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Mr. Peychaud Says: Black Lives Matter

Head of School Joseph Peychaud on building community.
Head of School Joseph Peychaud

Dear WSNO Community,

The Black Lives Matter movement and its message are resonating with people around the world. Let me be clear about where Waldorf School of New Orleans stands on this issue. Not only are we in support of the movement, we are continuing to identify and employ meaningful ways of becoming agents of change.

We've long recognized diversity, equity, and inclusion as critical work that needs doing, which is why it has been one of our core values for many years. However, there is more work to do. Our efforts thus far have extended to both of our campuses (Main Campus and Early Childhood Center) in various ways. The most obvious way diversity is manifested at any school is through enrollment. Our enrollment was progressing toward a better reflection of our community with the help of outreach efforts, the St. Rose Scholarship, and our tuition assistance program. WSNO families came to represent 21 different nationalities, nearly 30% of our students came from families of color, and 18% were Black. The pandemic took a toll on those efforts, so the task before us now is to climb to that level again and ultimately surpass it. However, that responsibility doesn't end with enrollment. In fact, enrollment is just the beginning.

We are reexamining every facet of ourselves, from our curriculum to our professional development to diversifying our faculty and staff. Our Board, along with school leadership, started rewriting our Mission, Vision, and Values at the end of last school year as part of our strategic plan. We are continuing that work and are more deeply incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion as a key piece of this effort. This emphasis will help guide our strategic decisions as a school.

The reason Waldorf education was created was literally to make the world a better place. I invite you to learn more about all the ways we're striving to follow that creed, teach our students to do the same, and together, be agents of change.

In Partnership,

Joseph E. Peychaud Head of School

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