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Polytechnic School

Private K-12 School

Mailing Address
1030 E. California Blvd
Pasadena, California 91106
(626) 396-6320
School Information
"At Polytechnic School, our name conveys both a sense of our history and of our philosophical base. Polytechnic literally means “many arts,” and since 1907, Poly has been a place where students become multi-talented, intellectually ambitious citizens of the world. On any given day, our community overflows with activities and ideas that challenge and inspire us—adults and students alike. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a long-time member of our community, I encourage you to explore the Poly website, where the range of programs, events, athletic competitions, and performances put our name into action" (Source: Poly has 850 students, 198 faculty members, and a student to faculty ratio of 7 to 1.
General Information
Poly has engaged numerous initiatives as part of its mission to be an anti-racist school. Poly has created various committees, projects, and roles in order to develop these initiatives. Poly has responded to "Dear Poly" posts on social media and is now holding numerous events for DEI and hosting a parent DEI education, in addition to incorporating DEI into the K-12 curriculum. All faculty, staff, and administrators are required to undergo DEI training. While no mandatory Critical Race Training is required of students, Poly has created SLIDE, a program that engages students in DEI work optionally. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On July 24, 2020, Poly announced on Facebook, "In accordance with our commitment to equity, inclusion, and the values of PolyHonor, Polytechnic School will suspend its requirement that applicants to grades 6-12 submit results from the ISEE exam." This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter pages.
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Poly stated that "anti-racist education and training for each Poly community group will be offered throughout the school year."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Poly stated the school will "weave the practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the curriculum and fabric of the school."
  • For its Lower School, Poly states that, "In addition to their year-long goals to support professional development and incorporate social justice goals within each grade-level curriculum, the committee is currently working toward ensuring representation in the Lower School Library’s books and resources, and engaging faculty in conversations about identity, race, and privilege."
  • For its Middle School, Poly states that it will develop "student DEI curriculum."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • For its Middle School, Poly states that it will develop "faculty professional development and training."
  • Poly states that, "The Upper School DEI Faculty Committee helped launch SLIDE, the student diversity council for Student Leadership in Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. SLIDE works in partnership with existing DEI cohorts like student affinity groups, while also serving groups and individuals who haven't yet found a space or voice. Members of SLIDE are resources to students for both interpersonal and campus-wide discussions on identity and marginalization, and take proactive steps to foster a school culture that values and provides each student the freedom to pursue excellence and express their true selves." Poly offers numerous other resources for DEI.
Symbolic Actions
  • The Alumni Board DEI Committee released a statement saying, "The committee provides opportunities to engage thoughtfully in courageous and difficult conversations addressing inequity, structural racism, and social injustice at Poly and elsewhere, holding ourselves accountable for unlearning our implicit biases and recognizing that justice is a principle tenet of equity. We embark upon an enduring commitment to disrupt bias, decolonize unsafe spaces, and create lasting and systemic change, making ourselves accessible to members of the alumni community who seek to convey their recommendations for making Poly an anti-racist and inclusive school."
  • Polytechnic highlighted students engaging in DEI work.
  • On October 15, 2020, the Board of Trustees on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion released a statement saying "a candid exchange of experiences on social media's 'Dear Poly,' has required us to examine whether Poly is actually fulfilling its mission of providing an equitable and outstanding learning environment for all of its students and alumni."
  • Poly has a Parent DEI Committee which is committed to "facilitating continuous DEI education opportunities for parents." The Parent Education Series was created in response to "Dear Poly" posts on social media.
  • Poly states that the school is "committed to being an anti-racist institution" and that it created an Equity and inclusion Committee "to develop a plan to further establish DEI leadership and set institutional priorities."
  • In January 2020, Poly held an event titled "Better Together: Diversity and Inclusion at Poly." Poly also held numerous Reconciliation Forums.
  • In Fall 2020, Poly held its second annual Affinity Leadership Institute Project "to provide Upper School student leaders with tools to successfully facilitate DEI work within student groups, as well as in the broader Poly community."
  • On January 13, 2021, Poly announced that it has appointed a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the 2021-2022 school year. The inaugural director is Dr. Michaela Mares-Tamayo.
  • On July 13, 2020, Poly released a statement on Facebook stating, "We acknowledge and respect the courage of our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students and alumni who have shared their painful experiences of bias and racism at Poly. The anonymous accounts on Dear Poly and other social media reflect enduring hurt, and we are humbled by their honesty. We at Poly will do what we ask of our students - learn and do better." This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter pages.
  • On July 6, 2020, Poly released a statement on Facebook saying the school plans to "design and implement the anti-racist strategies and programming." This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter pages.
  • On June 26, 2020, Poly spotlighted Black Lives Matter murals on Facebook. This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter pages.
  • On June 18, 2020, Poly released a letter on Facebook discussing "systemic racism." This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter pages.
  • On June 2, 2020, Poly posted a response to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor on Facebook with a "call to action."
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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