High Fives to the City Neighbors Kindergarten class from the President of the USA.

There it is.  Right in front of us.  The first African American President high fiving an integrated class of public school students from Baltimore.  Straight from our play based kindergarten our school is student centered, arts integrated, project based, and Reggio Emilia inspired.  Every child seen as capable, loving, creative, and deserving of the deepest respect.  Judged by the content of their character.

Today is a great day for City Neighbors!  10 years ago we opened with a dream of creating a fully integrated high performing school.   In their new book A Smarter Charter, Richard Kahlenberg and Halley Potter focus on the role charters can play in school integration and the importance of teacher voice in how schools are run.  City Neighbors is one of 9 schools highlighted in the book along with High Tech High and Morris Jeff Community School, and other nationally known schools.

What does it mean for our students to grow up together in an integrated setting?  What can those friendships and partnerships lead to for all of us?

Being an integrated and diverse community isn’t always easy.  This work is complex, it’s difficult.  It asks of us to face our own prejudices, fears, hopes, and shortcomings.  Together we must face the system, the politics, the task ahead.  We are so lucky we are in the position to do the joyful work of doing what is right for children no matter what!  Today is a Great Day for City Neighbors.  All the City Neighbors – everywhere.

Pick up a copy of the book and let us know what you think at Amazon.com, of course:   http://www.amazon.com/Smarter-Charter-Finding-Schools-Education/dp/0807755796.