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 you will read in this report, record-breaking gifts to the Westtown Fund and to other funds provided increased financial aid, updated technology, faculty professional development, critical mitigation materials and structures, and helped us maintain our beautiful campus. Our donors' philanthropy bolstered our work, sent us a message of caring and heartfelt support, and helped students manage a difficult year.
Spring is in the air and that means it is time to get your garden ready! Whether you are working with a backyard garden, a container garden, raised beds, or just want to know how to start the process, we have some helpful information for you. Recently, our in-house expert Tim Mountz, Sustainable Agriculture Teacher at Westtown School, shared his thoughts on gardening. Farmer Tim, as he is known to our students, reminds us that gardening is a great activity for the whole family AND can get kids excited to eat fruits and vegetables. So step away for the screen, grab your shovel, and let’s get to it! 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!