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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)


Siena’s commitment to diversity and equity is an extension of our long-standing commitment to our students' different and various learning styles.

Our Five Commitments

Our Commitment

  • Identify and implement strategies to broaden our outreach and foster a more diverse community


  • Evaluate recruitment and hiring processes to further diversify our faculty and staff

  • Identify and connect with BIPOC community groups to increase awareness around language-based learning differences

  • Evaluate and broaden resource-sharing platforms with community groups and families

Our Commitment

  • Develop a faculty and staff trained to be effective agents of change and dedicated to sustaining a vibrant, inclusive, and caring multicultural community
  • Advance a multicultural curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and accessible for all


  • Develop year one of a multi-year training program for faculty and staff, with consultation from external professionals, that supports their development to be effective agents of change, committed to sustaining a vibrant, inclusive, and caring multicultural community
  • Explore topics, expert facilitators, and resources to offer family learning workshops on DEIB-related topics

  • Continue to develop a multicultural curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and accessible for all

Our Commitment

  • Continued development and strengthening of an inclusive and equitable community


  • Identify and create allied and community spaces for faculty/staff, students, and parents (such as by developing affinity groups)
  • Structure and establish a DEIB committee that includes representatives of various stakeholders in the school community

  • Begin integration of social justice standards as a framework for anti-bias education

Our Commitment

  • Ensure an equitable experience for all members of the community

What We're Doing

  • Begin the review of policies and procedures to continue to build equitable experiences: e.g., develop a confidential, centralized process for the reporting of incidents relating to personal wellbeing, including any incident that impacts a person’s identity (such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, ability, age, or any additional cultural identifiers)

Our Commitment

  • Regularly review plan strategies and methodology to ensure the effectiveness of these initiatives both in the near- and long-term. Develop metrics for analysis and data-driven decisions

What We're Doing

  • Begin to develop strategies to analyze the short- and long-term effectiveness of these commitments
  • Plan to share progress on the multi-year plan at the annual State of the School address

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Committee is to promote a culture of belonging where students, staff, and families of The Siena School feel heard, seen, supported, and valued, so that all members of the community can thrive.

Academic resources comprise an essential part of diversity at Siena. Students read a wide variety of authors, including texts by Chinua Achebe, Dai Sijie, Harper Lee, Colson Whitehead, Alex Gino, Margarita Engle, Lois Lowry, and Kwame Alexander. Field trips and guest speakers also bring a rich array of diverse resources to the curriculum.

Siena is beginning to gather the necessary materials to conduct a DEIB-oriented curriculum audit. 


Siena offers a financial resources program that assists 33% of Siena families, with an average grant of $13,000. The financial aid program assures that students come from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, and it is supported by The Siena School Scholarship Fund. This fund has raised over $1.5 million since April 2009 thanks to generous donations by Siena families, grandparents, friends, and local organizations. 

We understand how our students learn based on extensive research. With that in mind, we use a multisensory approach that creates equity; the Siena methodology levels the playing field for our students. Siena students are creative and strong visual learners: art, photography, and color are integrated fully into every class. In addition to visual aids and interactive manipulatives, experiential learning is key to our students’ understanding of classroom curricula. To meet our goal of a field trip each month for every grade, Siena works hard to ensure our students take advantage of the widely-available resources of the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Students learn how their brain works best and learn to self-advocate for the approach to learning that can help them demonstrate their great abilities.


The Siena School DEIB Committee

Committee Members

Maya Kratzke, Middle School English Teacher and DEIB Committee Chair (click here for bio)

John Lucas, Dean of Students and Director of Student Life (click here for bio)

Che Simmons, Elementary Teacher (click here for bio)

Sam Weiss, High School English Teacher (click here for bio)

  • Gelencia Dennis
  • April Greene
  • Lee Howard
  • Pleasance Silicki
  • Jed (9th grade)
  • Ash (10th grade)
  • Zayna (11th grade)
  • Solana (12th grade)
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