Diversity, Inclusivity and Community
Tower School embraces diversity and supports inclusivity in all of its forms. We believe that cultural competency, respect, and tolerance are vital. Central to our mission is our belief in the inherent dignity of all people. We cherish differences within the Tower community as well as perspectives from the global community.
Tower School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools as well as the New England chapter. Our institution’s commitment to engaging in ongoing discussions around intercultural competency is enhanced by our participation in these groups. We regularly send teachers and Board members to professional development conferences. As a result the Tower Board has implemented a standing committee on Diversity and Inclusivity that includes our Head of School, members of the Board, the parent body, teaching staff and administrators.
A Diverse Community
Diversity at Tower is defined as, but not limited to, differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, learning style and physical attributes. We seek to achieve this diverse and inclusive educational experience by bringing together a variety of backgrounds, ideas, voices, and passions that ensure the greatest exposure for each of our students. We further strive to engage our many constituencies in the ongoing conversations necessary to promote and address emerging concepts of an equitable and intercultural education.
Although the school is located in an area with less than a 7% non-white population, Tower’s student population has an enrollment of over 15% non-white students. Our goal is to reach 20% in the next 5 years. Many of our students (16.5%) also identify as coming from households where at least two languages are spoken daily and 5% of our students hold citizenships from countries other than the U.S.
Tower also embraces socio-economic diversity. We currently provide tuition assistance to 38% of our families and offer applicants for enrollment in grades four through seven, who best display the qualities of a Tower School student (excellent academic achievement, leadership skills and good character), an opportunity to receive up to $15,000 in need-based tuition through the Community Scholars Program.
Our students are encouraged to think critically and empathically about the world and people that surround them throughout their years at Tower. We set forth in our curriculum to discuss and study diversity with age and grade appropriate materials across all subjects. Ranging from the study of Native American perspectives, child labor in Pakistan, The Holocaust and the American Civil Rights movement, Tower students acquire a respect for new ideas that broaden their understanding and tolerance of differing human experiences.
Community outreach is essential to a Tower School experience. We believe that educating a child to become a global citizen requires empathy, critical thinking, problem solving and exposure to a wide variety of experiences. Tower School offers our students opportunities to participate in meal services at My Brother’s Table in Lynn, Peer Literacy support for under-served children in surrounding communities, and work with Conservancy groups on local environmental projects. We also value the perspectives of our older community members and connect with them in weekly visits to the Lafayette Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility.
“Diversity is a given; inclusion is an effort.”
– Irshad Manji, Founder of The Moral Courage Project and Keynote Speaker at AISNE 2016 Diversity Conference