Today I'm writing to share news with our parents and Upper School students about COVID vaccinations, mitigation guidelines, and changes to our on-campus mask policies.
The conclusion of the independent investigation into allegations of racism at Westtown shared on Instagram last summer brings us to an important moment in our anti-bias, anti-racism (ABAR) work. In concert with Martha Bryans '68 on behalf of the Board, and Danielle Toaltoan '03 and Lu Castillo '80 on behalf of the Trustees' Action Committee, I write to summarize the school's response to the findings of fact returned by our investigators and to share our next steps. This summary is rendered with candor, but also with due attention to confidentiality. Thank you, friends, for reading it with respect for that necessary balance — and thank you for coming with us on this journey.
In July 2020, the Westtown School Board of Trustees and Head of School wrote to our community in response to the accounts posted on social media about their experiences of racism at Westtown. I, along with all of the members of the Board, were deeply troubled by these accounts and their lasting impact on the community members who experienced them.
As we look toward fall and what we all hope will be a “more normal” start of school, there is a sense of excitement as well as a sense of concern. Many children have been home for a full year or more and on top of the normal start-of-school jitters and butterflies, they have the added weight of post-pandemic re-entry fears. We asked our psychology team here at Westtown to share some advice to help children of all ages prepare for school this fall. Read more!
Perception determines and drives our approach, attitude, and actions in any given situation. The current global pandemic we are facing —and our varying responses to it— is a testament to the power of perception and how it impacts our experience, our behaviors, and the choices we make moment to moment. Read more!
In response to the violence of systemic racism that we have witnessed this year, Marissa Colston, our Dean of Diversity & Inclusion, offers ways in which all of us can engage in nonviolent action. Read more!