Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
The healthy social life is found
When in the mirror of each human soul
The whole community finds its reflection,
And when in the community
The virtue of each one is living.
Mountaintop Waldorf School fosters a community of inclusion and respect for all people. Any form of discrimination is unacceptable, and we explicitly reject any racial doctrine attributed to or inferred from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner. We recognize that in The Mission of Folk-Souls and other teachings, Steiner expresses racist ideas that we do not condone in any form. As an educational institution in the town of Saugerties and the greater Hudson Valley region, we recognize the importance of both acknowledging and actively countering the forces of exclusion that exist in our communities and that undermine the dignity and humanity of many of our members, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
As a Waldorf school and full member of WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America), we are “committed to nurturing childhood as a foundation for renewing human culture.”* Through our curriculum and our interactions with both parents and children we are continually meeting the unique developmental needs of each child, we honor the heritage that they bring to the community, and we provide a solid foundation of respect, love, and collaboration that will nourish them in their life journey.
As a private school, we recognize the tuition we set for our programs provides an economic challenge for many families who are interested in the values of Waldorf education and discourages many from reaching out to us. We continue to find ways to prevent finances from being a barrier to those who feel excluded. Through the help of a generous NoVo Foundation grant, we offer tuition assistance to those who would not be a part of our community without it. This enables us to welcome more families who would like to benefit from a Waldorf early childhood experience.
Our classrooms invite, welcome, and value children from all backgrounds. From the simple toys made of natural materials that we provide, to the homelike aesthetic of the classroom, and the guidance of our calm and caring teachers, we create an environment where children are recognized and celebrated for their differences. Storytelling and puppetry are key components of our curriculum. We gather tales from all over the world, sharing with children the rich folk traditions of many cultures. Seasonal festivals are also an integral part of our community life, and we focus on the universal elements that all families can identify with.
As a faculty, we are uncovering the work that must be done to create a culture of equity for all. Our ongoing development as educators includes interacting with people in our community and participating and learning from educational resources—such as workshops, books, and media—that deepen our own learning around issues of equity and social justice. Together and individually, we have engaged in seminars that examine our biases so that we can serve all members of our community with integrity and care. We are committed to actively incorporating an anti-racist posture in all of our interactions with our students and the community, and learning from our mistakes in the process.
We recognize that, as teachers, we play a significant role in the lives of the children and parents we work with, and it is our goal to create an environment where all feel valued for the gifts that they bring to us. We are intentionally building an understanding of one another though meaningful dialogue. We acknowledge that the work we are doing is ongoing. We strive to take action from a place of authenticity and honesty.
This statement is a dynamic and living one. We invite you to join the conversation. All are welcome.
*From the WECAN mission statement: