Our Commitment to a Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive Community
Pinewoods Montessori School is committed to creating a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and equity for all children, staff, and families. Montessori education has always placed value on the uniqueness of each individual and has sought to develop life-long learners who are in pursuit not only of their passions, but of a common good for all and good stewardship of our planet. We believe our community is broadened, strengthened, and enlightened by diversity in all its forms—thought, race, religion, identity, ability, strengths, and challenges.
Our Montessori tenets include:
Peace education and the interconnectedness of all things
A deep care and respect for all living beings
A quest to make the world a better place through the development of each generation
A sense of responsibility for the earth and all who inhabit it
A commitment to community through engagement, deep listening, and sharing
At Pinewoods Montessori School, we believe that developmentally appropriate practices and curricula that are based in Anti-Bias Anti-Racist (ABAR) tenets are a key element to the Montessori peace education, and we recognize that the work of being ABAR educators is never done.
Our work to date includes, but is not limited to:
In 2020, teachers and administrators came together to form the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee at Pinewoods. This committee meets regularly to discuss topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, create developmentally appropriate curricula for all grade levels focused on topics related to DEI, and to review additional sources of data to identify areas in which our practices are perpetuating inequities.
Opportunities for professional development, with a focus on anti-racism/anti-bias education, diversity, equity, and inclusion, have been made available for all staff.
The DEI Committee presented at a Pinewoods parent/guardian Education Evening on why this work is vital in a Montessori environment.
We have dedicated additional funding for inclusive books and materials.
Our work ahead includes, but is not limited to:
All staff training on anti-racism/anti-bias education, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Inviting families and community members to participate in our DEI work
Maximizing our use of webinars and professional development offered through our affiliated organizations (AMS, NCAIS, etc.) as well as local offerings.
Enhancing our anti-racist anti-bias curriculum appropriate for each developmental level we serve.
Diversity areas to highlight include: family structure, gender, gender identity, learning styles, ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
Surveying students, staff, and families to identify improvements the school can and should make to support and serve a thriving and diverse community
Gathering DEI resources and making them available to our Pinewoods community at large
Pinewoods community testimonials:
“My family is grateful for the global perspective the Montessori education at Pinewoods offers our children, and we especially appreciate that these lessons are not reserved for older students. Instead, the teachers invite children to develop an appreciation for difference and uniqueness in all its forms at such an early age. Pinewoods faces these conversations intentionally, thoughtfully, and head-on, with age-appropriate language and lessons based on the latest research.” - Pinewoods Montessori Primary and Elementary Parent
“I always think you guys do a phenomenal job but tend to only convey that in general terms. So, today, something specific: As part of my work, I attended another day-long training today with the Racial Equity Institute. During the introductory discussion about societal levels of awareness about race and racism, one of the presenters asked the question, “How many of you remember seeing the words ‘racist’ or ‘racism’ in the spelling lists you received in school when you were kids?” No one. “For those of you with children, how many of your children have been given the words ‘racist’ or ‘racism’ as spelling words by their teachers?” Mine was the only hand in the air.” - Pinewoods Montessori Elementary parent
Words of wisdom from Dr. Maria Montessori:
“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”
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