Founded in 1921 by Elisabeth Irwin (a contemporary and colleague of John Dewey, Caroline Pratt, and Lucy Sprague Mitchell), the school has been at the vanguard of pedagogical innovation since its founding. LREI’s goal is to educate students to become independent thinkers and lifelong learners and to pursue academic excellence and individual achievement, in a context of respect for others and service to the community. We believe that learning should be active and experiential, with the school providing abundant opportunities for students to excel. We accept students with a range of abilities and talents who can take full advantage of a rich and demanding academic program in which each student is both challenged and supported. We seek to create within the school a community built on understanding and respecting others. Thus, our student body traditionally reflects the racial and cultural diversity of our city, and our curriculum is built on inter-disciplinary studies to promote understanding of many cultures. While individual achievement is encouraged and rewarded, our program underscores the value of shared goals, friendship, and cooperation in mastering difficult tasks. The progressive ideals that in 1921 gave life and inspiration to the school — academic excellence and creativity, active learning and innovative teaching, respect for the individual and responsibility to the community-continue to guide the school today. LREI is located in vibrant Greenwich Village and classes venture forth often to use the neighborhood and the city to provide rich learning experiences.
A member of LREI’s senior administrative leadership team, the Director of Equity and Community (DEC) is an essential participant in all institutional conversations and decision making. The DEC provides strategic leadership in the area of diversity, equity, and social justice based on the school’s mission and strategic plan.
The Director of Equity and Community develops and presents workshops for faculty and staff during weekly faculty meetings, annual professional development days, and with small groups working on specific strategic projects. The DEC is responsible for leading the school’s curricular diversity and justice initiatives.
Student / Parent Education:
The Director of Equity and Community develops and presents workshops for families and students. The DEC hosts speakers/consultants to enhance the understanding of equity and justice issues in our community and beyond. The DEC partners with faculty/staff to develop and present curriculum to students in all three divisions and support student groups, assemblies, and equity/justice-related activities, PreK-12th grade.
Internal Outreach and Support:
The Director of Equity and Community attends meetings of the various diversity and affinity groups in the school, and/or receives regular feedback from these groups to guide these groups as needed. The DEC coordinates efforts among groups and individuals and provides administrative support for their activities, where appropriate, and initiates activities to help all members of the community feel fully part of school life.
External Outreach & Recruiting:
The Director of Equity and Community is responsible for strengthening the school’s efforts to attract diverse community members - faculty, staff, and families. This includes participation in job fairs and conferences, linking with educational organizations that focus on diversity, and outreach to multicultural organizations and communities in NYC and the larger independent school community.
Communication & Liaison:
The Director of Equity and Community communicates and coordinates with the school’s administration, faculty/staff, and parents re diversity and equity-related concerns, issues, and events. The DEC is a liaison with the Board of Trustees through the Board’s Committee on Diversity & Community (CDC) and is the liaison with any outside diversity consultants, facilitating the consultant’s activities.
The Director of Equity and Community responds to issues as they arise, identified by or through the Director or other administrators and faculty/staff members, parents, students, and trustees. The DEC acts as an “ombudsperson” for staff, students, or parents who encounter equity-related issues and help them find the most appropriate route for dealing with particular concerns. The DEC serves as a resource for faculty/staff, trustees, parents, students, and administrators seeking more information about diversity and equity-related issues.
The Director of Equity and Community ensures that all school efforts and activities take into account our community, diversity, and equity needs. The DEC reviews school publications and communications to make sure they reflect our Mission and Diversity Statements.
A leader in progressive education since 1921, LREI teaches children to be independent thinkers who work together to solve complex problems. Students graduate from our diverse community as active participants in our democratic society, with the creativity, integrity, and courage to bring meaningful change to the world.