sources about topics such as religion, race, oppression, privilege and mental health. In addition to participating in SEED, every year The Summit attends the ISACS Diversity Summit and NAIS’s The People of Color Conference.
To prepare our students for the diverse world they inhabit, we develop educational programs which expand our knowledge and understanding of the diversity in our global community and which celebrate the richness of that heritage. Both our Middle and Upper School have student Diversity & Inclusion clubs that meet regularly to plan diversity programming and assemblies for the student body. Examples of such programs in our four divisions -- Montessori (M), Lower School (LS), Middle School (MS) and Upper School (LS) have included:
• Adaptive Sports: goal ball presentation, wheelchair basketball
• Acculturation vs. Assimilation Assembly (MS)
• Chinese Acrobats (M, LS, MS)
• Cincinnati: A City of Immigrants, play (MS)
• Circles of Diversity, Conference (MS, US)
• Cultural Celebration of Hair (M, LS)
• Cultural Celebration of Rhythms: Rap & Hip Hop (M, LS)
• Frank X. Walker writing workshop and assembly (US)
• God’s Dream, activity (Montessori)
• Great Youth Debate (US)
• Have You filled a Bucket Today? Presentation (M, LS)
• Magician with a Mission (LS)
• Martial Arts presentation (Montessori, LS, MS, US)
• Martin Luther King, Jr., assembly (US)
• Shantytown: Homeless Awareness Week (US)
• St. Rita’s School for the Deaf at Unity Day (US)
• Stereotypes in the Media, assembly (MS)
• The Rough Face Girls: A Cinderella Story. ArtReach Presentation (LS)
• Tour of West Chester mosque (US)
• What is Beautiful, assembly (MS)
• Zak Morgan concert: You Can Do It (LS)
Every year, we also send Upper School students to NAIS’s Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Students bring their experience back to Cincinnati by planning and hosting a similar conference for students from area schools who did not have the opportunity to attend NAIS’s conference.
A Diverse Curriculum
In addition to auxiliary programming, at The Summit, our curriculum serves as both a mirror and a window for students to see themselves reflected in classroom materials and see the world beyond their own experiences. To align our efforts, we follow the Anti-Bias curriculum standards in all four divisions and place special emphasis on a particular domain developmentally appropriate to that age group. In Montessori, we highlight Identity as children are learning how they fit into a classroom community and what gifts they each bring. In Lower School, we focus on Diversity and helping students engage respectfully with those who are different from them. The Middle School’s focus on Justice ensures students recognize bias and injustice and learn how to work toward a more just world. Our Upper School’s attention is on Action and preparing our students to be empathetic, courageous leaders of character. Along the way, we initiate strategies and support services which respect individual learning styles and build the self‐esteem of each student.