Commitment to Diversity

Creating and maintaining an inclusive community that welcomes, respects, values and benefits from individual differences is an important goal at Pembroke Hill. One of five initiatives of the school’s strategic plan, this goal is reflected through school policies, educational programs, activities and daily practices.

Members of the school community are very diverse, geographically, socioeconomically, racially and religiously.

Families come to PHS each day from all over the metropolitan area – 73 different ZIP codes. They live in the central part of the city, Lee’s Summit, Olathe, Liberty, Parkville, Overland Park and Kansas City, Kan. Our students are equally divided between Kansas and Missouri.

While the school does not compile statistics on religious preferences, we do know that families in our community identify themselves as Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Buddhists. And there are other families who do not associate with any organized religion.

Numerous families in our school community call countries other than the United States their country of origin. Families come from all parts of the world, including Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Mexico and Russia. These families are strongly encouraged, and many do, share their experiences, customs and language with the Pembroke Hill community.

Of the school’s total enrollment of 1,141, there are 576 boys and 565 girls. This year, 279 PHS students are students of color. This number represents 24.5 percent of our student population. The diversity of our faculty and staff is another priority of Pembroke Hill. Currently, 14 percent of our teachers, staff, assistants and coaches are persons of color.

Some students are members of Pembroke Hill multigenerational families; others are the first in their families to attend PHS or any independent school. Twenty percent of our students are children of alumni. Our students live in a variety of family situations: two-parent homes, single-parent homes. Some children are living with extended family such as grandparents, aunts and uncles. Others are living in blended families.

The school assists families in the form of need-based financial aid and a limited number of small merit scholarships. This year, approximately 250 students are receiving more than $2.9 million in financial assistance.

In addition to striving to create a diverse community, the school is also dedicated to providing an experience for our students in which there is an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures. This goal drives daily decisions concerning the curriculum – the books our students read, topics they study in social studies, the artists and musicians they research, the music and drama they perform, and the languages they learn. It is also reflected in the materials our teachers use and the discussions they lead. Visitors to campus, such as assembly speakers, artists-in-residence and visiting authors, are often selected based on their diverse experiences and knowledge. The assembly programs in all divisions are used to promote cultural understanding – some examples include Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Veteran’s Day, World Music, Latin America Day, India Day and China Day.

Students also gain an understanding of the experiences of others through a school-wide commitment to community service. Students, of all ages, participate in activities such as book collections for a partner school in Kansas City, bake sales for an Asian orphanage, holiday Adopt-A-Family programs, service trips to New Orleans to work with Habitat For Humanity as well as numerous community service projects by individual upper school students who must complete 60 hours of service during their upper school years.

At the upper school, there are opportunities for students to participate in clubs, whose missions are to promote awareness and understanding, including Common Ground and A.W.A.R.E.

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the school is also dedicated to providing an experience for our students in which there is an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures.