Concord Academy is continually improving its campus. The school recently installed a new chair lift in the cafeteria to increase accessibility and upgraded to a state-of-the-art fire alarm system in the Main School Building. Perhaps the most visible changes made within the last month have been to facilities all community members rely on every day. Over the winter break, CA created four new individual changing rooms for students participating in dance and athletics in the SHAC, converted five multi-stall restrooms into all-gender facilities by adding full privacy partitions.
This improvement to CA’s facilities is one outcome of the ongoing work of the school’s Gender Equity Task Force (GETF), which identified a need to increase access to all-gender bathrooms and changing spaces based on feedback from a student focus group last year. One of the biggest challenges gender-diverse students reported was the excessive time it took them to access all-gender restrooms on campus.
Prior to these upgrades, CA had several single-use all-gender bathrooms and larger restrooms were already open to all for whom either a female-identified or male-identified facility accords with their gender identity or is the most comfortable or appropriate option. Now, the great majority of the school’s restrooms have been deliberately prepared and designated for all-gender use, reflecting the school’s conviction that facilities on campus that are not optional should not be designed around a binary that excludes transgender and nonbinary students. Male-identified and female-identified bathroom options remain. And overall restroom capacity has increased to better meet the needs of the entire campus community.