Equity and Inclusivity
Our goal is to make EASTSIDE PREPARATORY SCHOOL a community that welcomes all people regardless of age, color, creed, race, religious affiliation or lack thereof, disability, marital status, veteran status, socioeconomic status, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender identity, or gender expression. Our curriculum, communications, admissions, hiring and staffing plans are proactively developed and implemented to further understanding of, interest in, and acceptance of people regardless of physical features or existential facts. Building such a community is a constantly evolving activity that requires flexibility, trust, and commitment to the idea that all people share a common humanity.
Gender Expression and Identity Policy
Federal and State law prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment on the basis of gender expression and gender identity in K – 12 public schools. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division), the U.S. Department of Education (Office for Civil Rights), and the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (Equity and Civil Rights Office) have issued guidelines and statements of students’ rights regarding gender expression and gender identity. These guidelines and statements can be found at the following website:
Eastside Preparatory School considers these guidelines and statements to represent current best practices for independent schools. As a result, Eastside Preparatory School adopts as its Policy on Gender Expression and Gender Identity the general guidelines and statements of students’ rights promulgated by the aforementioned agencies. 1 Additional components of Eastside Preparatory School’s Policy on Gender Expression and Gender Identity are set forth below. This policy may be amended or modified at any time.
This policy covers conduct that takes place in the school, on school property, at school-sponsored functions and activities, on school buses or vehicles and at bus stops, and on school-sponsored trips requiring housing or overnight accommodations. This policy also pertains to usage of electronic technology and electronic communication that occurs in the school, on school property, at school-sponsored functions and activities, on school buses or vehicles and at bus stops, and on school computers, networks, forums, and mailing lists. This policy applies to the entire school community, including educators, EPS employees, students, parents/guardians, and volunteers.
All persons, including students, have a right to privacy, and this includes the right to keep one’s gender status private at school. Information about a student’s gender expression or gender identity, legal name, or sex assigned at birth also may constitute confidential medical information. Disclosing this information to other students, their parents/guardians, or other third parties may violate privacy laws. School staff shall not disclose information specific to a student’s gender expression or gender identity status to others, including parents/guardians and other school staff, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.
Students have the right to discuss and express their gender identity and gender expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share private information. The fact that a student chooses to disclose gender identity or gender expression status to staff or other students does not authorize school staff to disclose other medical information about the student. When contacting a parent or guardian, school staff should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s sex assigned at birth unless the student, parent, or guardian has specified otherwise. (See following section on “Student Transitions”.)
Protecting the privacy of students must be a top priority and all medical information shall be kept strictly confidential. Violating confidentiality of this information is a violation of this policy.
The school maintains a student record that includes a student’s legal name and gender assigned at birth. With the exception of medical records kept by the school for healthcare purposes, the school will use the name and gender articulated by the student. The school will change a student’s official record to reflect a change in legal name or gender upon receipt of documentation that such change has been made pursuant to a court order, or through amendment of state or federally issued identification. School IDs, for example, are not legal documents and should use the student’s articulated name. In situations where school staff or administrators are required by law to use or to report a student’s legal name or gender assigned at birth, such as for purposes of standardized testing, school staff and administrators shall avoid the inadvertent disclosure of any confidential information concerning gender expression or gender identity.
Names and Pronouns
Every student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity. A court-ordered name or gender change is not required, and the student need not change their official records. Teachers and staff should respect the manner in which a student chooses to be addressed at school or on school activities, in correspondence to the home, or at conferences with the student’s parent/guardian.
Generally, notification of a student’s parent/guardian about the student’s gender identity, expression or transition is unnecessary, as they are already aware and may be supportive. In some cases, however, notifying parents/guardians carries risks for the student. Prior to notification of any parent or guardian regarding the transition process, school staff should work closely with the student to assess the degree to which, if any, the parent/guardian will be involved in the process and should consider the health, well-being, and safety of the transitioning student. When a student transitions during the school year, the school shall hold a meeting with the student (and parents/guardians if they are involved in the process) to ascertain the student’s desires and concerns. The school should discuss a timeline for the transition in order to create the conditions supporting a safe and accepting environment at the school. Finally, the school shall train school administrators and any educators that interact directly with the student on the transition plan, and timelines for transition.
1 Eastside Preparatory School adopts the statements of students’ rights articulated by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction – Equity and Civil Rights Office save and except for the procedures associated with the filing and adjudication of a formal complaint or appeal thereof to a school district or OSPI.