Monday, August 03, 2015

Board of Directors’ Commitment to Diversity at LMS

by Amy Hutter, Board Clerk
As parents, we know that LMS’ commitment to diversity is one of the reasons we send our children to LMS. It is one of the characteristics that make the school special. However, this commitment to diversity isn't something that “just happens”. As our Diversity at LMS statement declares, “At Lexington Montessori School, we are enriched, challenged and inspired by the diversity in our community and in the larger world. We recognize that building a multicultural school requires an ongoing commitment of time, energy and resources in both our curriculum and our school practices.” In short, LMS works hard at creating and maintaining a diverse and welcoming multicultural environment. 
While our teachers tirelessly create and teach a diversity curriculum that is at the core of our children’s day-to-day education, the Board of Directors work to ensure that diversity remains a priority throughout the school. In 1996, the Board created a comprehensive set of Diversity Goals. These goals, combined with the Diversity at LMS Statement, form a framework which guides LMS in its diversity mission. The substance of the work on diversity gets accomplished primarily in the Diversity Committee. This Committee, chaired by Board member and parent Marolí Licardié, is comprised of Board members, parents and teachers. The committee meets monthly to discuss and make headway towards the stated goals. While the Diversity Goals are broken up into numerous subsets, below are the overarching goals.
  • Achieve and maintain within the student body, faculty and Board of Directors a critical mass of groups in our larger community that historically have been underrepresented in our school.
  • Create and maintain a welcoming environment that fosters a sense of belonging among students, families, and faculty/staff of all backgrounds and cultures.
 Here is a small sample of specific priorities that the committee is addressing this year.
  • Work with Aline and Biff to further develop and implement an anti-bias curriculum that teaches multiple perspectives and critical thinking skills.
  • Provide mechanisms for families to receive information about and discuss diversity issues.
  • Maintain Board and Board committee membership that reflects the diversity of LMS families.
The Diversity Committee is always looking for LMS community members who are interested in working on the committee. Please contact Marolí Licardié if you would like to talk further about joining the committee.
The LMS Mission states, “Our students learn to view themselves as contributing members of a diverse global community. We respect and value differences, and look with an open mind at all members of the community, seeking to understand and value them for who they are.” In addition, to having diversity at the forefront of the school’s Mission, our stand alone Diversity Statement asserts that, “Our goal at LMS is to create an environment where each person freely brings his or her whole self to school each day, comfortable that every individual will be honored and protected". This commitment to diversity touches our children every day.
Some diversity related information from the 2012 - 2013 school year:
  • 30% of LMS families receive financial assistance
  • Schoolwide 50% of families are ethnically diverse
  • Affinity Groups in Elementary meet monthly for lunch. These include Jewish Affinity Group, East Asian Affinity Lunch, Harambee Lunch (African American/Urban), Rainbow Lunch (children from Gay & Lesbian families), Two Home families (children with parents living in different homes), and the Spanish Heritage Group.

Check it Out 

Monday, January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School/No BASP
Application deadline for all new students is Wednesday, January 23rd. This includes siblings.
Re-Enrollment contracts are mailed on January 18th. Signed contracts and deposits are due back to LMS on February 8th
Please be sure to sign up for Parent/Teacher Conferences.
Emails were sent this week to all current parents. If you did not receive an email, please contact Sheila right away.

Spotlight on ...Parent Education Event with Peggy McIntosh

As an on-going part of diversity education, on February 23rd at 5:30pm, the Parents Association is thrilled to be hosting guest speaker Peggy McIntosh, PhD at the Winter Event.
Before the evening event, Dr. McIntosh will spend the entire day with all LMS faculty and staff as part of their professional development.
Dr. McIntosh is associate director of the Wellesley College’s Wellesley Centers for Women. She is well known for one of her insightful papers, “Unpacking the Knapsack of White Privilege.”  Invisible knapsack.pdf

Please join us for what is sure to be an informative and engaging evening.
Childcare available by pre-registration. Please contact Kim McDonald


See What's Coming Up

Calendar @ LMS 

Lexington Montessori School | 130 Pleasant Street | Lexington, MA 02421 | 781.862.8571