Trustee Statement

We commit to making Spence an inclusive, equitable and multi-identity community in which each student will build intellectual and moral capacity, not only for school but also for life. Spence young women enter the world as excellent scholars and engaged citizens, able to bridge differences and diverse points of view to meet the complex challenges of a changing world. Spence is an environment that embraces differences, honors identity and values full membership and belonging for all.



Guided by our Community Standards, we stand up against exclusion, bias, racism and prejudice in all forms. While deepening our understanding and appreciation of a diverse community, we recognize the ongoing opportunities and the challenges inherent in learning from one another. Together, we find power and joy in working collaboratively to ensure that Spence is a place of ethical stance and substance, a place in which students, parents, faculty and administration cultivate personal integrity in service to the collective values of respect and trust.

Approved December 17, 2019

Highlights of Our OngoingWork

  • Renée Chung, Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, has this joined the Office of Institutional Equity as Dean of Parent and Student Inclusion and Belonging. She will work with the Middle and Upper School Deans on affinity and identity group support and empowerment programming, and will be stewarding the design of a new mentoring and support structure for girls of color ages 6-12. 

  • PA President Stacey St. Rose and incoming Vice President of Community Life and Engagement Lauren Wiggins will work with our new Dean of Parent and Student Inclusion and Belonging to continue to guide Tapestry and Parents and Guardians of Children of Color (PGCC). This year, in a joint venture between the PA and the Office of Institutional Equity, Spence will launch Parent Affinity Groups, which are parent-led, supportive and affirming spaces for historically marginalized groups within the greater Spence community.

  • The Office of Institutional Equity is excited to partner with the Director of Teaching and Learning to support our new team of K-12 Instructional Coaches: Edith Starr (Upper School), Camar Robinson (Middle School) and Aletha Haynes (Lower School). All three coaches were chosen for their deep pedagogical expertise, their strong credentials as teacher-leaders and their skills in coaching and guiding faculty learning. This year, the team will work with the K-12 faculty to design equity teaching competencies. 

  • Along with Aletha Haynes as Instructional Coach, Khairah Klein will take curricular leadership in the Lower School as the Equity Curriculum CoordinatorKhairah’s experience as a teacher-leader focused on equity makes her well-prepared to guide the faculty in the curriculum development for Lower School. She will work closely with Rebecca Hong as well as the Lower School Leadership Team under the direction of Elizabeth Causey to design for faculty professional development, parent education, and a strong justice-oriented scope and sequence for the K-4 program, this year partnering with the Racial Literacy educational organization, Pollyanna.

  • The entire Spence community has been invited to join Upper School students, faculty and staff, in our Community ReadHow to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

Insights

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  • Community Standards

    Understanding that good, strong community can never be accidental, The Spence School asks every member within its fold to meet the high standards necessary for effective citizenship and valued humanity. We are committed to an inclusive and equitable school, and we will continue to marshal our community to stand up against exclusion, bias, racism and prejudice in all forms. Beyond any calculus of rules, Spence strives, always and in all ways, to be a place of ethical stance and substance, a place in which students, parents, faculty and administration cultivate personal integrity in service to the collective values of respect and trust. 
     
    This we believe for school and for life. This allegiance has at its core a partnership of engagement, education and responsibility, all held in balance for that significant relationship between life and learning. Recognizing that mistakes can sometimes be our most vibrant lessons, we also understand that clear and deliberate expectations go hand-in-hand with meaningful consequences. With trust as our pilot and respect as our goal, Spence thrives and is dependent upon our collective commitment to moral leadership.

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  • What we mean by Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

    Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences (race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, etc.), collectively and as individuals. We seek to proactively engage, understand, and draw on a variety of perspectives. We believe that the solution to the problems we hope to address...can be found by affirming our similarities, as well as by finding value in our differences.

    Equity 
    seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all. We believe this is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.

    Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people. We believe every person’s voice adds value, and we strive to create balance in the face of power differences. We believe that no one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community.

    Source: Ford Foundation

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  • Enrollment Factsheet

    Total Students: 755
    Students of color: 44%
    Lower School - 42%
    Middle School - 45%
    Upper School - 45%
     
    Total Employees: 225
    Full-time - 199 Part-time - 26
    71% Female 29% Male
    43% Employees of color
     
    Geographic representation of students:
    Manhattan - 663
    Brooklyn - 28
    Queens - 24
    Bronx - 15
    New Jersey - 12
    NY State region - 8
    Long Island - 3
    Connecticut - 1
    Staten Island - 1

    Percent of student body receiving aid: 18.8%
    Number of pre-K schools represented: 29
    Number of MS/US schools represented: 25

ABOUT US section

Recent Communications

  • Anti-Racism Task Force Updates (September 14) Read Here; also see this link from the update about Spence's response to the BlackSpenceSpeaks June 15 petition
  • Anti-Racism Task Force Updates (July 10) Read Here
  • Announcement by Board of Trustees about the wallpaper (June 26) Read Here
  • Head of School's Letter About Anti-Racism Task Force Statement of Purpose (June 19) Read Here
  • Head of School and Board Chair Response to A Letter Urging Action from The Spence School (June 14) Read Here
  • A Letter Urging Action from The Spence School Link Here
  • Head of School and Board Chair Statement About Anti-Racism (June 7) Read Here
  • Video: June 4, Head of School's remarks at the Parents' Association Meeting