Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a core value of St. Thomas’s Day School.

We view diversity holistically and value it as a strength in our community in which equity and inclusion ensure that every member of our community has access to a full St. Thomas’s Day School experience. The school community finds much joy in embracing and celebrating each individual’s uniqueness along the lines of age, gender, religion, ability, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, culture and family structure. We seek to strengthen the commonalities that bind us as a community and view diversity as a way to provide us the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to navigate in a complex society of human differences. We believe that children who learn and grow together in a diversified community develop an openness and appreciation for others.

St. Thomas’s actively welcomes families and students of all faiths and backgrounds. At St. Thomas’s, social and emotional development of students is a core part of their school experience. Multiple perspectives, multicultural themes, and issues of equity and justice are integrated into the curriculum. This creates a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environment for all.

52% students of color

22% students are bilingual and speak 11 different languages from across the globe

23 Zip codes represented

Lower School

While all grades focus on identity work, grades K-3 spend significant time developing a strong sense of self. It fosters respect, social connections, and an understanding and appreciation for differences.

Goals of Identity Work

  • Develop a positive self-esteem
  • Learn about children, people, families, and communities across the world
  • Explore different cultures, geographical locations, languages, customs, and traditions

Upper School

Having already developed a strong foundation of identity, students in grades 4-6 begin to expand their understanding of the world. They analyze resources, ask questions, form opinions supported by facts, and effectively express their ideas.

One Story, Many Voices

  • Social Studies intentionally represents a variety of perspectives
  • During discussions of historical narratives, groups that have historically been ignored are highlighted
  • Exploration of many (sometimes competing) versions of a story to construct informed interpretations

Identity Work Across the Grades


Kindergarteners at St. Thomas’s Day School are given ample opportunities to explore who they are in relation to the world around them as they engage in a wide variety of carefully curated play-based learning experiences. The children learn about a variety of cultures, traditions, and beliefs through exposure to literature, the celebration of holidays, and navigation in a variety of social experiences with classmates. Confidence and positive self-esteem are nurtured, promoting a healthy sense of identity and giving children a sense of belonging within the group. Kindergarteners are supported and celebrated by all St. Thomas’s Day School community members.

Grade 1

Continuing the work that began in Kindergarten, students in first grade use art, storytelling, writing, and reflection to learn about how they are valued as individuals. They examine the idea that each person has multiple identities, including race, gender, age, role, and so much more. Students also explore similarities and differences between people, particularly with regard to values and beliefs. They create keepsake boxes that celebrate who they are as unique and special individuals, work with their families to create life story presentations for their birthdays, and explore the cultures and traditions within their classroom via the Lower School Express.

Grade 2

By second grade, the focus around identity shifts towards emotional intelligence. A second grader’s day is interspersed with a series of check-ins and moments of reflection that help him/her understand and manage feelings and emotions. Upon entering the classroom each morning, students visit the “How are you feeling today?” Velcro board, a valuable tool that develops emotional literacy and self awareness skills. The morning meeting is used to promote important peer conversations and provide opportunities for students to share, as well as listen to and learn from others. By learning to identify and acknowledge their own emotions, students begin to recognize the emotions of others, developing respect and empathy, which will lead to positive relationships. These skills also provide students with a strong foundation for future learning when they dive into complex topics that may be challenging and evoke strong emotions.

Grade 3

Identity work in third grade focuses on reflection around who students are as individuals within the classroom. Third graders explore their identities as students, examining what kind of learners they are, what kinds of spaces they work best in, how they communicate, and a variety of other behaviors. They also examine how those qualities mix and interact within a community. Students learn to see and acknowledge each other, accepting each other’s strengths, weaknesses, passions, and interests. There is an emphasis on building relationships and a sense of community that respects all individuals.

Grade 4

In fourth grade, a year when students developmentally begin to explore who they are and where they fit among their peers, students engage in authentic explorations about what makes an individual special. This work includes creating identity maps, as well as writing poems and personal narratives that require students to reflect on their unique experiences and journeys. Students explore how their personal experiences impact their view of the world and learn to respect and appreciate different experiences and perspectives within the community. These activities build a strong foundation for work with multiperspectivity when they examine some of the untold stories of under-represented groups in history.

Grade 5

Fifth graders build on the idea that their experiences, values, and beliefs influence their perceptions of the world. They explore how their identities are formed and transformed over time, examining their roles and relationships in the classroom and the larger community. From there, students begin to explore the concept of agency. They use famous individuals who have historically used their voices to make a difference in the world as models for how they can use their own voices to express ideas respectfully. This work sets the stage for the much deeper and more complex explorations of historical events around conflict and change that will be studied in the future.

Grade 6

Sixth graders, as the oldest and most mature students in the school, begin to examine how they can use their identities to affect change in the world. They learn about conflict as a universal problem among humans throughout history and across the world, thinking about what causes conflict, as well as different ways that conflict has been resolved historically. There is a focus on how conflict ultimately leads to change. They then think about issues and topics of interest they would like to pursue, identifying how they can “make the world a better place” by exercising their right and ability to take action.