The Nightingale-Bamford School is committed to diversity in an educational environment of responsibility, mutual respect, and empathy.
We value individuals whose differences include, but are not limited to, age, ethnicity, family structure, gender, learning style, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Fulfilling this mission is an ongoing process requiring active participation and frequent dialogue.
All members of the Nightingale community—students past and present, faculty and staff, administrators, parents, and trustees—are expected to keep their minds and hearts open to difference as a source of strength and a means of growth.
An education based in a sense of diversity and inclusivity begins at Nightingale in the earliest grades and continues through Class XII. For a closer look at how Nightingale prepares students in each division to be citizens in a changing world, click on the expandable sections below.
An education based in a sense of diversity and inclusivity begins at Nightingale in the earliest grades. In Lower School, students learn about the changing faces of modern families and the variety of life in the five boroughs. A focus on medieval Europe and the culture of China in Class III takes them from our own country to more distant times and places. The study of French, Spanish, and Mandarin, beginning in a semester-long rotation of the three languages in Class III, also encourages an awareness of the wider world, as does the after-school Hobbyhorse program in a more playful way, with offerings such as Cooking From Around the World and World Dance.
In Middle School, history, identity, and cultural context are central elements of the Nightingale program. Learning about America’s social protest movements from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall in history class moves students past the exclusively traditional narrative of American history, just as readings in English as varied as Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, and Gish Jen’s Typical American complement our study of Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams. An immersion in art and music from different countries in both Lower and Middle School is also an essential part of our effort to expose our girls to a cultural bounty that includes, but goes beyond, familiar forms of creativity. Internal assemblies and awareness-raising activities also play a part in Middle School life through events such as “Mix-It-Up-At-Lunch Day” (a “teaching tolerance” activity), GLSEN-sponsored Ally Week, and class reflections on Halloween costumes (exploring issues of both gender and ethnicity) and the controversy surrounding Columbus Day.
In Upper School, year-long courses and semester electives provide an opportunity for in-depth study of the Harlem Renaissance, world religions, women’s history, urban history, the black and gay civil rights movements, immigration, the Middle East, current events, and economics. Ours is a program that believes in significant attention to canonical writers such as Homer, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but also embraces the more contemporary voices of Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, August Wilson, Chinua Achebe, Gabriel García Marquez, Daniyal Mueenuddin, and Zadie Smith.