Brooklyn Heights Montessori School is a diverse community committed to educational excellence, serving students in preschool through grade 8.

Diversity

Grounded in the Montessori philosophy, in particular its peace mission and recognition of fundamental needs, the BHMS community acknowledges the intrinsic dignity of every person and our joyful connection with and responsibility to each other across identifiers, beyond nations and borders, and through time.  We are a community that stands for equity and social justice, namely we strive for equitable access to political, economic, and social rights and opportunities. Our commitment to diversity is actively and intentionally undertaken by every community member: to be aware of ourselves and each other, to take care of our community – local and global – and to name and oppose inequity and injustice when it is present.

For these reasons, we recognize and welcome diversity in our community.  Among the many identifiers that contribute to our diversity and that affect our experiences are age, ability, ethnicity, family composition, gender identity and expression, learning differences, race, culture, religion, sexuality, and socio-economic status.  

BHMS supports community members in their growth and awareness of their own multifaceted identities and the diversity of identity in the world around them.  Our community embraces these ongoing efforts, confident that we each have a valuable role to play in making a positive difference in society, both inside and outside the classroom.

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Peace Mission

"Constructive education for peace… is a task that calls for the efforts of all humanity. It must aim to reform humanity so as to permit the inner development of human personality and to develop a more conscious vision of the mission of humanity and the present conditions of social life. These aims must be achieved not only because man is almost totally unaware of his own nature, but also because for the most part he does not understand the workings of the social mechanisms on which his interests and his immediate salvation depend."

-Maria Montessori, from Education and Peace

"An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking."

-Maria Montessori, from Education and Peace

Montessori’s peace mission is the global outcome of her method, which extends far beyond our academic content benchmarks. This work is not passive, a mere hope for the absence of difficult conflict and war. This is bold work that seeks to reconstruct society into an interdependent world in which all humans, not just the self, community, or country, are the beneficiaries of our efforts for justice. Maria Montessori wrote that our peace work begins and ends with students understanding themselves. It is through discovering other people and their stories that children begin to understand themselves. It is through discovering the way society functions for themselves and others that children begin to develop empathy and make their own plans for a constructing a better world. Maria Montessori wrote that this is monumental work. The universally equalizing outcomes of her peace mission make it an essential component of the diversity mission at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School.

Fundamental Needs

The Fundamental Needs concept comes from the Elementary Great Lessons. The lesson is called Fundamental Needs of Humans. From their first year in Lower Elementary, students are taught the common characteristics of human society from the Stone Age to the present. They are taught that all people need: nourishment, clothing, shelter, defense and transportation as well as spiritual needs: art, religion, and self-adornment.

The Fundamental Needs of Humans work is intended to demonstrate that all human beings have and have always had the same fundamental needs.  The students will recognize that they too have those needs.  We explore how groups of people satisfy these needs in different ways.  Differences in cultures can be understood as an expression of how people satisfy their fundamental needs with the resources available to them.