Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Update

August 26, 2020

 

Sent to the AMHS Community on August 17, 2020.

Dear Members of the Archbishop Mitty Community,

As the school year begins, we want to update you on the work that has been done this summer regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion at Archbishop Mitty High School.  The last three months have provided us with an opportunity to hear from many of our school’s constituents and to begin the important work of addressing issues of systemic racism at Archbishop Mitty High School.  

To ensure that the work of the school and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D.E.I.) Committee (formerly the Outreach Committee) is transparent and available to our community, we have redesigned the D.E.I. website.  The newly designed homepage includes a link to progress already made, administrative changes, and updates on the initiatives currently being addressed by the school and the D.E.I. Committee.  We encourage you to visit this newly created web page and check back for quarterly updates on the school’s work in this area.  The first quarterly report will be available in September and will be followed by regular updates in December, March, and June.

Currently, the D.E.I. Committee is in the process of developing a strategic plan to address the concerns brought forth in listening sessions, on social media, and in correspondence with the administration.  The final plan will also be shared on the D.E.I. website as soon as it is completed.

Work has already begun to support faculty and staff in their professional development on the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion.  The school has partnered with Epoch Education to host a six-part equity learning series over the next two school years.  We know that this valuable partnership will provide resources to better enable our faculty and staff to support our students and ensure that AMHS is a place of welcome and inclusion for all.

We are also working with the consultants at ScholarVision Educational Consulting to conduct a climate survey in the fall of 2020 to provide current students, parents, and alumni with the opportunity to share their experiences with us. More information about the climate survey will be sent via email in the coming weeks.

In closing, we would like to thank members of the volunteer D.E.I. Committee for their continued support and work toward ensuring a culture of belonging for all members of the Archbishop Mitty community.

In Solidarity,

Kate Caputo
Interim President and Principal

Patsy Vargas
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Speech and Debate Wins National Team Award

August 26, 2020

A total of 18 Monarchs participated in the National Speech and Debate Tournament, which was held virtually in June.  For the sixth year in a row, AMHS was named a School of Outstanding Distinction, the tournament’s top award given to the top 10 schools in the nation. A special congratulations to senior Drake Som for advancing to the semifinal round of Original Oratory and automatically qualifying to Nationals next year. Congratulations also go to junior Genevieve McKenzie, who advanced to the semifinal round in Duo Interpretation.


Monarchs Advocate for Social Justice

August 26, 2020

Students participating in the Mitty Advocacy Project spent the summer engaged in an antiracism digital advocacy campaign in support of Black Lives Matter. Through a blog, Instagram, and a new supplemental website, students focused on amplifying the voices of Black creators and sharing resources to raise awareness and address the intersection of racism with environmental justice, mental health, and voting.


Monarch Performs in Curtis Institute Recital

August 26, 2020

Junior Sara Simoni recently performed a solo at the Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program Recital. Each year, the elite program accepts students to participate in a teaching festival that culminates in a performance. Congratulations, Sara!


Next Steps for AMHS

July 27, 2020

 

Sent to the AMHS Community on June 19, 2020.

Dear Members of the Archbishop Mitty Community,

On June 12, we sent out a communication in response to the conversation started on social media by Black alumni and alumni of color who described their high school experience as marred by instances of discrimination. Today we would like to extend that response.

This matter is a priority for Archbishop Mitty High School, and we commit to addressing our areas of blindness that have led to feelings of sadness, disappointment, anger, and separation for some of our students and their families. We are deeply sorry for any harm we, or members of the larger community have caused, unwittingly or otherwise. We ask for you forgiveness and also your support in our efforts to make our campus an anti-racist and anti-discriminatory institution that affirms and supports all of its students.

We are grateful to the brave alumni, students, and parents of color who have come forth to share their own painful experiences of implicit bias, cultural insensitivity, and racial discrimination on our campus. Their experiences have opened our eyes; however, we fully understand that being aware of the problem is only the first step in addressing it.

We are committed to taking concrete actions to address racism and other forms of discrimination at Archbishop Mitty High School. We write to share with you today the work that has been done and that we will continue to do to ensure meaningful, sustainable change at AMHS.

The areas of focus listed below have been grouped as either short-range (achievable by the start of school in August) or long-range (to be undertaken during the 2020-2021 school year and beyond). This categorization does not indicate a degree of importance for the initiative, simply an understanding of the time required to address the area of focus.

