Vision

We believe that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community is vital to our mission of developing courageous leaders who shape their world for the better. We envision a learning environment where everyone, especially our students, feel and are valued, treated fairly, and protected.  To realize this vision requires us to build our intercultural competence and live by our core value of mutual understanding and respect in an intentionally inclusive community.

Goals

As stated in our strategic plan, simply being part of a multinational, multi-racial, multi-age environment will not accomplish inclusivity.  We must provide intentional experiences to help the members of our community develop intercultural competency.  

Our mission to develop courageous leaders who shape their world for the better is founded on our three pillars of Rigorous IB Curriculum, World-Class Language Learning and Inclusive, Multicultural community.  The pillar of Inclusive, Multicultural community provides the starting point of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategic plan. 

The DEI plan is aligned to our strategic priority of Community & Inclusion which states we advance our commitment to an open, inclusive community which provides equitable opportunities and well-being for all.  

In order to meet these aspirations, we commit to: 

  • Intentionally building an interculturally competent learning community,  
  • Expanding efforts to recruit, retain and develop a diverse community and
  • Increasing the capacity of faculty and staff to integrate DEI and intercultural learning into curriculum, practices, and policies. 

Priorities

List of 3 items.

  • Intentionally build an intercultural competent learning community

  • Expand efforts to recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community

  • Increase the capacity of staff and faculty to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and intercultural learning into curriculum, practices and policies

Communications

List of 1 items.

  • Kevin Glass Communication, June 16, 2020

    Dear AIS Community,
     
    Over the weekend, some of our former and current Black students and parents shared their painful truths about their experiences at AIS on social media. The Black@ movement is a national movement across many independent schools and universities that highlights the experiences of Black students and families and demands concrete anti-racist actions.  
     
    The fact that our school has not yet lived up to our aspirations has been brought into sharp focus. The posts and comments have told us we have much work to do to create a community where Black students and families feel like they also matter and belong. I want to thank our Black alumni, families and current students for their activism, for using their voices and for demanding positive change in the school and community we all love. As the head of a school that aspires to be intentionally inclusive, it is especially painful to hear these stories, particularly when the allegations involve adults in our community.
     
    AIS as a community needs to do better and move more quickly to ensure that we are creating and sustaining a school environment that allows each student and family to feel seen, heard, treated fairly, protected and included. This is work we must do as a school, a city, a nation and a global community.
     
    I want to ask for your help and active support in the work we commit to doing now, in this place, in our school. If we want the lived experience of all of our students to truly reflect the mission and core values of our school, we need to accelerate our equity and inclusion work, so that it becomes integral to all we do; our education, our curriculum, our systems, our policies, practices, how we interact with one another--part of the very fabric of AIS, the story of us.

    The structures, procedures, attitudes, and behaviors that perpetuate racial bias and racism, are not as susceptible to overnight transformations as we would hope and want. But we must not overlook the emotional harm they are inflicting on our young people and their families. These biases are embedded in our culture and are invisible to many whose lives are not diminished by them. We must make them visible in both our consciousness and our structures and combat them here at AIS. 

    As I shared in my post to social media on Sunday, I have read every single comment and am in the process of following up with leaders across the school. In addition, I have started to reach out to our African-American/Black families to hear more directly about your experiences at AIS and will continue to do so. I welcome the opportunity to talk to each of you. If you have any reservations speaking with me directly, please reach out to our Head of Equity and Inclusion, Jacinta Williams for a confidential conversation. 

    We have been formally working on this issue for ten years and we have made some strides, but it is not enough. We will move with a greater sense of urgency. Our work has been focused on the Board, leadership, and employee development yet we have not put enough emphasis into action that translates to the lived student experience in our community.   

    There will be some immediate actions and long-term goals that will help us move our work forward in this area. While these comments of actions and behaviors have been expressed by our Black students, we are fully aware that many students of color suffer because of their identity in a biased world and we must do everything we can to make sure this does not happen to them at AIS. 

    Despite this unique moment in time, we want to be in dialogue with all of you regarding the experience of black students and families in our school as we move forward in this work together. We believe this dialogue and this work will strengthen our ability to ensure all students feel seen, heard, treated fairly, protected and valued.

