For the past two years, TNSM has been exploring how our strategic goals align with our mission related to equity and justice. With the help of our community, including staff, students, board, and the parent-led Diversity Committee, we have created an anti-bias/anti-racist statement that will be incorporated into our strategic plan. We are grateful for the time and energy our Diversity Committee chairs (Meredith Dixie/Sarah Corlett) and the rest of the committee members have put into this important work.
As we begin our “self-study” for the accreditation process with the American Montessori Society and the Independent Schools of Associated Central States, we will continue to have meaningful conversations around how TNSM can continue to improve and evolve our efforts to promote a sense of belonging within our community. Below you will find our living/breathing ABAR statement.
TNSM ABAR Statement
The New School Montessori is committed to taking a proactive approach to working against biases and racism in our environment. Our school community is founded upon Dr. Montessori’s philosophy that education is the catalyst to peace. It is our role, as members of this community, to mindfully model and guide children to grow in awareness around their own roles in creating social justice and equity.
The New School Montessori will continue to work toward a more equitable, inclusive and diverse student body. We are committed to providing learning environments that promote self-discovery, cultural competency, and the critical thought required to share independent perspectives around the nuances of complex social issues.
We are, therefore, committed to:
Teacher training in learning differences and how to create inclusive and culturally responsive learning environments.
Enrolling a diverse student body that enriches the school community and the student experience.
Staff meetings that affirm the values and uniqueness of each individual, honoring our differences and embracing shared values.
Providing multicultural curricula that allow all students to see themselves in what they read and study.
Providing field trips and in-class experiences that expose students to a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
Surveying our diverse family population to better understand and adjust our programs to meet the needs of our students.
Our Action Items
TNSM understands that anti-racist/anti-bias work is always evolving. As a dually accredited school through the American Montessori Society and the Independent Schools of Associated Central States, we are engaged in refining our strategic plan to focus our resources and attention related, but not limited to:
Supporting our parent/board/staff-led Diversity and Community Engagement Committee to leverage resources, celebrate diversity, and raise awareness through events, discussions, and literature.
Increasing our Scholarship/Diversity Endowment to assist with promoting social economic diversity as well as increasing access to a wider pool of applicants.
Increasing resources for professional development for all staff that promote inclusive and culturally responsive learning environments.
Actively engaging with agencies to help assist with diversifying our Montessori-qualified staff.
Dr. Montessori believed education’s ultimate aim is to create a peaceful world. In other words, an education that works toward social justice, peaceful conflict resolution, equity, compassion, and inclusion. The New School Montessori began with these same intentions and has continued to work toward them with humility and sincerity. From our Appreciating Differences program to the preparing of our environments with diverse imagery, literature, and curricula, our staff will continue to strive to create spaces that ensure belonging and encourage growth.