Skip To Main Content
Ours to Shape

Open minds. Open hearts. Open arms.

The Philadelphia School is dedicated to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where all members experience belonging. 

Our pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is a natural extension of our mission to educate children for a future that is impossible to know but not impossible to shape. At TPS, students are taught to explore their curiosity by developing a diverse, inclusive, and well-informed view of the world. Our educators provide each student with opportunities to develop a positive racial and gender identity, pursue questions about the world around them, and deepen their commitment to justice and civic engagement. 

With empathy and compassion as core practices, we actively reject attitudes and behaviors that belittle or demean others because of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, or expression. The Philadelphia School strives to be an anti-racist institution that actively works to achieve equity and social justice. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter and Stop AAPI Hate movements and denounce efforts to erase LGBTQ history and culture from schools. We encourage all community members to engage in learning, understanding, and dialogue to challenge practices that promote hate, prejudice, and division.

We aim to build a community whose diversity reflects and interacts with the world's diversity. This ongoing work belongs to us all; it hones our minds, uncovers our biases, and helps us do our part in making a more just and compassionate world.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging at TPS

Affinity Groups

Student Affinity Groups

We design affinity groups to help students develop a positive racial identity, feel a sense of pride in their difference, and speak to their experiences. Student affinity groups meet in three-week rotations and are embedded in the weekly schedule for students in grades 6-8.  We also offer monthly affinity groups for grades 3-5.

We currently offer the following affinity groups for grades 6-8:

  • Asian American, Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affinity Group
  • Black Student Affinity Group
  • Jewish Heritage Affinity Group
  • Multiracial Affinity Group
  • Neurodivergent Affinity Group
  • Queer & Questioning Affinity Group
  • White Ally Group

We currently offer the following affinity groups for grades 3-5:

  • Minds of All Kinds (Neurodivergent) Affinity Group
  • Queer & Questioning Affinity Group
  • Students of Color Affinity Group
  • White Ally Group

We invite TPS families to participate in affinity group learning during Family Diversity Nights, student-led educational celebrations promoting cultural and ethnic diversity.

In addition to regular affinity groups, Middle School students also engage in a variety of workshops focused on areas of equity, identity, and justice. Some of this year's workshops include:

  • Book Fairs, Censorship, and Us
  • Examining Injustice through Mathematics 
  • Exploring Faith Based 'isms': Antisemitism and Islamophobia
  • Family Resilience: Navigating Separation and Divorce

Culturally Responsible Instruction

At TPS, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are intertwined in our commitment to progressive education. We live our commitment to DEIB in our everyday interactions, building it into our curriculum and institutional culture. We teach students to approach history with an eye on equity, seeking the truth by exploring diverse and historically underrepresented perspectives. We do not shy away from unpacking the history of racism, systems of oppression, and examples of inequity and injustice across the world. TPS students and families understand this work as foundational as we prepare students to be active and engaged change-makers.

Alongside this work, we help each student develop a positive racial and gender identity and equip them with skills for engaging in productive conversations about difference. We design and facilitate teaching and learning that is culturally responsive so that each child experiences windows and mirrors in their learning environment.

Our approach to culturally responsive instruction includes challenging students to stay curious, think critically about their assumptions, acknowledge the range of perspectives that comprises any truth, and act on what they have learned from one another.

Family Diversity Committee

The Family Diversity Committee (FDC) is a parent-led group that promotes an inclusive and diverse school community for all students and their families. We support outreach efforts to ensure all families at The Philadelphia School feel welcomed and experience belonging in the life of the school.  The FDC also presents parent education events and shares information about diversity activities around the city.

Blog Posts