    Here is what we commit to:

    Immediate Actions
    We will have the following Community Town Hall webinars during the week of June 22 to give us the opportunity to hear more from you and give you the opportunity to hear more from us:
    • Employee Town Hall: Tuesday, June 23 (5:30pm)
    • Community Town Hall Option 1: Wednesday, June 24 (8:30am)
    • Community Town Hall Option 2: Wednesday, June 24 (5:30pm)
     
    In addition, 
    • Internal investigation related to specific concerns of racial bias by employees completed by the start of school
    • Survey current students and families of color by June 30
    • Review demands from our community by June 30
    • Refine current 3-year Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy based on input from survey and demands by July 15
    • Share refined strategy and action plans with the community by July 24
    • All leaders at all levels in the school receive a personal intercultural development inventory debrief and action plan by September 1
    • Schedule an initial Town Hall with our Black parents and subsequent quarterly meetings with our Black parents for next school year
    • Schedule grade-level listening sessions with our black students
    • Engage in open dialogue with all faculty of color
     Short-Term Actions and Goals from 3-year DEI Strategic Plan
    • Anti-racism training for groups of faculty once a week during June and July 
    • Formal anti-slur policy to be printed in student, parent, and employee handbooks for the 2020-2021 school year 
    • Clear, explicit process for students to provide input and express concerns about students and adults created and shared with students and parents in August. 
    • Creation of formal student diversity leadership group upon returning to school in the Fall 
    • Launch of student affinity groups based on race for both Upper and Middle School students the week of August 24
    Long Term Actions and Goals from 3-year DEI strategic plan
    • Anti-racism, culturally responsive and inclusive teaching training for all faculty during the school year (August 10-14, September 30, October 23, January 27, February 24, April 1, April 28, May 28)
    • Expand the intercultural development inventory with upper school students by October 15
    • Implement intercultural teaching and leadership competencies and standards for all employees related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the goal setting, appraisal and performance management process by January 2022
    • Comprehensive curriculum audit and reviews across 3K-12 by January 2022   
    • Design and implement student field experiences to increase the empowerment and leadership of our students to be social change agents (ongoing)
    • Recruit and retain underrepresented groups of students and employees (ongoing)
    • Extend restorative practices training to all employees (August 10-14, January 4). The Restorative practices approach is explained more in the linked plan.
    This is an existential moment in the history of AIS, the history of our city, the United States and across the world.

    I feel great regret that we are not yet the school we want to be.  We have not listened as we should have. The work of uncovering and removing the structures and behaviors that perpetuate racial bias and racism are not the responsibility of those most impacted. It is on all of us to recognize, challenge and dismantle them.

    We heard the voices over the weekend and we will continue to listen. And we will act.

    Sincerely,
    Kevin Glass
    Head of School

Definitions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At Atlanta International School, we aspire to embody the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion we envision for the world’s global community by making it an operating principle- meaning diversity, equity, and inclusion come alive through our beliefs and behaviors as a school community.

List of 3 items.

  • Diversity

    All the ways in which people differ and all the characteristics that make one individual or group distinct from another- both visible and invisible. An all-inclusive recognition that everyone and every group is valued.

    What does this mean for our community?
    • We recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff across multiple lines of difference that reflect the inclusive coalition we believe it will take to prepare students to be global, culturally competent leaders in the 21st century who have the beliefs and capabilities to positively change the world.
  • Equity

    Acknowledges the different experiences that people have based on their social identities, eliminates biases and structural barriers to access and opportunities and makes the necessary adjustments to ensure fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources.

    What does this mean for our community?
    • We work to build a school and world where all people can thrive. We act with courage to interrupt and examine our own roles in perpetuating systems that keep us from realizing the highest and unique potential of and opportunities for all of our students.
  • Inclusion

    Deeply valuing the differences, perspectives and contributions of all people and ensuring a safe, affirming, respectful, and responsive environment.

    What does this mean for our community?
    • We intentionally build relationships across all lines of difference, enable multiple pathways to success, and build a culture that celebrates the unique contributions and unites people around our shared values and common purpose. This leads us to create an environment where each student, faculty, staff, and parent can contribute fully, learn from one another, be valued, and be their best.

Leadership

List of 1 members.

  • Jacinta Williams 

Equity and Inclusion Team

Meet our Equity and Inclusion team here.

Programs & Resources

Our students, faculty, and staff participate annually in:

  • Intercultural Competency Workshops
  • People of Color Conference
  • Student Diversity Leadership Conference
  • White Privilege Conference
  • Anti-Defamation League Workshops
  • Teaching Tolerance Workshops
 
Our Head of Equity and Inclusion guides initiatives which include:

  • Equity & Inclusion Workshops for New Faculty & Staff
  • Student Affinity Groups
  • Faculty Affinity-based Groups
  • Community Cultural Commemoration & Celebration Events
  • Civil Conversation Dinners
  • Book Study Groups
 

Projects and Programs

Commemorations and Celebrations

Atlanta International School

A private, non-profit, international, IB World School for grades 3K-12, featuring full and dual-immersion language programs.

2890 North Fulton Drive

Atlanta, Georgia 30305, USA
404.841.3840