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Westridge School

Private K-12 School

Mailing Address
324 Madeline Drive
Pasadena, California 91105
(626) 799-1153
Email address
School Information
Westridge is a 4-12 school founded in 1913 by Mary Lowther Ranney. "Westridge is an independent, forward-thinking girls’ school committed to educating intellectually adventurous thinkers, and courageous, compassionate leaders. Our engaging and challenging curriculum prepares students to continue their education in college and beyond as discerning, motivated learners who are committed to excellence and goodness in everything they do. Essential to this work is the commitment to be a community that reflects and values diversity, respects individual differences, and responds to a changing dynamic world. A Westridge education offers both a path to self-discovery and personal fulfillment and an awareness of the essential interdependence of all peoples, places, and cultures" (Source: Westridge has 550 students, 75 faculty members, and a student to faculty ratio of 7 to 1.
General Information
Westridge has created numerous DEI and anti-racism initiatives, including affinity groups, workshops, and programs. Westridge is undergoing a curriculum review for DEI and anti-racism. In addition, students, faculty, staff, and parents engage in anti-racism training. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that it would create an Oversight Committee that will "consist of students, parents, faculty and staff, trustees, alumnae, and independent community members" in order to "provide comprehensive and systemic focus on DEI and anti-racist priorities."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that, "A third dean of student voices position (roles held by faculty in addition to their teaching responsibilities) has been added to lead the expansion of our affinity group program into the Lower and Middle Schools."
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that, “While in the past assemblies related to DEI have been led largely by student affinity group leaders, this year we are adding a series of DEI/anti-racism assemblies led by faculty, administrators, and outside experts. In October, each division took part in an assembly on the topic of microaggressions.”
  • Westridge states that, "Student Voices is an Upper School student leadership group comprising student heads of affinity groups and students who attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference. They conceive of and lead an annual series of assemblies on topics such as Black History Month, socioeconomic status at Westridge, and gender identity. Two years ago, an elective course was developed around this program to give students more dedicated time for their work. There also is a Middle School Student Voices group focused on assemblies and cultural conversations."
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that it would create affinity groups for the Lower and Middle School.
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge enumerated numerous programs for anti-racism that it holds for students, alumnae and families, including DEI Listening Sessions, Anti-Racist Education Sessions, a Westridge Parent Association DEI Organization, and school readings.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Westridge has mobilized DEI Consultants to engage in curriculum reviews.
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that the school “integrated racial identity development and anti-racist education into the Lower School Council program this fall.”
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that “human development in grades 7-10 is now taught from an anti-racist framework. The 8th grade class includes a 5-week anti-racism course, 9th grade focuses on identity development including racial identity, and HD 10 focuses on three main points: relationship building, conflict resolution, and methods of communication as they relate to interpersonal dynamics and the cultivation of applied anti-racist values."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that, "The school is in the process of recruiting for a new counselor who has experience working with underrepresented populations as well as training in DEI work to join our student support team."
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that it will "begin the search for a director of equity, a senior administrative level position reporting to the head of school, later this month."
  • Westridge states that, "The school began an ongoing engagement with Elizabeth Denevi and Randolph Carter of East ED in 2019 to provide faculty and staff training and assist us in assessing our needs and priorities in the areas of DEI."
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that, "This summer, a team of administrators participated in training with an outside facilitator focused on identifying 'racial equity detours' that may be happening at Westridge, skill-building needed in school leadership, and next steps for the school." Faculty and staff also participate in DEI trainings as well as group readings of books discussing anti-racism.
  • Westridge annually sends a few faculty and staff members to the People of Color Conference.
  • Westridge recommends DEI resources for parents, including Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Anti-Racist."
Symbolic Actions
  • On November 10, 2020, the Head of School released a letter stating, "As the national discussion of racial injustice and systemic racism arose this summer, Westridge was called upon by its alumnae to acknowledge racism in our school and make urgent change."
  • In 2018, Westridge created a Faculty and Staff DEI Task Force for strategic planning.
  • On November 10, 2020, Westridge announced that, "The school will restart the search for a director of teaching and learning that had to be paused last spring. A significant focus of this new role will be coaching and mentoring our faculty through curricular changes and pedagogical skills, ensuring DEI and SEL (social emotional learning) are at the heart of our academic program."
  • In July 2022, Westridge will welcome Andrea Kassar as its new Head of School, who will be "a committed advocate for DEI and anti-racism work."
  • On June 2, 2020, Westridge released a statement responding to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. This letter was also featured on its Facebook page and Instagram account.
  • On June 4, 2020, Westridge announced on Facebook, "To the Westridge community: We are profoundly sorry for the hurt we caused members of the Black community with our message about the George Floyd protests. We recognize that we caused further pain with the language we chose and our lack of concrete action steps to combat institutionalized racism both outside and inside our community. We see your posts, comments, and emails, and we hear you; we have growing to do, adnt this is a reminder that there's always opportunity to learn." This post was also featured on its Instagram account.
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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