Commitment to Diversity

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At the heart of Montessori philosophy is the belief that every child is an individual with specific needs, identities, talents and backgrounds. It is with this philosophy in mind that the Near North community embraces diversity and inclusion as central tenets. As a community, NNM seeks to develop strong cultural competency through a deepened understanding of all members of our school community and to promote a school-wide atmosphere of windows and mirrors.

For NNM, windows are moments that allow us to understand and acknowledge the realities of other’s experiences. We strive to form deep bonds with people who are different from ourselves, allowing us to explore beyond our own experiences. In a sense, we encourage our students to be cultural investigators. Mirrors are moments in which we see our own lives, experiences, identities and culture reflected back to us. By intentionally creating opportunities for people to interact with others who are similar to them, the NNM community is able to experience validation and security that is essential to learning and building community.

On a continuum from 0-6 to 12-14, diversity is purposefully and intentionally infused into each classroom and in each child, in an effort to create culturally competent and responsible women and men that can contribute to society in a meaningful and transformative way. As a community, our goal is to paint one daily stroke of integrity, peace and love on the canvas of every child that will collectively, over time, create a portrait that is so beautiful it can change the world.

 2015-2016 School-wide Demographics

NNM Racial Diversity
Black & Biracial 9.8%
Asian & Biracial 22.8%
Hispanic/Latino & Biracial 16.6%
Multi-racial & Other 5.7%
White 45.2%

Diversity, in its most simple form, means difference. At NNM, diversity includes race, ethnicity, religion, family composition, family traditions, sexual identity, ability, and socioeconomic status. While we seek to respect all differences that community members find meaningful, we ultimately believe that our diversity at NNM is possible because of a key similarity: shared values. All students of different religions, race, and ability experience equity in education because of a shared respect for learning and an environment in which ideas are freely exchanged. By celebrating our differences during events like the Festival of Lights, we demonstrate a willingness to learn about and from one another, further emphasizing the ways in which we are all part of a vibrant community.

Near North families come from across the city and suburbs, including the following neighborhoods:

Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square, Humboldt Park, West Town, Lincoln Park, Old Irving, Horner Park, Jefferson Park, Norwood Park, Pilsen/Little Village, Beverly, Bridgeport, Austin, Garfield Ridge, Chatham, Near South/West Side, Lakeview, North Center, River North, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Square, Ukrainian Village, and Suburbs.

Planning for the Future

During the 2013-14 school year, NNM conducted a study designed by NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) to determine the progress the school has made in meeting diversity and multicultural goals. The results of the AIM study can be found here.

Click here to read the Diversity and Inclusion Committee's Strategic Plan for NNM.