About NFS

Diversity at NFS

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at NFS

At Newtown Friends School we seek to create a school that cultivates a global mindset in our students so that they develop the skills, knowledge, and disposition to lead and contribute thoughtfully and meaningfully to our diverse world. We are committed not only to making our school a warm and welcoming place for everyone but also to preparing our students to enter the world demonstrating the skills they have developed at Newtown Friends School, so that they may lead and live dynamically and peacefully with all whom they encounter.

In harmony with the Quaker testimony of equality, we strive to engage our students, parents and staff in lessons, activities, workshops and a school culture that affirms the humanity of each member of our community.  At every level of instruction, Newtown Friends School students are given the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of another and also to tell their own story.  Our goal is to graduate students who see the value in themselves as well as others, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, nationality, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

As Director of Equity, along with the Diversity Committee and faculty and staff,  I work with all constituents of Newtown Friends School to ensure this is a safe place for everyone.  It is my desire that every student entering our doors comes in with a sense of belonging and leaves believing they have the power to change our world, and a deep commitment to advocating for justice and equity for all people wherever they may be.

Sydney Lewis
Director of Equity
    • Sydney Lewis, Director of Equity

Diversity Statement

Newtown Friends School believes that diversity is one of our greatest strengths and that inclusion is one of our most important daily practices. The School’s focus on equity, justice, and community is rooted in the Quaker belief that there is “that of God in every person.” Every voice contributes to and strengthens our community.

We demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, and justice through our hiring and admission processes, curriculum and professional development, strategic planning, and governance. We believe that an excellent academic program and a healthy community require diversity of thought, identity, perspective, and experience. We embrace the challenge of building, nurturing, and sustaining our community and understand that it requires thoughtful engagement and consistent, intentional care. 

Through these practices, we seek to create a school that cultivates a global mindset in our students so they develop the skills, knowledge, and disposition to lead and contribute thoughtfully and meaningfully to our diverse world. 

DEI Committees @ NFS

List of 3 items.

  • Parent, Faculty and Staff Diversity Committee

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  • School Committee Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

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  • TASC Diversity Committee (student led)

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2020-2021 Diversity Events & Activities

Diversity Roundtable - October

The Newtown Friends School Diversity Committee invited community members to an hour of telling our stories, connecting, and discussing our future.  For our first virtual roundtable of the year in October,  we explored the questions: 
Who are we?  
What brought us to Newtown Friends?
What is the value of a Quaker education in our current climate?
Where do we as a community go from here?

Virtual Watch Party and Diversity Roundtable - December

The Newtown Friends School Diversity Committee, in partnership with the George School Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, hosted a Virtual Watch Party followed by a roundtable discussion.  We viewed the moving and impactful keynote address given at the National Association of Independent Schools' People of Color Conference.  The speech, given by Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. was a "call to arms" for diversity, equity, and justice in independent schools.  
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. is the author of Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America. Currently, he is Chair of Princeton University's Department of African American Studies and president of the American Academy of Religion.
Members of the Pennswood Diversity Committee and Newtown Quaker Meeting were also invited to attend.

Diversity Roundtable - November

The theme for the Newtown Friends School Diversity Committee’s November roundtable discussion was : Democracy = Diversity, Lift Every Voice. How do we make space for all voices in our lives and in our community to rebuild after division?  
Participants shared  in an evening of exploring tough questions together with the hope of community building and individual reflection and sharing.
This session was led by Jason Allen, 7th grade parent and principal of xCHANGEs.

Virtual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Activities

The Diversity Committee, along with the Upper School faculty and students, planned a day of events for the entire family to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 18th. 
Morning Read Alouds for Lower School
In our long tradition of forging connections between our older and younger pupils, students in grades 6-8 volunteered to read books to Lower School students (PreK-5).  The read aloud was followed by a discussion led by the Upper School students.  
Student-Led Diversity Camp for Parents, Faculty, Staff, and Upper School Students
Eighth grade students facilitated discussions about topics dealing with diversity (Race and Racial Inequality, Gender and Sexuality, and Ethnicity and Religion).  Parents, faculty, staff and Upper School students were invited to attend.  
Food Drive for Mercer Street Friends
In keeping with the spirit of MLK Day as a National Day of Service, we supported Mercer Street Friends Food Bank with a food drive the week of January 18-22.  The school donated 1841 pounds of food.

NAIS People of Color Conference

The entire staff of Newtown Friends School attended the National Association of Independent  Schools' People of Color Conference on December 2, 2020.  Faculty, staff and administrators participated in a wide variety of sessions on diversity led by renowned scholars, activists, leaders and fellow educators.
Located In Newtown, Pennsylvania, Newtown Friends School is a Private School For Grades Pre-K-8th Grade.