Deeply rooted in The Cathedral School ethos is a commitment to equity and justice, which is manifested throughout Cathedral’s student experience. Integral to that experience is the K-8 Identity Curriculum, which was developed in 2010 and subsequently implemented in 2013. This framework teaches students to explore both their own identities and group identities and to ask challenging questions about themselves and the world around them. This pivotal point of reckoning in our country's history reminds us once again how critical it is to engage in anti-bias teaching and learning with all members of our community.

In May, Mr. Ben Jacoff’s 4th grade class utilized Identity Time, a component of the Identity Curriculum, to process the violence perpetrated against Black Americans by police and to discuss the ensuing protests. Subsequently, Mr. Jacoff led his class’s ally group in a discussion about the significance of these protests and their historical context. Students engaged deeply and expressed their desire to act and stand up against racism. “They didn’t want to remain silent,” Mr. Jacoff said. “They believe that remaining silent is dangerous and that action is important.” As a result of the discussion, these young allies created an Anti-Racist Declaration ( below ), crafting each statement by themselves in response to the prompt, “What do you believe to be true?” After sharing with their classmates, each 4th grader chose a line to print and display in their home windows. 

We, the members of 4J's ally affinity group, believe:


  • That Black Lives Matter

  • That everyone in our class, no matter their race, are people and deserve to be treated like people

  • That no matter the color of your skin, we should all be equal

  • That no lives matter until Black Lives Matter

  • That if people of color have been fighting this fight for many years, it’s on us all to take up the fight

  • That it’s wrong to say “all lives matter” because right now, we need to make sure Black Lives Matter

  • That no one is guilty until proven guilty

  • That the students of 4J who identify as White and Asian are here to support our classmates who identify as Black and Brown

  • That there can be no silence for racism

  • That you can’t judge “a book by its cover” or a person by the color of their skin

  • That in this school teachers treat everyone fairly - we won’t accept teachers who treat students differently because of their race

This is one example of a student-driven response—a concrete action taken by our own 4th graders as we all reckon with the systemic racism of our world. 

Cathedral School Administration and the Board of Trustees recognize this work is ongoing and that it is imperative to continue moving forward with renewed energy and recommit the school to examining its own role in perpetuating institutionalized racism. Recently, Marsha Nelson, Head of School, and Dr. Worokya Duncan, Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement and Interim Head of Upper School, sent this statement of solidarity and hosted Holding Spaces for students, parents, faculty, and staff to reflect on recent events, express their feelings, and stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Cathedral, like all institutions, is on its own journey, and school leadership is committed to generating, communicating, and implementing a comprehensive anti-racist action plan for the continued growth and support of our community, at every level. We look forward to being in touch and sharing additional information this summer. In the meantime, if you would like to be involved or share your Cathedral experience regarding race please contact alumni@cathedralnyc.org .
On June 12, The Cathedral School Class of 2020 celebrated both a virtual Bookplate Presentation and virtual Commencement Ceremony. While we were unable to gather in the Cathedral Church, a deep sense of warmth and care was felt as their families, friends, and teachers gathered to support these 8th graders on such a joyful and meaningful day.

More than 300 guests attended Graduation, where 1st grade teacher Ms. Ann Bryant gave the Commencement Address. She began her speech with, “If you know me, you know I love telling stories, so here’s one last story for you to enjoy. It’s called  The Class of 2020  and it is written by The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine.”  Click here to read Ms. Bryant's speech. Another special element was a video showcasing the Cathedral campus and the students' beautiful self-portraits completed in Mr. Brian Delacey's art class. Please click here , or on the image below, to view this video.

We are proud of our 8th graders, who are now officially alumni of The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine! We are happy to welcome them into this community and celebrate all they have accomplished on and off our dear Close. Please join us in expressing our congratulations and best wishes!
Since closing the school building and transitioning to distance learning in March, Cathedral has formed a Reopening Task Force, which has created a preliminary Reopening Plan informed by extensive guidance from local and national authorities and school associations. The Cathedral School is fortunately positioned to welcome students safely back to campus while remaining socially distanced through the use of additional and repurposed spaces such as Synod Hall, the Crypt Gym, and the grounds of the Close. Thus, if the Governor allows schools to open for in-person instruction in the fall, our school building and campus will open for in-person classes.
 
Faculty and staff completed a full week of Professional Development and planning, and administrators will continue to work throughout the summer to refine the many details of the Reopening Plan. Faculty members are also building upon their spring teaching experience to prepare an enhanced distance learning program should conditions prohibit on-campus instruction at any point.
 
While we at The Cathedral School are always delighted to welcome guests, unfortunately we are unable to accommodate visitors for the foreseeable future. If you would like to be in touch with Cathedral, please contact alumni@cathedralnyc.org . Thank you for your understanding, and we will certainly keep you posted as circumstances change and we are able to receive visitors once again.
We are thrilled to announce the success of the Alumni Spirit Challenge! THANK YOU, Cathedral School alumni, for rising to the occasion and helping us claim a $5,000 Challenge Grant offered by an anonymous alumni donor in support of the 2019-2020 Annual Fund . Because of your commitment and care, the number of alumni donors has grown by more than 55% this year and our community was able to claim this extraordinary grant. On behalf of all Cathedral School students, faculty, and staff, thank you for making this possible!
 
The Annual Fund continues to provide essential operating support for virtually every aspect of our program. Now more than ever, every gift is appreciated, and every gift makes an immediate difference, strengthening the financial foundation of our school as we respond to the changing needs of our community. With your support, Cathedral can and will continue to inspire our next generation of leaders to grow into articulate, confident, responsible, engaged citizens of the world. 

If you have not yet had a chance to make a gift, there’s still time to do so before June 30. Please click the button below, or visit www.cathedralnyc.org/giving .  
If you have any questions, please contact advancement@cathedralnyc.org . Thank you for your continued investment—we are deeply grateful for the spirit and support of our alumni community.
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