The International Baccalaureate (IB) plays a vital role in supporting this effort. The IB's mission is "to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect". As an IB School, ISZL has been embracing inclusion and acceptance of different perspectives and people for years. It is a priority to ensure that every member of our community feels safe and has a sense of belonging. Our commitment towards realising this goal is achieved, in part, through the adoption of the IB's learning principles and learner profile, in addition to engaging and fostering a welcoming international community. The IB's mission statement serves as an important additional reference as we further articulate ISZL's values and beliefs, foundational documents, and associated policies.
In order to further advance awareness associated with inclusion, a group of teachers, leadership team members, and counsellors partnered with Educate and Celebrate, an organisation from the United Kingdom that supports schools as they work to ensure environments that prioritise inclusion. From this partnership, ECCO (Educate and Celebrate Coordinators) was formed to identify and implement 31 action items over the next two years. One of the most critical action items was to update the ISZL Inclusion policy:
ISZL agrees to support, respect and seek inclusion with regards to the safety and care of all community members. This includes but is not limited to: age; disabilities; ethnicity; gender; gender expression; gender identity; health needs; languages spoken; marital status; mental health; national origin; political affiliation; race; religion; sex; sexual orientation, and any additional characteristic protected under Swiss law.
ISZL endeavours to understand and protect the civil and human rights of all individuals within the community, striving to maintain a high level of multicultural awareness and knowledge about all applicable laws and statutes related to non-discrimination and inclusion. This policy relates to all decisions and advocacy regarding staffing, recruitment, student care, suitability of external organisation partnerships, and curriculum. ISZL will review this policy, as well as practices and procedures, periodically.
The policy was then transformed into a poster that shares the essence of the updated inclusion policy and the sentiment that 'We Are All ISZL'. You can see this poster below.
I look forward to sharing more developments in this important area throughout the coming year.