At Green Acres School, we celebrate and honor diversity through the curriculum in all subjects and at all grade levels. The “Big Nine” social identifiers, as put forth by the Parents Council of Washington, form the foundation for diversity in our curriculum. In age-appropriate ways, we focus on the “Big Nine” and the ways in which these social identifiers relate to students’ individual lives. We believe that learning to value our differences and relating to one another equitably is empowering and transformative for everyone.
Parents Council of Washington “Big Nine” Social Identifiers
- Body image
- Sexual Orientation
- Socio-Economic Status/Class
Early Childhood Unit Diversity Program
As the Early Childhood Unit studies family life, one focus is on family diversity. The children learn that families have many different configurations and that all are worthy of respect. In small groups, they read and discuss stories that include different kinds of families: families with a mother and father, single-parent families, multiracial and multicultural families, families with two moms or two dads, and families with adopted children.
Lower School Diversity Program
In the Lower School, students experience diversity through a cultural and historic lens. In younger grades, the curriculum themes include Weaving Around the World, Shelters Around the World, Roots, Mexico, and Japan. The children explore various cultural backgrounds, traditions, food customs, and the environment. They study these themes not only in language arts, social studies, and math classes, but in their special subjects as well. Teachers enhance students’ learning with songs, stories, dance, art projects, and experiments.
The Grade 3 curriculum celebrates the uniqueness of each individual. They begin the school year with a unit on Friendship, which extends through the year and is infused into the curriculum. They discuss religious celebrations, heritage, and family makeup. Having respect for all is paramount.
Students in Grade 4 study celebrations throughout the world. They delve into traditions and experiences of various cultures. The children come to recognize not only differences, but similarities among people all over the globe.
Middle School Diversity Program
In Middle School, threading diversity through the curriculum continues. In Grade 5, advisory time is spent further exploring the “Big Nine” social identifiers. Each week, the students discuss one of the Big Nine and how it speaks to their individual lives.
Students in Grade 6 study discrimination and complete a research project on an individual who has fought discrimination as a final product. The students explore discrimination reflected in stereotypes and biases related to all of the Big Nine identifiers.
Our students in Grades 7 and 8 delve deeper into the Big Nine and how diversity issues affect their everyday lives. The eighth grade World Studies class focuses on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s in great detail. Additional topics include Jesse Jackson’s run for president; OJ Simpson; Rodney King and the effects of the trial; Trent Lott’s statement about race in the Senate upon Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday, among others. Students research and write biographical papers in their Ethics and Community Service classes about people of diverse ethnicities, countries, and cultures.