Diversity

The Nursery Division communicates its policies and practices with respect to diversity through its teaching of the Core Values. In addition, the Division offers parents the opportunity to promote multicultural understanding by inviting them into the classroom to share information about their unique culture and their unique traditions. The Nursery Division has taken field trips to local museums to compliment the study of how groups of people around the world can be very different yet essentially the same.

The Nursery Division Library has a collection of books on a variety of topics related to diversity. The collection includes a selection of bi-lingual books, in Spanish and English, by familiar authors such as Eric Carle and Ezra jack Keats. The collection is updated and enriched annually with an eye toward including award-winning books representing diverse cultures and life experiences. Reading books to young children that integrate the life experiences of diverse groups of people is important in helping children to see their own lives reflected in stories. We incorporate music from different ethnic groups to celebrate diverse cultures. Children can also explore differences through art and the creation of self-portraits.

At the Lower Division one way in which we remind the students about the expectations we all have as part of our community is The Rules We Live By, which are posted in classrooms and discussed routinely as an integral part of the life of the division.

Within the larger school community we celebrate what is unique about each of us along with what we have in common. We endeavor to encourage the growth and development of caring individuals who support one another. The Rules We Live By work in tandem with Horace Mann’s Mission Statement and our school-wide Core Values to promote respect among individuals and groups in society.

The Lower Division uses its Earth Day and Community Day celebrations to focus on bringing to life the Core Values in ways that underscore our relationships with the community at large. In honor of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Lower Division used the Rules We Live By to initiate conversation about respect, teamwork, valuing difference, conflict resolution, and taking responsibility. The Lower Division continues to develop school wide projects that involve students, faculty, and parents.

In the Middle Division, teachers integrate diversity themes into subject areas such as History and English, Foreign Languages, and the Arts. The entire division celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and there is an annual assembly celebrating South Asian culture. Most years include a “Day of the Dead” festival that explores aspects of indigenous Mexican culture. The Middle Division French Week emphasizes “la Francophonie,” French speaking cultures in Africa, Canada, Oceania and the Caribbean. The Office of Diversity has sponsored Our Voices: African-American Culture on Stage during Black History Month. The History Department sponsors excursions to a local mosque and a Buddhist temple each year, and a recreation of the Ellis Island experience is an annual event. The Middle Division holds an International Food Festival each November, for which parents provide dishes that reflects their families’ heritage.

There are more than sixty-plus clubs at in the Upper Division, ranging from the Psychology Club to the Documentary Film Club. Several of these clubs focus explicitly on issues related to diversity. The Gay Straight Alliance promotes participation in the National Day of Silence each year. The Women’s Issues Club sponsors an annual dinner at Horace Mann, complete with powerful speakers on contemporary topics. Horace Mann School is proud to be affiliated with DAIS (Diversity Awareness Initiatives in Schools) and the NAIS People of Color Conference.

From a diversity perspective, the John Dorr Nature Laboratory exemplifies community building and equality among members of a community. Dorr has the advantage of having an inclusive philosophy in off-campus surroundings that promotes intensive and positive interactions with their peers and faculty members. This environment produces a leveling effect. Students can discover aspects of their own personalities and to begin to understand their peers more effectively, at least for a few days.


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