Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging


We are a collaborative group of parents, teachers, administrators, students and alumni who confront issues of race, gender, equity, power and privilege; provide tools for growth and effective communication; steward school policies, by-laws, structures and processes that demonstrate our commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and justice in order to foster a culture of accountability and belonging. 


Founded in 1963, the Montclair Cooperative School was the first non-segregated school in the town of Montclair.  The Co-op’s founder, Lauretta Freeman, sought to create a school where children of different backgrounds could play and learn together.   Grounded in the principles of inclusion, equity, equality and justice, the Co-op has celebrated the rich diversity of its students, families, faculty and staff since its founding.  We honor and continue this legacy at the Co-op in everything that we do.  

The  Co-op continues to prioritize inclusion, equity, equality and justice in its current initiatives: 

  • Providing comprehensive DEIJB training for Co-op staff.
  • Hosting community conversations on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability and social justice as part of our community education efforts.
  • Developing a curriculum that exposes children to global world cultures and the history of ancient and contemporary societies with a focus on ‘honest history.’
  • Creating student and parent led affinity groups to better support under-represented groups, including the student-led Gay/Straight Alliance and Students of Color Affinity Group and the parent-led Families of Color Affinity Group.
  • Advocating for the environment, social justice, and participating in local community service projects.



Consisting of parents, teachers and administrative team members, our committee for justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging,  known as the JEDI Collaborative, is focused on the following goals:

  • Better serve, engage, and represent our community.
  • A curriculum that speaks to and reflects the richness of our diverse community.
  • Increase access and enrollment of under-represented groups.
  • Create a thriving, diverse and culturally responsive learning environment.


The richness of our school is comprised not just of the curriculum, but of the students who are learning about the world together, as well as the families and staff, that make up the Co-op community. 

Diversity is a range of racial identifications, nationalities, native languages, socioeconomic backgrounds, family structures, ages, belief systems, gender and sexual identities, appearances, occupations, and political affiliations.

Our students come from a broad range of socio-economic, racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, faith, traditions, and belief systems and 10 different towns, including Montclair. We are actively working to ensure that our school represents the community in which we are located, and the country in which we live.