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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Stanford Online High School is committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible community that enriches learning for the next generation of global citizens.

Diversity Statement

Stanford Online High School (OHS) is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive and accessible community. We endeavor to create an equitable, safe, empathetic, and just learning environment where students belong and thrive. Stanford OHS honors students’ authentic identities, varied perspectives, thoughts and experiences. We recognize that creating this environment is an ongoing task. Our shared accountability to diversity is essential to our strength as an intellectual community.

Our Global Community

We are currently a majority-minority school, and we are actively working to increase representation at the school.
58% Students of Color
19% Underrepresented Minorities
14% Students Living Outside U.S.
$2 Million Financial Aid Budget
49 U.S. States & 2 Territories Represented
42 Non-U.S. Countries of Residence Represented

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, & Access

Diversity refers to the full range of human differences within overarching similarities. These differences can be visible or invisible, mutable or not. Schools foster diversity by ensuring that their communities include people from many different backgrounds and perspectives.

Equity means ensuring that everyone has equal access to the opportunities that will help them thrive. Not everyone in a school community will have the same needs; schools can address equity by understanding the needs of each student and providing the tools or opportunities that will support their development.

Inclusion refers to individual and institutional behaviors that show people they are accepted, respected, and valued. Inclusion helps ensure all community members have access to the benefits and opportunities the school provides. Inclusion is also closely related to belonging.

Belonging refers to the emotional and experiential outcome of inclusion. All humans share the need to be taken in, cared-for, protected, and valued by a group, community, or organization. Belonging gives people a voice in a community, and encourages and enables them to contribute to it and to expect support from it as well.

Access refers to the ways in which educational institutions and policies ensure that students have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. Increasing access requires schools to provide additional services or remove any actual or potential barriers that might prevent some students from equitable participation. Factors such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status and geographical location may contribute to certain students having less “access” to educational opportunities than other students.

Our Commitments

As a school, we recognize that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Access (DEIBA) is always a work in progress; the descriptions below reflect our aspirations as we work to transform our strategic vision for Stanford OHS into daily reality. These are the key elements of our strategic goals in DEIBA:
Dinner with Instructors

Student Body

Stanford Online High School’s student body represents a wide range of diverse and intersecting identities. Our students' diversity of race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, neurodiversity, and disability make our learning community stronger.
Students 2022

Welcoming Community

Students and staff find a welcoming community with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. Our mission is for each member of the community to feel valued and supported. The school supports creating a sense of belonging for all community members through a variety of programs such as the student mentorship program, new instructor workshop series, and the community advisory group designed to acclimate new members, and to bolster existing members, allowing them to ask questions, exchange ideas, and work together.

Outreach Efforts

Stanford OHS marketing and recruitment efforts identify students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Programs such as The Malone Scholars Program and Stanford Middle School Scholars Program provide financial, academic, and emotional support to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their full potential.
OHS Staff 2021

Instructors & Staff

Stanford OHS draws from a wide network, identifying and attracting highly-qualified applicants from a range of backgrounds for open positions. Stanford OHS fosters an inclusive environment in which employees' diverse perspectives enrich discussions and decisions within the community. To further support this inclusive environment, instructors and staff sponsor affinity groups, identity affirming student clubs and circles and serve on the DEI Committee. Staff and instructors promote a culture of safety for students and embrace diverse perspectives and ideas.

Belonging at Stanford OHS

Nicole Carnival

Nicole Varveris, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging & Access

“Acceptance, respect, inclusion, and support are the foundations of a strong sense of belonging within a learning environment. At Stanford Online High School, students and staff are encouraged to present the most authentic version of themselves, and we celebrate the diverse and intersectional identities that make up our community. “

Diversity at Stanford OHS

Student Organizations & Projects

Clubs & Circles

Student Groups focused on affirming identities such as gender, race, religion, mental health, and ability include:

  • Asian and Pacific American Student Union (APASU)
  • Black Student Union and Allies
  • Chinese Language & Culture
  • Disability Culture Club
  • French Language & Culture Club
  • Gen She Club
  • Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
  • Girls Can Code
  • Korean Culture Club
  • LatinX Student Alliance & Spanish Club 
  • Mental Health Awareness Club
  • Multicultural Club
  • Japanese Language & Culture Club
  • Neurodivergence Club
  • Queer Liberation Society
  • Women in Leadership
  • Women in STEM+ Club

Speakers & Special Events

We regularly host special events that prompt our students to reflect, learn, and act in inclusive ways. Recent guest speakers from outside of Stanford OHS have focused on topics ranging from transgender inclusion to slam poetry that encourages free expression. 

