Diversity/Anti-Bias Mission Statement
The Quaker values that inspire work and play at School for Friends are based on the Quaker testimony that there is that of God in each of us and we are each deserving of respect. In that spirit, School for Friends welcomes families and staff of different races, religions, nationalities, family arrangements, sexual orientations, genders, ages, and income levels, and we are inclusive of children with special abilities or needs or who learn differently. We strive to build a community in which our children at an early age can grow to accept the diversity among human beings so that they will not perceive differences as barriers to friendship.
At School for Friends, diversity is central to the mission of the school. As educators, and parents, we have seen firsthand the ways in which a diverse classroom environment enriches education and social development. The school takes diversity of all kinds into account in making each of its decisions, including the hiring of teachers and the admission of students. Our goal is simple: to make sure that every family and every child feels the sense of welcome and joy in our community. We believe that this philosophy is not only the proper way to treat families, but it also helps nurture the hearts, minds, and bodies of the school’s students.
We are proud of our success in consistently attracting a diverse student population. At School for Friends, diversity exists not only in terms of race, religion, and nationality but we also have a longstanding commitment of welcoming children of gay and lesbian parents, supporting single parents and children who are adopted, and welcoming families of all income levels. These are just some examples of the kind of diversity you will find at School for Friends; each year we encounter applicants who bring some component of diversity.
The School has an active and ongoing conversation about diversity; as one would expect given the parent-involvement and community-aspect of the school. Not only are there often discussions among teachers and parents about diversity, but School for Friends also brings diverse people together in a way that encourages living and doing things together. Our teachers also talk about diversity in the classroom. When issues related to race or to other differences that exist in a diverse group present themselves in the classroom, teachers discuss them to promote mutual understanding. The school also works on enriching the classroom in other ways as well. For example, each family in each class is assigned a week (“family of the week”) where parents and other family members share their family traditions.
We know with diversity, we can always do better and we strive to do so. Watching our school’s children learn in the diverse environment of School for Friends is an inspiration.
In addition, in order to work toward accomplishing social justice and uphold these non-negotiable values and mission of our school, we affirm the goals of Anti Bias Education:
- Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.
- Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections.
- Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
- Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others and alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.