Short-Range Areas of Focus:

  • The existing Outreach Committee has been expanded to include representatives from our alumni, current parents, and faculty. Student representatives will be invited to join the committee in the fall. (To be completed by September 2020)

  • The school has retained ScholarVision Educational Consulting, led by Dr. Melina Johnson, to collaborate with the administration, Outreach Committee, and school community to identify initial action items and establish a strategic plan to address the issues impeding our institution’s ability to be an environment of equity and belonging.

  • Representatives from the Outreach Committee joined with representatives from ScholarVision Educational Consulting and the administration to conduct a series of listening sessions with alumni, current parents and current students to provide an opportunity for additional voices of community stakeholders to be heard. (To be completed by June 24, 2020)

  • The use of the n-word and other derogatory terms are not tolerated on campus, or in any affiliation with AMHS. Working with faculty, students, and parents, we will establish expectations and guidelines around the presence of such words within literature used in the classroom. (To be completed by September 2020)

  • The existing Work Study Program for financial aid recipients will be updated with a new form of accountability that does not stigmatize recipients of financial aid. Families and students will be informed of these changes prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year. (To be completed by July 2020)

  • We will develop an online form students can access to confidentially report concerns about their AMHS experiences. Responses to this form will be reviewed by ScholarVision Educational Consulting and shared with administrators, the Diocese, and/or local authorities as appropriate. (Available to all current students in August 2020)

  • Beginning with the return to campus, AMHS will employ a new security firm that is aligned with our commitment to the safety and equitable treatment of our students and community members.

Long Range Initiatives (to be included in the strategic plan created by the Outreach Committee and shared with the AMHS community):

  • Require educational programs for all faculty, staff, and students to address topics such as racial injustice, implicit bias, and inclusive communication.

  • Review of current curriculum in all content areas to ensure a more comprehensive and culturally responsive course of study.

  • Expand recruitment sources that include more diverse candidates to create a pool of more culturally responsive teaching and counseling applicants.

  • Restructure administrative roles to provide greater support for the forthcoming strategic plan.

  • Review of student discipline policies and systems, including but not limited to the dress code, to ensure that our policies and expectations do not discount cultural customs and contribute to bias against any group.

  • Review of academic and non-academic counseling services provided by the school and outsourced to partner institutions to provide for culturally responsive support systems to meet the diverse needs of our particular student groups.

  • Explore the options for expanding the Outreach Office space to better reflect its true value on campus.

While not a comprehensive list, the information provided here is intended to be a starting point for a more comprehensive strategic plan that will be created in the coming weeks by our Outreach Committee. We will continue to communicate our progress and provide quarterly updates, including the completed strategic plan once it is finalized.  We will communicate through our parent, student, and alumni email distribution databases.  Alumni who wish to update their email addresses can do so by clicking here.

We are heartfelt in our desire to create and maintain an institution that is steeped in our Catholic values and committed to equity and belonging in order to ensure continuous growth.

In solidarity,

Tim Brosnan
President

Kate Caputo
Principal

Greg Walker
Director of Student Activities
AASU Moderator

Patsy Vargas
Outreach Coordinator
LASU Moderator


Monarch Documentary Featured in All-American Film Fest

July 27, 2020

Congratulations to Simon Liu ’20, whose short documentary, “Tricking: Redefining Human Movement,” will be shared at the All American High School Film Fest in October. His film will be shown along with work from some of the best high school filmmakers in the nation. Simon has been an active member of AMHS Live and participated in the school’s Cinema Arts Class. Congratulations, Simon!


Inventor Named Finalist for Global Award

July 9, 2020

Junior Adarsh Ambati’s project on amphibian biodiversity is one of five finalists from across the world for the prestigious WIN-WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Youth Award. Adarsh invented a way to detect the presence of a fungus which is harmful for amphibian species using a non-invasive procedure that is cheaper than existing techniques and easy to perform in the field. Adarsh was the only finalist selected from the United States. Congratulations, Adarsh! Read more here.


Monarch Competes in National Mathematics Competition

June 18, 2020

Congratulations to junior Riley Kong, who won fifth place in the team category of the Math League national high school competition this month.  Riley’s accomplishment is particularly impressive because he did this as a team of one competing against teams with up to six students. Congratulations, Riley!


Red Sox Draft Monarch in First Round of MLB Draft

June 15, 2020

Congratulations to senior Nick Yorke! Nick was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round this week. Read more in The Mercury News.


Monarchs Use 3D Printers to Assist Healthcare Workers

May 30, 2020

Sophomore Owen Leather and junior Anish Agrawal have put their knowledge of 3D printing, learned as part of the robotics team, to practical use during the shelter-in-place orders. To date, they have manufactured more 1,400 printed parts for face shields needed to ensure the safety of doctors and nurses helping COVID-19 patients.