Dine & Dialogues

Stanford OHS students and staff gather monthly for community wide Dine & Dialogues. These monthly events are an opportunity for students and staff to come together to learn and discuss DEIBA related topics and themes. Recent Dine & Dialogue topics include LGBTQ+ history, Hispanic Heritage, being an upstander, mental health and healthy masculinity. 

Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee

The Student DEI Committee at Stanford OHS  serves as the student voice for the schools diversity, equity and inclusion goals and efforts. This committee is made up of student leaders from a variety of identity affirming clubs and circles such as Black Student Union and Allies, Gender and Sexuality Alliance, LatinX Student Alliance, Disability Culture Club and Women in Stem+. The Student DEI committee meets monthly to discuss DEIBA related topics, plan for upcoming programming amongst their groups and form suggestions as to how to make Stanford OHS a more inclusive community. 

NAIS Student Diversity and Leadership Conference 

A handful of students each year are selected to attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) affiliated with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference. SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders from across the U.S and abroad. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. Participating students develop cross-cultural communication skills, design effective strategies for social justice practice through dialogue and the arts, and learn the foundations of allyship and networking principles

    Instructor & Staff Leadership

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee

    Led by the DEIBA Director, the DEI Committee at Stanford OHS works to enact the school’s strategic plan in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Areas of focus include:

    • Defining a concept of diversity which is relevant to the unique environment of Stanford OHS
    • Continuously evaluating Stanford OHS’s current status on diversity and inclusion in its programs to find opportunities to make thoughtful changes and to expand discussions
    • Touching on all aspects of the school, such as co-curricular programs, recruiting, curriculum, and counseling, measuring the current breadth and width of these programs in relation to DEIBA goals and identifying areas for growth
    • Facilitating co-curricular activities such as clubs and Friday speakers to provide a wider range of perspectives
    • Facilitating ongoing professional development for Stanford OHS instructors and staff to increase competencies in DEIBA practices

    NAIS People of Color Conference

    Every year a group of instructors and staff attend the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (PoCC). The PoCC is the flagship of NAIS’s commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning, and organizational development. The conference's mission is to provide a safe space for leadership, professional development, and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds.

    Professional Development
    Stanford OHS is committed to providing ongoing DEI professional development to staff and instructors. In 2022, Stanford OHS staff and instructors participated in a workshop with Dr. Derrick Gay. Dr. Gay is a Diversity and Inclusion Strategist who consults with organizations to deepen D&I capacity; enhance inclusion, engagement, and design strategy to maximize education goals.

    Stanford IDEAL Learning

    A group of Stanford OHS instructors and staff completed the Stanford IDEAL Pedagogy program in 2021-22. This program provides a unified curriculum around inclusive and equitable pedagogy to represent all dimensions of diversity, promote student belonging, and equalize access for all students. Another group of instructors and staff will complete this program in 2022-23.

    In addition, Stanford OHS instructors and staff are completing the Stanford IDEAL Learning Journey curriculum designed to cultivate inclusion in 2022-23. The Stanford IDEAL curriculum focuses on building awareness, strengthening skills and applying positive approaches in daily interactions to enhance feelings of respect and sense of belonging. Topics include implicit bias, debiasing techniques and allyship. 

    Timeline of Efforts

    In 2017, Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies, then the umbrella organization for Stanford Online High School, created the Director of Diversity and Outreach position.
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    The Director led the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) committee to carry out diversity and inclusion projects at both Stanford OHS and SPCS Outreach Programs.
    In 2017, Stanford OHS formed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
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    The committee focused specifically on DEI initiatives within the school.
    In 2019, Stanford OHS began the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Assessment of Inclusion and Multiculturalism (AIM).
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    This two-year process included surveys of school stakeholders, input from discovery groups, and finally recommendations coming out of the entire process.
    In 2020, Stanford OHS formed the Global Education Committee.
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    This committee focuses on initiatives to meet the needs of international students and families.
    In 2021, Stanford OHS becomes a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS).
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    CIS members share these ideals: a desire to provide students with the knowledge, skills and abilities to pursue their lives as global citizens; and a commitment to high quality international education.
    In 2022, Stanford OHS created the Stanford Middle School Scholars Program, instructing low-income middle school students in the skills needed to succeed in an academically rigorous college preparatory school.
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    Students selected from across the U.S. are led by Stanford OHS instructors in summer courses and weekly academic year meetings from August through March. https://smssp.spcs.stanford.edu/
    In 2022, Stanford OHS created the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Access position.
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    The DEIBA Director works to execute the schools strategic DEIBA goals as a result of the NAIS Assessment of Inclusion and Multiculturalism (AIM).

    "As families, students, staff, and instructors, we are individual “Pixels,” but when viewed together, we create a remarkable picture of global connection, bright and engaging young minds, and a spirit of innovation."

    Kristen Sullivan

    Director of Student Life
    Pixels Bench

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