AHS Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity Statement
The mission of the Academy of Health Sciences Charter School is to provide a learning environment that ensures academic achievement while preparing students for college and career readiness and lives of service in the health sciences. Our mission reflects our shared fundamental belief that all people belong in the AHS community and all students deserve an education rooted in justice. We believe that an intentional focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is critical in achieving this mission because:
- By affirming the identities of all AHS community members, we create a welcoming learning environment where we all feel safe, supported, and valued.
- By holding all students to high expectations and providing rigorous instruction, we ensure academic achievement for diverse students.
- By providing an inclusive curriculum, we give our students the opportunity to examine their own identities and those of others, engaging in critical thinking necessary for success in college, career, and life.
All AHS stakeholders (students, staff, families, and Board members) actively engage in working toward equity and inclusion while celebrating the diversity found in our global community. We use NYSED’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework to structure and evaluate our efforts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The four principles of the framework are a Welcoming and Affirming Environment, High Expectations and Rigorous Instruction, Inclusive Curriculum and Assessment, and Ongoing Professional Learning. AHS achieves these principles through the following actions.
Welcoming and Affirming Environment
- Focusing on building strong, productive relationships with students and families
- Providing trauma-informed Social-Emotional Learning based on 5 Core Competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making
- Implementing Anti-Bullying/ Anti-Discrimination policies based on the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
High Expectations and Rigorous Instruction
- Using New York State Standards-based curriculum and assessment
- Implementing Thematic Units that allow students to explore health sciences in all content areas
- Practicing restorative discipline that supports academic success
- Providing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for students in need of academic or behavior interventions
Inclusive Curriculum and Assessment
- Using instructional resources that offer racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives
- Using instructional materials that represent and affirm student identities
- Using instructional strategies that support diverse learning styles
- Giving students multiple opportunities to demonstrate standard mastery using formal and informal assessments
Ongoing Professional Learning
- Providing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training for staff that includes examining unconscious bias and culturally responsive teaching.
- Providing instructional support and coaching to teachers to ensure the curriculum and instructional practices utilized are culturally responsive and inclusive of the history and experiences of marginalized voices