As mission-driven institutions, independent schools have a head start in setting the tone for dialogue and discernment about the issues and concerns that can arise when they attempt to meet the needs of transgender or transitioning students. Independent school leaders know that being proactive about matters related to diversity and inclusion yields the most effective outcomes, and this applies to the complexities of gender as well.
While the binary male/female gender paradigm is no longer sufficient for understanding gender identity and gender expression, this perspective is new to many people. School leaders can reduce misunderstanding and conflict by raising awareness and educating constituencies about gender diversity, including transgender status.
Anticipating challenges, listening to concerns from all quarters, and providing concrete responses to questions will allow administrators and other school leaders to successfully navigate most situations this topic reveals.
On this page, you will find many resources for supporting transgender students in independent schools.
Supporting Transgender Students
- NAIS Legal Advisory: The Transgender Student: Guidelines for Independent Schools Working with and Supporting Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students
Transgender Students and School BathroomsNAIS has released the following “FAQs” resource about transgender and gender-expansive students using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. This guide, developed in partnership with Gender Spectrum, is designed to help you frame the discussion of bathroom and other facilities use so you can enter the conversation with confidence.
- Read the full guide: Transgender Students and School Bathrooms
NAIS Webinar Recordings
- Tying it to the Mission: Initial Conversations about Changing School Services to Support Transgender Students
- Supporting Transgender Students in Single Sex Schools
- Supporting Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students: The Basics on How to Begin
- Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children in Independent Schools who Live Outside Gender Boxes
Video: Supporting Transgender Students
Independent Ideas Blog
- Taking Steps to Support Transgender Students and School Communities
- Being Transgender in an Independent High School
Independent School Magazine
- Gender Spectrum
- Share My Lesson
- Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools, developed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gender Spectrum, the National Education Association (NEA), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
- Allies of Trans* People: Trans@MIT Allies Toolkit