The joy of community is apparent the moment you come to our campus. Cultivating a healthy, inclusive, and welcoming community is paramount at Westtown. It is a shared endeavor among students and adults alike and we do it in a variety of ways. In the Lower School, building community consists of teaching students that they are one, yet one of many, and that each person has an impact on the collective. Students participate in service both in and outside of the classroom, learn about the people who make up communities, and about healthy ways to interact with each other and to be good community citizens.
Parents are an integral part of our community as well, and there are many ways for parents to get involved. There are divisional and all-school events throughout the year, including an educational series for parents. Our Host Family Program offers an opportunity for Lower School families to form relationships with our Upper School boarding students who live at a distance. Families say that sharing a meal and developing a relationship with our Upper School students leads to a feeling of connection and community that often lasts long after graduation. Learn more about our Host Family Program here.
Consistent with our Quaker mission and vision, we embed our anti-bias, anti-racist (ABAR) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work into every aspect of our community, from core curricula to Project Block Time. There are diversity, equity, and inclusion and social-emotional learning curricula in each grade. Sample lessons include: Building Empathy, Identity and Self-Discovery, Communicating Across Differences, Social Justice, and Anti-Racism. Under the guidance of the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, students learn about and celebrate different cultural and religious holidays and Heritage Months, racial and ethnic identity, and explore justice and belonging. In 4th and 5th grades, there are affinity groups for students where they can dive deeper into discussions about identity and social awareness. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQ+, and White Awareness are the affinity groups in the Lower School.
At the heart of this work and of our community is the Quaker calling to seek out and honor that of God in everyone, and our mission to inspire and prepare our students to be stewards and leaders of a better world.