Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Expedition School is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI.) At TES, we view diversity as how people differ and bring unique qualities, characteristics, backgrounds, cultures, etc. Inclusion ensures all feel welcomed, respected, supported, valued, and able to fully participate in the TES community. Equity elevates access and opportunity, as well as the voices and experiences of traditionally marginalized communities, while eliminating barriers that prevent the full participation of traditionally minoritized groups within our school and community.
The TES Strategic Goals for 2020-2025 prioritize DEI with intentions that include diversifying our faculty/staff, as well as continuing to increase the racial, ethnic and socio-economic diversity of TES to better reflect the area’s communities. To this end, the TES Board voted in 2020 to instate a weighted lottery for TES.
In 2021, after a rigorous application process, TES was awarded NCDPI's ACCESS grant, which provides competitive awards to high-quality charter schools seeking to increase enrollment and retainment (through best practices) of economically disadvantaged students.
The Expedition School DEI Team
The school administration and staff work diligently within the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Team, comprised of experienced TES teachers, administrators and support staff with expertise and licensure in teaching, learning, curriculum, and professional development. The DEI Team leads the school in its goal of increasing the diversity and retention of TES's staff and student population, and in maintaining a school climate centered around inclusivity, equity and cultural responsiveness. This includes ensuring TES’s curriculum is culturally responsive, as well as planning special projects and events to further highlight and empower traditionally minoritized people and voices. The DEI Team’s current priorities are to:
- Review the recommendations provided in TES's 2020-2021 "Equity Audit," conducted by equity consultants Rodney Trice and Teresa Bunner, and work with the TES Board of Directors on a plan for implementation. (TES engaged equity consultant Dr. Rodney Trice on a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion review, analysis and comprehensive DEI plan beginning in 2019. Read more about Dr. Trice’s work and philosophies in this Teaching Tolerance article.)
- Recruit and retain more students and staff members of color
- Continually assess and enhance learning at TES (which adheres to NC teaching standards) to ensure inclusive, equitable & culturally responsive teaching and learning
- Read about one example of this goal in action as 8th grade students at TES embarked on an interdisciplinary journey into learning about, elevating and celebrating Hillsborough’s local Black history in this article from the Daily Tar Heel: 'From Slavery to Freedom: The Power of Music' explores the emotions of Black history
- Provide ongoing professional development for staff members
- Work with the TES Board of Directors and other identified consultants and stakeholders to:
- Create and distribute marketing materials and communications that position TES as a top choice for all families.
- Identify and develop thoughtful and sustainable relationships with community organizations, daycares, churches, etc. to ensure widespread knowledge of TES and its lottery application process.
- Attend & host community events to encourage currently under-represented populations to apply to TES and ensure TES as seen as a welcoming and viable option for all families.
- Help ensure transportation does not pose a significant burden to any family choosing to attend TES.
- Explore various tools and policies for further cultivating diversity, equity & inclusion at TES.