Equity, Justice, and Inclusion

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HMS Diversity Statement

“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are a part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” 

— Maria Montessori

At Hilltop Montessori School: 

We endeavor to honor the qualities that make us similar to each other and those that make us different, co-creating a space that values and respects the race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, language, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity, size, sexual orientation, and dis/ability of all students, families, and employees.  

We understand that this effort is a work in progress and that the achievement of such principles grows from the work of educating ourselves and each other as we address our biases and revisit program curriculums and school policies. The empowerment of the members of our community will bring confidence and compassion for understanding and communicating with a more inclusive language, challenge discrimination and stereotypes, and provide guidance. 

We strive to develop, embrace, and celebrate diversity in order to fulfill our mission, affirm the principles of Montessori education, and carry out a responsible role in our community.

Notes from the Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Director

Equity and Anti-Bias Work Group

The Equity and Anti-Bias Work Group is an ongoing group whose purpose is to review all aspects of Hilltop’s operations through the equity and anti-bias lens, identify areas for improvement, assess progress, and provide actionable recommendations directly to the Head of School or the Board of Trustees. It has also supported parent-led activities such as 2019’s clothing and school gear swaps, and the Project Feed the Thousands food drive in December 2020. The Work Group is open to Hilltop family members, staff, and community members with a connection to Hilltop; there are also two Middle School student representatives. Contact Board Trustee Alix Fedoruk if you would like to participate.

Parent Anti-Bias Education Group

The Parent Anti-Bias Education Group is a group for people with a connection to Hilltop to do anti-bias self-education work for themselves and for their families. In 2019-2020, the group generated a list of recommended readings for all ages, the Hilltop Diversity Bookshelf, and held a series of workshops on parenting for racial justice. In 2020-2021, the Education Group is hosting a Zoom book club around Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. Contact Trustee Elizabeth Fisher if you would like to participate in anti-bias educational activities and/or help to organize them.

Staff Development

2020-2021: Monthly meetings with EJI Director by Program

2019-2020: Staff meetings and inservice days dedicated to anti-bias work

2018-2019: Implementation of the Equity and Anti-Bias Work Group

All Staff Trainings
  • August 2020:  Zoom workshop “Capoeira as Cultural Competence Builder” with the Brazilian Capoeira Mestre, Fuá Nascimento.
  • August 2019: Training by Jennifer Bryan, Team Finch Consultants, on Gender and Sexuality Diversity.
  • November 2018: Staff examined possible bias in any areas including gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, and socio-economic status.
  • August 2018: Half-day training by Tiffany Jewell, who has the experience of being both a Montessori Elementary teacher and a social justice and peace education teacher. 
Staff Summer Readings

2021: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 

2019: Trans Allyship Workbook: Building Skills to Support Trans People In Our Lives by Davey Shlasko

2018: Waking up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving

Books

Illustrated Books for Children
  • Beer, Sophie Love Makes a Family 
  • Hoffman, Mary The Great Big Book of Families 
  • Khan, Hena Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes 
  • Kurman, Hollis Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children
  • Lopez, Silvia Just Right Family: An Adoption Story 
  • Mason, Margaret H. These Hands
  • Perry, LaTashia M. Hair Like Mine
  • Perry, LaTashia M. Skin Like Mine
  • Stewart, Whitney What Do You Celebrate? Holidays and Festivals Around the World
  • Tahe, Rose Ann and Flood, Nancy Bo First Laugh Welcome Baby!
  • Woodson, Jacqueline Each Kindness 
Books for Youth/Young Adults
  • Bajaj, Varsha Count Me In 
  • Bowling, Dustin Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
  • Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
  • Lewis, John, with Aydin, Andrew, and Powell, Nate March (book one, two and three)
  • Mohamed, Omar and Jamieson, Victoria When Stars Are Scattered
  • Reynolds, Jason and Kendi, Ibram X. Stamp: Racism, Antiracism, and You
  • Rhodes, Jewell Parker Ghost Boys
Books for Adults
  • Derman-Sparks, Louise and Ramsey, Patricia What if all the Kids are White?: Anti-Bias Multicultural Education with Young Children and Families 
  • Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States
  • Irving, Debby Waking Up White 
  • Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America 
  • King, Ruth, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out 
  • Menakem, Resmaa My Grandmother’s Hands
  • Oluo, Ijeoma, So You Want to Talk About Race 
  • Shlasko, Davey  Trans Allyship Workbook: Building Skills to Support Trans People In Our Lives
  • Tatum, PhD, Beverly Daniel Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? 
  • Wilkerson, Isabel Cast: The Origins of Our Discontents