Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Upper Arlington Schools is committed to ensuring that our school district is a place where every member of our school community feels welcomed, valued, supported and embraced. 


We believe it is our responsibility to teach and lead with diversity, inclusiveness, empathy, compassion and civility, and provide our students, staff and families with the tools to bring us together as one.

Our mission is to challenge and support every student, every step of the way. As we move forward, we are committed to proactively responding to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) needs in a manner that supports all students and creates a culture of safety and connectedness. We are committed to doing the work, as a community, in order to ensure that every student has a safe space to learn, grow and thrive without fear of prejudice or bias. We will examine our policies and practices to ensure that all facets of our school culture truly reflect our mission, vision and values. We will seek to continuously raise awareness, develop understanding, and build skill through DEI programming and training opportunities. 

The Upper Arlington Board of Education acknowledges that acts of racism, prejudice, bias and bigotry occur within our schools and is committed to eliminating these experiences for students, families and staff.  We are committed to continue listening, learning, growing and improving educational practices so that every child has a safe space to learn, grow and thrive without fear of prejudice or bias. We are also committed to ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion and the related issues of student achievement and safety are top of mind at all times.


Under the leadership of the Board of Education, the district has taken the following steps:

  • Created an Equity Advisory Board to bring together the voices of students, staff, parents/guardians and community experts for guidance. 

  • Created a new district-level leadership position for diversity, equity and inclusion. Staff, student and community feedback l informed the selection process.  

  • Created this section of our district website to share our commitment to our diversity, equity and inclusion work and offer additional resources as they become available.

  • Ensured diversity, equity and inclusion remain at the forefront by including an update in every Board of Education meeting and committee meeting. 

As we continue to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the district, this page will contain links and information regarding our programming and other DEI resources to support students, staff, and our community.

Our Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Matthew BoazMatthew L. Boaz, executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion of Upper Arlington Schools, has extensive experience in the DEI field over the past 20 years in a variety of public agencies and educational institutions.  

Mr. Boaz came to Upper Arlington from the city of Toledo, where he served as the director of diversity and inclusion. Prior to that, he was the chief diversity officer at Wright State University.  He has also worked with the University of Cincinnati and Miami University during his career.

Mr. Boaz has a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies/interpersonal and public communication and a master’s degree in public administration, both from Bowling Green State University.  He served in the U.S. Navy during the Desert Shield and Desert Storm campaigns.

As the executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion, Mr. Boaz will provide leadership to support, recognize and celebrate the dignity of all people. He will serve as a leader, mentor, facilitator, collaborator and resource for students and families, school leaders, faculty, staff, business partners, volunteers, donors, and friends.

History of our DEI commitment

Upper Arlington Schools is continuing to build on the diversity, equity and inclusion work that we began in 2016 and the commitments we made in our strategic plan. Our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion began in 2016 when the district partnered with the Upper Arlington Education Association and the Ohio Education Association to provide an unprecedented three-day training for more than 100 staff members from all areas of the district.  These staff members now serve as leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion work in their buildings and departments.

Our strategic plan builds on this foundation. Our strategic priority of student and staff well-being is rooted in our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. We believe it is essential for our students and staff to feel a sense of belonging and balance in order to have safe learning environments in which everyone can thrive.

DEI News Posts

Women's History Month

Upper Arlington High School staff and students are coordinating a Women’s History Month Zoom panel discussion on Thursday, March 31st, from 3:30-4:15 pm. Discussion topics will include experiences being a woman in our community, women's role in the family, how media and society influence women, and general advice for the future generations of women.
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An image from the reception at the high school

Black History Month celebration at Upper Arlington High School

UAHS students and staff initially imagined a building-level Black History Month celebration. On February 23, they welcomed students, families, staff and community members from across the district to witness student performances and artwork to honor Black voices, culture and heroes. We are especially grateful for the student voice and vision for their learning, and the school and community support of their educational journey. #StartWithHeart #StrengthInTeam
Black History Month graphic

UAHS Community Reception for Black History Month

Join Upper Arlington Schools students and staff for an evening featuring student tributes to the history, culture and achievements of their Black heroes — February 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the first floor learning commons at Upper Arlington High School, 1625 Zollinger Road. All community members are welcome.
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The Celebrate Black History bulletin board at Jones Middle School

Black History Month in our schools

A bulletin board for students on the go! This interactive Black History Month bulletin board in the Jones Middle School Learning Center features a  QR code so that students can scan to learn more about these amazing Black historical figures. Learning in and beyond the classroom!
Celebrating Lunar New Year graphic

Lunar New Year

Today marks the start of Lunar New Year, the most important holiday in many East/Southeast Asian countries. This holiday is celebrated for 15 days until the full moon. The Lunar calendar cycles through 12 zodiac animals, and this year we welcome the year of the Tiger.
Black History Month graphic

Black History Month celebrations and programming

February is Black History Month, when we honor the contributions and the experience of Black Americans throughout the history of our country. Upper Arlington Schools has come alongside other Upper Arlington community organizations to create a lineup of programming and celebrations for Black History Month. 

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All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence - Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

MLK Day is designated as a day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer in our neighborhoods and our communities. We can honor Dr. King through acts of service that support the dignity and well-being of others.
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International Day of Persons with Disabilities graphic

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. One in 7 people in the world is living with a disability. Disabilities can be visible or invisible. They can be physical, mental, cognitive, sensorial or the result of chronic disease. 

We remember our commitment to start with heart and always challenge and support every student, every step of the way.
Students making weaving art

National Native American Heritage Month in our schools

This week, our Wickliffe 2/3 classes spent time doing some fun hands-on learning connecting back to their studies about indigenous peoples during National Native American Heritage Month. Our students were able to learn about and create woven artwork, adobe bricks, bird feeders and more while continuing their research into indigenous peoples from our local area and beyond.
Students engaging a discussion during the Voices of Empathy workshop

Voices of Empathy Storytelling workshop

Students from Upper Arlington High School recently came together with students from two other Columbus area schools to elevate their voices and share the power of their unique and personal stories in a workshop at the Columbus Metropolitan Main Library. 

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Native American Heritage Month graphic

National Native American Heritage Month

November is National Native American Heritage Month. This is a time to celebrate the Native voices and experiences that have shaped this land we call home.
Students decorating pumpkins for Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations in our schools

Upper Arlington High School's Spanish Honor Society celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by creating biographies of influential Hispanic figures and painting pumpkins to represent Spanish-speaking countries. These were displayed in Berwanger Family Learning Center during the month of October. 
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National Hispanic Heritage Month graphic

Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15 to October 15

Today marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. In honor of this national celebration, we would like to clarify the differences/relationships between the terms Hispanic, Latino/Latina/Latinx, and Spanish.
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Contact Information

Matthew L. Boaz
Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Speak Up! hotline

The Speak Up! hotline allows students, parents and any other concerned parties to file an anonymous report regarding potential safety or bullying issues including but not limited to: discrimination; bullying, harassment or intimidation; sexual harassment; abuse (physical or mental); alcohol, drugs or tobacco; hacking or cyber crime; health concerns; suicidal behavior; suspicious behavior; theft; threat; vandalism; violence or fighting; or a weapon or dangerous item.

Important documents

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