Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice
Our commitment to diversity
Awareness of and respect for individual differences are embedded in our Montessori philosophy and curriculum. WMS seeks to acknowledge the uniqueness of each person’s experience and background within the broad spectrum of humanity. We do this by creating a culture of appreciation and mutual respect, acceptance and a commitment to human rights and to free and open inquiry. Our commitment to diversity extends throughout the school community, including students, families, employees, Family Alliance and the Board of Trustees. It is not enough to limit this commitment to curriculum and teaching methods; it must be evident in our culture and in how we conduct all business and social affairs of the school. The admissions, business, communications and development staff intentionally consider the diversity in our community when making plans and decisions.
Please see Statement of Nondiscrimination on the About page.
“Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe.”—John Muir
WMS educates students to be global citizens who embrace different cultures and who understand the value of diversity in thought, experience and being. Through education that highlights the interdependencies and ties between humanity and environment, student activism is kindled as their understanding of social justice and personal identity strengthens. Respect for self, others and the environment is at the heart of all that we do.
On this page we are collecting resources—books, videos, articles—to aid all of us in gaining understanding. This list will grow. We hope you will check back now and then to see what it new.
- Resources for Talking about Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids by Center for Racial Justice in Education
- Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk about Race: Resource Roundup by Pretty Good
- Teaching Tolerance website for educators
- Antiracism Resources
- Scaffolding Anti-Racism Resources
- Talking to Children after Racial Incidents from the Penn GSE Newsroom
- Supporting Kids Of Color in the Wake Of Racialized Violence from EmbraceRace
- Talking About Racism And Bias: Resources for Parents And Caregivers from Children's Alliance
- Talking to Kids about Racial Violence by Haig Chahinian
- Talking to Kids About Racism
- Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist
- Raising Anti-Racist White Children Workshop, the next session starting in June is full but you can click on a box to sign up to get info about the session starting in September.
- The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege. Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing (The Social Justice Handbook Series) by Anneliese A. Singh and Tim Wise
- Black Lives Matter at School
- Anti Bias Resources from National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- Resource Guide for White Teachers and Parents Developing Consciousness and Moving into Action
- National Museum of African American History and Culture Releases “Talking About Race” Web Portal, to Explore Issues Of Race, Racism And Racial Identity
Talking with children about difficult subjects
A letter from the Head of School, June 1, 2020
Our community can be an agent of change
Dear WMS Community,
Today, I write with a heavy heart. I read newspaper after newspaper, and cry while reading the account of the death of George Floyd, I cry while I read the first-person accounts of African American people who experience fear and racism every day. I cry reading a poignant letter that another Head of School wrote to her community about talking to her 10-year-old African American son. I agree with my colleague, being silent is no longer an option. Racism exists in our society and we all have a part to play in being the solution. We need to have conversations with each other and with our children about racism.
While I feel overwhelmed and helpless in confronting racism that is so deeply entrenched in society, I became an educator because I believe in our students and in their ability to change the world. As Maria Montessori said, “the child is both a hope and promise for mankind.” Through education, conversation and courage we can make a difference in the world. We, as individuals and as a community can be agents of change. Here are some resources, shared with me by other heads of schools, to start conversations with your children, our students.
What gives me hope is that our community shares common values. We all believe in Montessori education which has at its core peace education. Issues of social justice, equity and inclusion need to be our focus along with keeping everyone safe through this pandemic.
Take care everyone, please reach out to your students’ teachers if you have any questions. While I may not have answers, I can listen.