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Every Moment Counts

A Stevens education encourages inquiry, critical thinking and collaborative problem solving.

Purposeful learning, every moment of every day, is why Stevens graduates are More Than Ready for success in high school and beyond.

Diversity & Equity

Stevens' Diversity Statement

  Rachell Arteaga 
  Director of Equity and Student    Services

We believe an equitable and inclusive learning environment creates empowering and supportive experiences that build a more just and compassionate world. Stevens Cooperative School is a safe place for students to develop their authentic identities and grow an appreciation for how diversity enriches our lives. We strive to be a school comprised of unique individuals of different backgrounds, identities, and beliefs, where all voices are equally valued and respected. We actively attempt to fight intolerance, discrimination and inequity.

Our school is a place where all members feel empowered, embraced, and celebrated for who they are. We provide students, faculty, staff, and families with the resources, tools and opportunities needed to engage ethically with the larger community and shape the future. We are committed to exploring and understanding personal and systemic biases, so that students can become the best form of themselves and advocate for others. Students take action and study issues of social justice in ways that facilitate and deepen their understanding of power, personal responsibility and social change.

At Stevens Cooperative School, our diversity is our unity and a cornerstone of our growth as human beings and global citizens.

Equity Coordinators

Alicia Agosti
Cross-Campus

Margaret Belkhyat
Hoboken Campus

Javier Fernandez
Newport Campus

DEIB at Work

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month! This month celebrates and recognizes the contributions, heritages, and cultures of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. Students across our buildings are observing this celebration in many different ways, from our entry whiteboards featuring facts about important people, countries, and members of the Stevens community, to in-depth classroom discussions. 4th graders at our Jersey City Campus learned about the initiation of this celebration and will continue to learn more about important individuals, past and present, throughout the next few weeks. Some notable role models discussed include Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Roberto Clemente, a professional baseball right fielder who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Hoboken 4th graders also discussed the impact of influential figures and created biography posters highlighting Carlos Santana, Dolores Huerta, Celia Cruz, and Frida Kahlo.
 

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day

On Monday, October 11, school was closed for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. On Tuesday, our Jersey City and Hoboken campuses gathered for their first virtual assemblies of the school year to learn more about this observance. Eighth grade students explained how the annual holiday honors indigenous people in the United States and shines a light on the mistreatment and cultural genocide they faced and the continued discrimination they experience. In third grade, students have been busy learning about the Lenape people who lived in Hoboken and Jersey City. In art, they also learned about the Haudenosaunee people who are native to the northeast. This group of Native Americans was formerly known as the Iroquois, which is a French term that means “snake people.” Students made connections between this study and their own identity exploration and shared the importance of people having the right to choose their name and how they identify. The Haudenosaunee made Hiawatha belts to share their identities and preserve their stories, culture, and values. Third graders are now working on their own belts!

National American Indian Heritage Month

November is National American Indian Heritage Month. Building off of the lessons learned during Indigenous Peoples’ Day in October, our 3rd graders continue to explore the lives and communities who settled and live in New Jersey and New York, including the Lenni-Lenape people. The students use current events to make connections between the past and present and have been busy learning more about different ways to honor the people whose territory we gather on today. The 3rd graders have adapted their own version of a land acknowledgment and encourage members of the Stevens community who would like to honor the Lenni-Lenape people to use it preceding school events!

Learning About Hanukkah

Hanukkah began on Sunday, November 28. This Jewish Observance is an eight-day festival of lights that celebrates the rededication of the temple and commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek King, Antiochus, who sought to suppress their religious freedom. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are 24 different ways to spell the name of this celebration! 1st graders read two different Hanukkah stories and noticed how the titles used different spellings, which they explored further during phonics. They also discussed the importance of learning about different observances and shared the following thoughts:


“It wouldn’t be fair if we only learned about certain holidays that people celebrated.”
“It's important to learn about other people's holidays and cultures.”
“You can learn about new amazing holidays that you might like!”
“It's respectful to learn about other cultures.”
“If a friend asked you to celebrate with them, you wouldn't know about anything about the holiday unless you learned about it.”

Student Action for Diwali Observance

As Stevens adults have been working to build a more inclusive school, so too have students. 

That was the case earlier this month, when a group of 4th grade students in Hoboken presented Head of School Sergio Alati with a petition and 
essays in support of a school closure for Diwali, a major holiday celebrated in the Hindu, Jain and Sikh faiths. Led by 4th graders Myra K. and Amiya P., who celebrate Diwali with their families, the students explained that the school could not take time off for holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah if it did not do the same for Diwali. 

Sergio heard their petition and then, to their pleasant surprise, revealed that he had just finalized the 2022-23 school calendar, which includes days off for Diwali and Eid, one of the major holidays in Islam. The calendar changes had been under consideration for the last two years and were reviewed by the administration and board of trustees.

Hearing that, said Amiya, “was probably the best I've ever felt in my life.”

Read more about student action for a Diwali school closure on our blog!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service 2022

Students celebrated the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with assemblies at our Hoboken and Newport campuses as well as various acts of service in their classrooms. At the Hoboken assembly, 2nd graders sang a rendition of “Let Freedom Ring” and 5th graders gave a presentation on the different forms that institutional racism can take in our society, including housing’s history of “redlining.

  • In 4th Grade E, students gathered donations for St. Lucy’s Emergency Shelter in Jersey City. 
  • In 2nd Grade K, students studied King by reading books and watching video clips. Following a discussion of fairness and equality around the world, the students decided they would also gather items to donate to St. Lucy’s.
  • In 1st Grade N, students paid particular attention to King’s commitment to nonviolence. After reading Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds, children were encouraged to think about what it was that they wanted to say to the world. They came up with various messages including “Black Lives Matter,” “Love Others,” and “Be Brave.
Black History Month 2022

Students continued their yearlong studies of Black history throughout the month of February, with a focus on Black leaders who fought injustice and made historic contributions to literature and the arts and sciences.

Some highlights:

  • After learning the history of Jazz music, Kindergarteners are now huge Louis Armstrong fans and have been requesting his music during independent work time.
  • First graders learned about Ruby Bridges, school segregation and the Juneteenth holiday. They also read Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry.
  • Fourth graders researched Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, and Misty Copeland, and the types of inequities they each fought.
  • Fifth graders read Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and attended a discussion with the author, who spoke about identity and belonging.
  • Sixth graders researched Black historical figures who used their power to influence change in society, as well as Black musicians, athletes and activists from New Jersey and New York City.
  • Seventh graders are reading Henry Louis Gates' book, The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song, and are connecting it to their study of Christianity.