The National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) is pleased to announce the publication of its Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice in Episcopal Schools, which was approved by the NAES Governing Board at its April 2013 meeting. The document is the latest entry in NAES’ Principles of Good Practice series that, to date, has addressed such topics as Episcopal identity, parish day school governance, leadership transitions, chapel and worship, and the study of religion.
Today’s Episcopal schools are populated by a rich variety of human beings from increasingly diverse dimensions of identity and religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds. They are places that affirm these differences as sources of strength that build up common life, deepen our common humanity, and enhance the intellectual, social, spiritual, and moral development all students. This mandate is succinctly expressed in Goal Four of the NAES 2012 Strategic Plan: to “articulate a core religious identity within the context of our multi-religious and inclusive Episcopal school communities by promoting values of justice, equity, service, civil discourse, and moral courage.” These Principles reflect these core values and are a guideline and reference point to assist Episcopal schools to be places of moral courage where each person is honored fully as a child of God and the love of Christ is present on behalf of all.
In a message accompanying the distribution of these latest Principles of Good Practice to Episcopal schools and Episcopal Church bishops and leaders, the Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, executive director of NAES, wrote:
It is important to reiterate just what our Principles of Good Practice aim to be. These are not standards we expect our schools to conform to, but means by which our diverse group of schools can assess and monitor the current and future direction of their initiatives in these crucial areas of education, citizenship, and faith. As we have emphasized in previous publications, there are no more important areas in our individual and collective callings as Christians than those of justice and equity, but no more challenging ideals to which we aspire. These Principles acknowledge the hard work and sometimes slow progress that can be made, and they are offered in the spirit of serving as ideals to which we aspire, rather than indicators of current success or failure.
The publication of Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice in Episcopal Schools comes after a nearly 18 month process of discussion, consultation, and revision, including work with particular individuals and schools and the review of the various drafts by the Governing Board.
Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice in Episcopal Schools is available to purchase as a pamphlet on the NAES website.