Equity & Inclusion

We believe that Lake Washington Girls Middle School is an excellent academic and educational community because it has always been a diverse community. In order to effectuate our mission, philosophy, and history of the school to honor the diversity of Seattle and serve our diverse community, it is imperative that all at Lake Washington Girls Middle School – its faculty, staff, families, students, and trustees – identify and address the areas of equity and inclusion. The school is committed to participate in the in-depth exploration and understanding of key equity concepts and practice, including those of diversity, cultural competence, and culturally responsive teaching; social justice and social dominance; power and privilege; and allyship. With the guidance of our Equity and Social Justice Committee, LWGMS faculty, staff, trustees, families, and students continue the work of equity and inclusion in all aspects of life at LWGMS. We believe that the work of inclusion is a responsibility held by all and done for all, person to person.

Equity
Given the systemic barriers individuals experience (including historic, economic, institutional, and social barriers), LWGMS believes equity is defined as providing each member of the community access to what they need to be successful. Over time, the school has examined the difference between equality and equity, and our definition of equity better reflects the idea that “the same” does not always embody what is fair. Different people have different needs, and LWGMS is committed to empowering each student according to their circumstance.

Inclusion
At LWGMS, the community strives to foster a sense of belonging and agency. We believe diversity alone does not create inclusion; it is the responsibility of the school to facilitate an environment where each member feels valued, connected, and heard. As we develop a culture and curriculum that seeks to enhance student engagement and compassion, what it means to be inclusive has changed to be an active part of our school culture.

Programs
LWGMS builds its programs with an intent to create an inclusive and equitable community, where the perspectives and strength of middle schoolers who identify as girls are at the center. Examples include the following:

  • Curriculum that includes global and traditionally underrepresented perspectives
  • Annual LWGMS Social Justice Film Festival
  • Implicit Bias parent night, led by eighth grade students
  • Teacher evaluations assess culturally responsive practices
  • Family and student surveys collect data on feelings of being inclusion, community membership, and representation in curriculum and decision-making
  • Mind, Body, Voice classes discuss concepts of identity and allyship
  • Student clubs include “Girl Empowerment Club” and “Roots and Shoots for Change.” All clubs are required to have a service component that benefits the local community