Diversity & Inclusion

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 for our school.

Windows and Mirrors

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.

2017-2018 School-wide Demographics

NNM Racial Diversity:

  • Asian & Biracial: 21.1%
  • Black & Biracial: 11.2%
  • Hispanic/Latino & Biracial: 16.1%
  • Multi-racial & other: 5.8%
  • White: 46%

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. NNM acknowledges and celebrates our differences, through events like the Festival of Lights and the SEED Project, where 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.

All of Chicago in One Place

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.