Throughout the world and across the country, free public Montessori programs have proven successful in serving children of all backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Our goal is to replicate and build upon this success in Oakland.
We are creating a truly inclusive school community reflective of the racial and socioeconomic diversity of Oakland. We recognize that maintaining a respectful community where all students achieve, differences are valued, voices are heard, and power is shared requires constant dialogue and hard work; that we must create the safe spaces to openly check each others’ biases and assumptions, and talk openly about power and privilege, in order to model the society and community we wish our children to become part of. We hope that families choosing to apply to Urban Montessori will share our dedication to these values and goals.
The Montessori Approach and Diverse Learning
One of the powerful aspects of the Montessori approach is that it allows for different learning styles to flourish within the same classroom. We understand that different students have different ways of learning, some of them being culturally based. Our teachers and staff will all be trained in cross cultural communication regardless of background. We intend to honor and respect the different members of our community and know that each member is a valuable component of our school. We support healthy cross-cultural relationships among all members of Urban Montessori.
We believe that through outreach, education and the intentional creation of access - we will grow an inclusive and diverse community from the beginning – so that it will be the foundation upon which we will build a powerful and vibrant community of learners.
Through our recruitment and outreach effort we put our ideals into action. We are actively engaged in:
- Regular internal learning sessions, where our founding team members discuss as a group issues on race, equity, power and privilege
- Intentional recruitment of Black and Latino Families
- Partnering with community leaders and organizers, child development centers, Head Start programs and providing prospective families with information and enrollment materials
Greater access is built into our enrollment process by:
- School lottery weighted preference for children attending program improvement schools
- Translated materials and information sessions
- Prioritizing a significant portion of our outreach efforts within underserved communities
At the turn of the century, Maria Montessori’s approach was intended to serve all children and was born out of observing the specific needs of vulnerable children in that society. Today our commitment is to make Montessori an educational option available to all children; and to create and sustain an inclusive and connected school community that will honor and build on the vision of Maria Montessori.