About Us

Cultural Competency and Inclusion

As a day school located in Southern Maine, Berwick Academy engages in cultural competency and inclusion with an appropriate blend of ambition and realism. This work is directly connected to the School’s historic mission of “promoting virtue and useful knowledge to the rising generations.” Both in terms of practical skill and in terms of moral development, we believe the skills and attitude associated with cultural competency to be of the utmost importance to our graduates.

Berwick Academy believes cultural competency is an essential element of "useful knowledge" in the 21st Century. Our graduates must navigate a diverse world guided by empathy, understanding, listening, self reflection, self awareness, and humility. These habits and skills need to be formed through engagement with people, places, and ideas from many cultures and multiple perspectives.
 

Statement of Community

Berwick Academy affirms its commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming community that celebrates the unique qualities of every individual while encouraging active engagement in a diverse world. We strive to support and attract students, faculty, staff, and administrators whose varied backgrounds, including race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, family composition, physical difference, and socioeconomic status strengthen our community. Through our curriculum, extracurricular activities, and community building efforts, we prepare students to become leaders who challenge preconceptions, value difference, and catalyze divergent ideas to realize Berwick’s mission of “promoting virtue and useful knowledge.”

Community Groups

  • SEED - professional development experience on diversity, equity, and inclusion through personal reflection and testimony, listening to others’ voices, and learning experientially and collectively.  Throughout the six sessions, participants will gain new insights into how educators can make their schools and classrooms more inclusive and fair.
  • Cultural Competency Committee - This committee is comprised of trustees, administrators, faculty, and parents and is charged with exploring and developing ways to accomplish the goals and initiatives identified in the Cultural Competency Action Plan.
  • Alliance in the Upper School - A human rights student group that focuses on LGBTQ rights and gender equality by educating the people around us, celebrating and advocating for the differences that make us human, and innovating new ways to spread acceptance through the greater world.
  • Diversity Club - Inspired by work at the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference, the Berwick Diversity (BD) group in the Upper School focuses on self-reflection, ally-ship, and community building. Throughout the school year, the student group will create regular and consistent spaces for dialogue and conversation with the Berwick community on issues of diversity, equity, and cultural competency.
  • Middle School C.L.U.B. (Community, Leadership, and Unity at Berwick) - The group aims to be a safe and inclusive environment that encourages members to become active and positive voices within our community.  They examine historic and current events in an effort to have conversations that enhance a more complete understanding of the changing world.
  • BPC CARES (Community, Awareness, Respect, Education & Support, formerly BPC CCC)- Parent-led group within the BPC focusing on cultural competency through educational and community programming.  
Ongoing Faculty and Staff Professional Development
Each year, Berwick Academy faculty and staff participate in local and national conferences focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Examples include, NAIS People of Color Conference, AISNE Diversity Conference, Diversity Directions Independent School Seminar, and the National SEED Project.  
 

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.  Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.