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 and Inclusion
    • Sydney Lewis, Director of Equity and Inclusion

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

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  • 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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Recent Diversity Events & Activities

Staff Run Book Clubs

Over the spring and summer faculty engaged in voluntary book clubs. The books were chosen by staff and discussion sessions were also organized by them.  Fourth grade teachers, Sarah Buxton and Nora Griffin-Snipes facilitated a discussion of the book "Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension" by Sara Ahmed.  Kristen Sanchez, our Upper School Social Studies teacher, led two discussion sessions about Liz Kleinrock's text "Start Here Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community".  Staff book clubs allow participants to share ideas, build community, deepen their knowledge and support one another in fostering inclusive classroom environments.


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  • Virtual Watch Party and Diversity Roundtable - December

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  • NFS School Committee and Staff work with Jen Cort

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Summer Diversity Advisory Planning


In July and August several Upper School advisors worked to plan and create Advisory lessons on a variety of Diversity related topics. These lessons will then be delivered in Advisory to all of the Upper School students.  The sessions will explore such topics as our religious and cultural identities, cultural appropriation, being respectful of other cultures and being an ally or up-stander, LGBTQ+ identity and expression, along with healthy relationships.







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  • Virtual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Activities

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LGBTQ+ 101 Training

On August 31st NFS Faculty and Staff participated in LGBTQ+ 101 Training.  The training was led by Melissa Perkins, Community Programs Manager at the Persad Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Persad Center was founded in 1972 to provide specialized, non-discriminatory mental health services to the LGBTQ+ community.  Melissa and NFS staff discussed names and pronouns, the fluidity of gender and sexual identity and expression, existing social bias and subsequent health disparities and some best practices for being an ally and helping create a warm, welcoming environment for all.

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Located In Newtown, Pennsylvania, Newtown Friends School is a Private School For Grades Pre-K-8th Grade.