Diversity and Inclusion
Black Pine Circle School is committed to creating an inclusive learning community for all. Since 1973 our school has been committed to serving ALL students and families regardless of their ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, race, and religion. View the school’s Mission Statement.
How Do We Embrace Diversity at Black Pine Circle School?
The Diversity Committee was created in 1996 to address issues of inclusion and equality at Black Pine Circle School. The committee is made up of parents, faculty, administrators and board members of the school. The goals of the committee are far-reaching and include increasing diversity in our student body, community partnerships, and teacher and parent training. The mission of Black Pine Circle School outreach is to create an inclusive community across class, race, family type and background. To this end, the school conducts outreach to under-served populations through attendance at local fairs and open houses. Parents also do their own outreach and network to link families across communities. The Diversity Committee meets every month to plan school-related and outreach events that support its stated mission. Additionally, the Committee sponsors school-wide events: Black Pine Circle School Family International Potluck and a Continuing Education night. Please contact the co-chairs Leslie Salzinger and William Webb, for more information.
Mission Statement of the Diversity Committee:
“The Black Pine Circle School’s Diversity Committee works to support the mission of the school. We believe that diversity promotes important values within our community and prepares students for citizenship in a pluralistic world. In order to achieve continued academic excellence and sustain a vibrant educational environment, the Committee seeks to recognize and draw on the talents of a diverse background of faculty, staff and students, fostering the free expression and sharing of ideas, perspectives and beliefs that promote cultural understanding and social justice.”
The Committee seeks to promote the diversity represented in the Bay Area in its student body by actively supporting the recruitment and retention of socio-economically disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students. The Committee values and seeks the hiring and retention of teachers and staff of different racial, cultural and economic backgrounds, sexual orientation and disability status. The Committee seeks to promote the thoughtful examination of cultural distinctions by supporting curricula that prepare students to be culturally competent members of society.
Multicultural Student Club comes together to discuss issues relevant to identity, diversity, and inclusivity. Together, students find ways to celebrate differences and similarities. In the past, the student group organized school-wide cultural events and assemblies, and planned field trips to community cultural events and celebrations. Please contact Chris Chun, 7th & 8th grade English Teacher for more information.
Community Partnership works toward developing our school as a resource for the community, and the community as a resource for Black Pine Circle School. We actively engage in community events and partner with community organizations, such as the Multicultural Institute, A Better Chance, Girls Leadership Institute, Making Waves, POCIS (Bay Area People of Color in Independent School), and AsEA (Asian Educators Alliance). We currently host the after-school tutoring program, Mentoring for Academic Success, which, in association with the Multicultural Institute and UC Berkeley, provides tutoring for low-income, under-served students of the west Berkeley neighborhood. Rigoberto Caloca-Rivas (Father Rigo), Director of the Multicultural Institute, also serves as a Black Pine Circle School Board member.
Events: The Diversity Committee has sponsored the Black Pine Circle School Family International Potlucks in the fall and spring. Our International Potlucks have featured ethnic and international cuisine prepared by Black Pine Circle School families and they offered an opportunity for our families to learn more about the diversity/inclusivity goals for the school. Guest presenters invited to these events have included popular Cuban jazz band, Pellejo Seco, The Ballet Folklorico of Mexico and renowned storyteller, Anita Jones.
The Diversity Committee sponsored a Film Night Series, a chance for the school community to view and discuss films on multicultural themes and diversity issues. In the past, students and families have crafted original films, just for this occasion. The Diversity Committee also supports and encourages affinity group meetings and actively participates in overall outreach for the school.
A sampling of the films featured by the Diversity Committee:
Current Statistical Information Regarding Diversity:
K-8 Total Enrollment: 256
Students of Color: approximately 35%
Zip Codes Represented: 30
Families Receiving Financial Assistance: 33%