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Cultural Competency & Inclusion

At Savannah Country Day, we believe in the transformative power of education that goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. Our commitment to cultural competency and inclusion is at the heart of our educational philosophy. We strive to create a vibrant and nurturing environment where every student feels a profound sense of belonging, and we are committed to cultivating a community where all experiences, backgrounds, identities, and abilities are valued and respected. Through a range of inclusive initiatives and programs, we create an atmosphere where each student feels seen, heard, and empowered to thrive academically and personally. 
Lower School

Lower School students participate in monthly initiatives focused on cultural awareness, self-awareness and empathy. The 3rd-5th grade students put on an annual multi-cultural potluck. Students experience various food tastings, cultural traditions, games, and more.

Middle School

Student Diversity Club: Middle School is an opportune place for students to foster and engage in dialogue related to Cultural Competency and Inclusion. This important dialogue brings awareness to issues in the Middle School and provides solutions and strategies to navigate these issues. 

Upper School

Our Upper School club, Students Celebrating Diversity, brings awareness to the larger SCDS community. Every year we send a cohort of students to the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Students Celebrating Diversity adhere to the following goals:

We educate ourselves and the greater community; create an environment that welcomes open and honest dialogues among everyone; emphasize empathy, tolerance, and acceptance; and work toward ending macro and microaggressions.

The 2024 Multicultural Festival featured a wide range of food and activities from the various cultures represented at Country Day. 

News & Happenings

Country Day Welcomed Special Guest Speaker, Mrs. Vera Hoffman

As a culmination of their study on WWII—including a class-wide book club discussion on the novella "Address Unknown"—Mrs. Nikaj's eighth graders were honored to welcome Mrs. Vera Hoffman, the last living Holocaust survivor in Savannah, to campus on April 25. Mrs. Hoffman shared the harrowing story of her family’s survival during the Holocaust and graciously met with individual students after the assembly to answer questions. She shared the following words with our eighth-graders and encouraged them to take them to heart: "Living in the past is not healthy; remembering the past is essential." It was an assembly that stirred emotions and sparked contemplation, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mrs. Hoffman for her invaluable time and profound impact.

2024 Multicultural Festival a Success!

Thanks to all who attended the annual Multicultural Festival. Our Students Celebrating Diversity club hosted an afternoon of fantastic food and entertainment!

Students Attend Diversity Conference

In late November, a group of SCDS students joined over 2,000 other high school students from across the nation for the 2023 Student Diversity Leadership Conference, a flagship conference of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). This year's conference took place in St. Louis, MO, with the theme, Bending the Arc Toward Justice: Radical Optimism, Transformational Joy, Resilience, and Brilliance. Country Day student attendees included Miles King, Rachi Wilson, Ayo Ajayi, Jade Flood, Ramon Barboa, and Liv Posey. Junior Jade Flood commented, "My favorite part of the SDLC trip was exploring friendship. I had so much fun meeting new people and forming stronger relationships with my peers who accompanied me!" Freshman Miles King added, "SDLC helped me realize that I need to speak up instead of letting people turn down my voice in the world." Karen Brown, Director of Cultural Competency and Inclusion, enthuses, "I am always so excited to accompany students and faculty to the conference. It re-energizes me every year, and it embodies what we strive for in our Independent Schools—inclusion and belonging. Our students were in awe of the many impressive speakers, presentations, and activities each day. It was a wonderful and life-changing experience for our SCDS students who attended."

Rangoli Creations

In celebration of Diwali, India's biggest and most important holiday, Lower School art teacher Clare Ward hosted a day of rangoli creation. Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. Students and teachers gathered throughout the day to create bright, colorful, and thoughtful rangoli!

Highlighting Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, faculty use Hispanic Heritage Month—an annual celebration from September 15 to October 15—as a way to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. Ms. Bocanegra, a Middle School Spanish teacher and the MS Cultural Competency & Inclusion Coordinator, gave a presentation to students about various contributions from Hispanic Americans, the difference between Hispanic and Latino/Latina/Latinx, and why the month is celebrated each year. 

Global Getdown

Global Getdown is a student-submitted video series highlighting the cultural/religious heritage of some of our families. Click the link below to view the Global Getdown videos.

Global Getdown Videos 2023-2024

Global Getdown Videos 2022-2023

In accordance with our mission, core beliefs, and strategic plan, we seek to foster and affirm a diverse and inclusive community at Savannah Country Day School.  Members of this community reflect varied and multi-faceted backgrounds and identities and acknowledge these differences with sensitivity and respect.  This community is critical to nurturing a sense of belonging in each student and inspiring lifelong intellectual and personal growth in all.

Meet the CCI Team

Karen Brown

Director of Cultural Competency and Inclusion

Sara Bocanegra

Middle School Spanish Teacher (6th & 7th Grade), Middle School Cultural Competency & Inclusion Co-Coordinator

Merritt Graves

Lower School Music Teacher, Lower School Cultural Competency & Inclusion Coordinator

Jennifer Sams

Little School Teacher, Little School Cultural Competency & Inclusion Coordinator, Little School Cultural Competency and Inclusion Coordinator

At SCDS we understand the importance of celebrating our similarities while also recognizing that we are human individuals with diverse identities, including, but not limited to:
- ethnicity
- nationality

- age
- gender identity
- ability
- race
- religion
- sexual orientation
- family structure
- socioeconomic status