Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our Commitment to a Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive Community

Princeton Montessori School is committed to being a community where children, families, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, identities, and perspectives are united in their efforts to maintain a respectful, inclusive, diverse, and equitable community of learners.  Montessori education has always placed value on the uniqueness of each individual and 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, passions, and challenges. This belief is inherent in the values and principles of the Montessori philosophy.

These Montessori tenets include:

  • A deep respect for all life and for childhood particularly
  • 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

Our Work To Date

Our philosophy, policies, and procedures have always been founded on our Montessori tenets but in the 2018–19 school year, we engaged our faculty, staff, and parents in a Diversity & Inclusion task force to study our policies and practices and identify areas needing further reflection and improvement.  The concluding report, findings, and school challenge was formally accepted by the HOS and Board of Trustees in 2019.

From that challenge, a DEI plan was developed and the following was accomplished through the 2019–20 school year:

  • A Two-Part Faculty & Staff Leadership Workshop on Unconscious Bias training with esteemed DEI strategist, Dr. Derrick Gay
  • Hired a part-time, experienced librarian to work with faculty to update our libraries
  • Additional funding for new books & the formation of an annual book fair for this purpose
  • Funding for faculty and school leadership to attend workshops on DEI
  • Diversity data gathered from our student population to inform enrollment goals
  • Increased priority in our hiring, enrollment, and tuition assistance policy to meet PMONTS & PCTE diversity goals
  • Created a part-time position for a faculty member with a psychology background to work with teachers at each level to create materials and dialogue around these topics.
  • Hired a new Elementary teacher with experience in literature diversity goals.  She is working with Upper Elementary to create a more progressive library and specific experiences for students. Connected in another teacher from the Lower level to be the point person by program.
  • Added the following to our mission statement:  Princeton Montessori School is committed to providing an inclusive and diverse community and learning experiences that challenge us to appreciate differences and act in a way that is inclusive and respectful to all.

Our Work Ahead

As we continue to make progress on our DEI challenge, we seek to engage the community in meaningful discussion, offer faculty and staff professional development opportunities related to this purpose, and improve the quality of and quantify of direct instruction in DEI for our students.

This year, we have planned:

  • A parents of color conversation facilitated by ‘Beyond Diversity’ to allow faculty and school leadership to listen deeply to the experiences of our families of color.
  • Maximizing use of webinars and town hall conversations offered through our affiliated organizations, such as AMS, NJAIS, NAIS, and Teaching Tolerance.
  • Seeking out explicit anti-racist curriculum appropriate for each developmental level we serve
  • Engaging the community to design and host an annual discussion, speaker, or exploratory event with a focus on inclusion, diversity, and peace education. Diversity areas to include at such events are: family status, gender, gender identity, learning styles, racial, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, global mindset

What Parents Are Saying

Our child previously attended a reputable public elementary school. During that time, she often complained that she was bored at school. I was concerned that the school's 'one-size-fits-all' education model was gradually dimming her thirst for knowledge. I wanted the flames of her engagement and curiosity to be fanned, not extinguished. She is now back at Princeton Montessori and I am happy to report that she is no longer bored. In fact, her inner flame has never been stronger!

Our Primary student is learning remotely this year due to the pandemic. He is really is enjoying all the works that come home to him. He tells me things like 'I love my Montessori works' and 'my works are beautiful.' My husband and I see him growing and learning so much even amidst our virtual constraints. Having tailored materials for him to work with makes all the difference in the world and we're grateful for the thought and care you put into curating them.

The other day I came downstairs and my 4-year-old son was listening to 'Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart' on Alexa. He told me that Mozart's dad was named Leopold and his sister was Nannerl (it took him a second to remember her name and it sounded made up, so my husband and I googled it. Sure enough he was right). We asked what else he had been learning and he rattled off Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s full name and referenced The Four Seasons. I think my jaw is still on the floor. It turns out that the Primary children have been learning about composers this fall and listening to their music. What incredible exposure for these young children!

Princeton Montessori is the very epitome of the principles of Maria Montessori. The School offers a nurturing, creative, academic, and well-rounded development for each child. As a parent, we cannot offer our daughter a more valuable first gift.

The faculty are, bar none, the absolute best. The teachers are very knowledge both about the Montessori philosophy and the best ways to work with children. I ask for their advice and insight for any issues we’re having at home, quite often. They’re also incredibly warm and nurturing with the children in a way I have not seen at any other school.

I’m struck by how much better the Montessori toddlers are at playing and working peacefully with their peers than toddlers in other nursery school programs. I credit the gifted PMonts teachers, and the Princeton Montessori educational approach, for how confident, happy, and collaborative toddlers in the PMonts program seem.

Our son is so proud of being a third-year Primary. He has attended this incredible school since he was one year old. He had absolutely wonderful Toddler teachers and flourished under their care. Now, he is a third-year Primary and we know he will be more than ready for Lower Elementary. Thank you to all the Teachers & Staff!

The school runs with one philosophy and so every faculty member and admin personnel share the same vision for the child. This consistency is unique in our area to Princeton Montessori. Combined with the integration of the teacher training program, we can proudly say that the spirit of Dr. Montessori’s principles permeates every aspect of our school. That’s what I value the most about our school!

Education is both a gift and a right. I feel the teachers at PMonts help our children to appreciate the value of their education. Understanding the value involves looking beyond school and appreciating how education is a tool that will allow them to explore challenging goals, to grow as individuals and most importantly, chase their dreams.

I will never cease to be amazed at the capabilities of the young child. In the Montessori environment, the very youngest students show incredible independence and competence. At Princeton Montessori School the teachers truly help the children to “help me do it myself”.

When I think about my personal philosophy on education I can check all the boxes with regards to the education my daughter is receiving at Princeton Montessori. I feel the teachers motivate the students by focusing on appreciating the value of education and the diversities of peoples around the world while stressing and leveraging the power of the uniqueness in each individual student. Ultimately, the role of an educator is to shape a new generation that will create a safer and better world for the future.

Princeton Montessori School is a school that exceeds any expectations imaginable. The school follows each and every child on an individual basis and nourishes each child’s academic, social, and emotional needs. It is a school where teachers appreciate all unique qualities each child brings.

Princeton Montessori School turned out to be the best investment ever. We made some sacrifices in our lifestyle in order to be able to afford sending both children all the way through 8th grade, but now we are proud to note that we have two capable, confident, well-mannered young adults who are a pleasure to be around and who continue to love to work hard in their studies.