SLIDE becomes Directed Study course


Printed with permission of the DEI office

PLANNING AT POLLYANNA: Teachers attended the annual Pollyanna Conference, the largest gathering of K-12 educators in the LA area, in order to discuss the role of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work in schools. Attending the conference was part of the school’s framework of DEI this year.

Davis Marks

Student Leaders for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (SLIDE) will be transitioning from meeting during lunch to having an official Directed Study course during the 2023-2024 school year. Unlike other student leadership groups like Prefect Council and Community Council, SLIDE does not currently have a scheduled course.

The SLIDE Directed Study will function as a common meeting time for the group’s work, as well as a student leadership development course. The class will be made up of the five SLIDE co-chairs and one leader from each affinity group.

Upper School Visual Arts Teacher and DEI Coordinator Reb Limerick said an official SLIDE course will allow leaders to devote more time to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work.

“This year is the fourth year of SLIDE, which is developing cohesion, momentum and influence,” Limerick said. “Although student leaders dedicate significant time and energy to attending SLIDE meetings and planning SLIDE events, SLIDE does not show up on their course list as Prefect Council, Community Council and Peer Support do. The project of shifting this once-per-cycle meeting into an official course will formalize the work SLIDE does and give us double the amount of meeting time we currently have to work and collaborate in person.”

SLIDE Co-Chair Fernanda Herrera ’23 said the official SLIDE course will have both benefits and drawbacks.

“SLIDE becoming an official class will allow more time for students to plan events and hold discussions surrounding DEl issues at the school,” Herrera said. “It will elevate the experience students have at [the school] because [SLIDE] will have more time to contribute meaningfully to our community. On the contrary, having SLIDE be a class might bar people from signing up to be a SLIDE co-chair or affinity group leader if it means dedicating a large amount of time. There are so many class options available that I would understand if someone chooses to [take] a different directed study.”

Limerick said that the SLIDE class will help members get more work done, but they will miss out   on other classes possibly.

“Attending this Directed Study will be required for everyone who applies and is accepted, [so] some students will have to prioritize SLIDE over another class they may have wanted to take during the Directed Study timeslot,” Limerick said.