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Harvard-Westlake School

Private K-12 School

Mailing Address
700 North Faring Road
Los Angeles, California 90077
(818) 980-6692
Email address
School Information
"Harvard-Westlake is an independent, coeducational and college preparatory school for grades 7-12, located in Los Angeles, California. Harvard-Westlake strives to be a diverse and inclusive community united by the joyful pursuit of educational excellence, living and learning with integrity, and purpose beyond ourselves." The school enrolls 1,620 students, has an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, and offers over 300 classes. (Source: (Source:
General Information
Harvard-Westlake School has implemented anti-racism policies. In addition to requiring anti-bias trainings, curricular changes have also been made, such as redesigning the 11th grade US History course from a "critical race theory perspective" and assessing word problems in math and "rewriting them to be more representative and culturally sensitive."

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The school has sought to make the admissions process more "equitable" by "Examining admissions processes to increase access and equity in recruitment and evaluation," "Adding specific questions about inclusivity to the admission application," and "Requiring implicit bias training in August 2020 for 60+ members of the HW community involved in the admission process..."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Harvard-Westlake School released a plan titled "ANTI-RACISM at Harvard-Westlake School." As part of its DEI commitments, the school will be "Requiring DEI training for all employees."
  • The school will also be "Requiring anti-bias training, beginning with members of the Upper School Prefect Council and Middle School Student Council," "Mandating cultural competency training for all new faculty and staff members beginning in 2018," "Facilitating implicit bias training for all faculty/staff in the 2017-18 school year," and "Creating and leading mandatory professional development for all faculty and staff on a variety of issues such as structural racism, implicit bias, and issues facing LGBTQ+ members of our community."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The Images & Video unit in the 7th grade Library and Technology class "explores implicit bias and “What is Race?” from the Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum." The World Civilizations Course "explores the impact of colonialism and imperialism on the non-European world and is attentive to inequities of power, wealth, and privilege..." The curriculum will also be "Addressing the effects of conscious and unconscious bias in science in 9th grade biology," as well as "Exploring stereotypes, unconscious bias, and identity through direct instruction, activities, and personal reflection in 8th grade Human Development." In math class, students will be assessing word problems and "rewriting them to be more representative and culturally sensitive." The 11th grade US History course will be redesigned "from a critical race theory perspective, which examines the role of power dynamics in shaping history. " New curricular initiatives include, "Teaching about the intersection of identity and racism" and "Requiring all new courses in the upper school curriculum redesign process to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in the new structure and content."
Program and Research Funding
  • The school will also be "Hosting Southern California’s first Pollyanna Conference in 2018 and continuing annually, bringing together teams of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and trustees from peer institutions to address equity issues in independent schools."
  • The school lists the Pollyanna Conference as one of its initiatives.
  • The school will host 5th annual Pollyanna Conference in October 2021.
  • For additional engagement, the school will be "Conducting a diversity, equity, and inclusion climate survey for all students in grades 7-12 organized by Student Leaders for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, "Hosting a 2-hour discussion on systemic racism for upper school students, faculty, and staff, led by the upper school history department," and "Hosting a fall teach-in, during which each course in the Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research department will make anti-racism the subject of their course on that day to demonstrate the relevance of anti-racism work in every discipline."
  • The school will be hosting DEI training for school leaders, as well as "Organizing brown bag lunches for faculty and staff on each campus to address topics such as stereotype threat, student perceptions of bias in curriculum, the experiences of students of color, inclusive pedagogy, and culturally relevant teaching practices."
  • The school's DEI webpage Has links to commitments, brochure, affinity groups, and resources.
  • The resources webpage provides definitions for anti-racism, equity, microaggressions, and racism, as well as recommending books on culturally responsive teaching and learning.
  • Faculty cohorts met for the "Grading for Equity 21-22 Cohort Kick-off Meeting," where they discussed "equitable grading and assessment practices."
Symbolic Actions
  • The Harvard-Westlake DEI Alumni Advisory Council (HWDAAC) is a broadly representative group that will support the school in its anti-racism and DEI initiatives. The council will, among other things, "communicate to the alumni community about the current state of the school and its anti-racist and DEI initiatives" and "serve as sounding board for the school's on-going and new anti-racist and DEI initiatives."
  • On August 10, 2020, Harvard-Westlake released a statement for DEI plans, stating, “Our DEI Commitments were developed last year in partnership with our Board of Trustees. They speak to our comprehensive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Anti-racism is a critical aspect of our DEI work.” This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter accounts.
  • On July 29, 2020, Harvard-Westlake released a post on Facebook which “outlines our initial plans to improve our curriculum, educate our community, strengthen our admission and hiring practices, and contribute to DEI and anti-racism work beyond Harvard-Westlake.” This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter accounts.
  • On July 8, 2020 on its Facebook page, Harvard-Westlake announced the arrival of its Middle School Summer Read book, “Stamped” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, which discusses “racism, anti-racism, and you.” This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter accounts.
  • On June 1, 2020, Harvard-Westlake posted a letter in response to the death of George Floyd on its Facebook page. This post was also featured on its Instagram account.
  • On June 17, 2020, Harvard-Westlake released a statement on Facebook saying, “As a community of educators, we are also dedicated to eliminating discrimination from the classroom and beyond, so we were fortunate to facilitate a session about anti-racism with partner organization iChange Collaborative” following its 3rd annual Virtual Learning Summit.
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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