In The Room Together

What does a truly diverse school look like?

One of the things that I love most about SLA is that our student body is diverse on many fronts — their country of origin, race or ethnicity, socio-economic status, which neighborhood they hail from. We pack a lot into one building.

But what does this look like beyond the numbers? How does it actually play out for our students over the years?

One thing Matt Kay constantly points out to the freshmen (and then to staff) is that most of our students also hail from middle schools where most of their peers looked like them. Transitioning to a school where no single demographic makes up more than 50% of the population is not always easy. Our home is not perfect (and never will be). But I think it’s telling that, when you assign the juniors a project called “Best Personal Essay Ever,” many students choose to write about what that transition has been like for them, clear-eyed, honest, appreciative and critical of both themselves and the world around them.

Here are three two-minute “visual essays” from three students who, had it not been for SLA, may never have crossed paths in our fair city. With these stories, each of them is weaving themselves into the world, making it one more cohesive fabric.


1 thought on “In The Room Together

  1. redpenconfessions

    Thanks for sharing this reflection and the work of your students. Their personal reflections and stories about fitting in and being stretched outside their comfort zones is both inspiring and humbling. It demonstrates how we are all so similar–we want to feel understood, accepted, and loved. Where we are different is how we communicate that to each other. What a great discovery to have as a high school student, and what a great reminder to teachers who want to support every student in their journey to greater self-awarenss, empathy, and actualization.


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