“Diversity is not about how we differ.
Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.”
– Old Joseph
SPHERE is a consortium of independent schools from the greater Hartford area that came together in the early 70’s because of a common commitment to diversity, originally expressed through summer enrichment programs for students from the city of Hartford. Today, the Consortium consists of thirteen member schools: Avon Old Farms, Cobb School Montessori, Covenant Preparatory School, The Ethel Walker School, Grace Academy, Kingswood Oxford School, The Loomis Chaffee School, Miss Porter’s School, Pomfret School, Renbrook School, Suffield Academy, Watkinson School and Westminster School.
The growth of each individual is promoted—and achieved—through a variety of experiences: within the academic curriculum . . . within the arts and sciences . . . within extracurricular activities . . . within each school community . . . through the partnership of school and family.
SPHERE coordinates programs that bring students as well as faculty and staff together from all member schools. Admissions, outreach to local communities, professional development for faculty and staff, faculty and staff of color recruitment and support, and human relations programs work to enhance the quality of campus life for all faculty, staff and students.
Aware of the virtues of diversity, a group of independent schools in the Greater Hartford area, The Howard and Bush Foundation, the Reader’s Digest DeWitt Wallace Foundation and the Hartford Foundation organized SPHERE in 1991. The independent schools that make up the SPHERE consortium constantly strive to provide students with a well-balanced and multicultural curriculum, a diverse social community, a variety of extracurricular and intra-school experiences, and a view of the world that will allow them to grow into responsible members of a global community.
Our commitment is to recruit students, faculty, staff and administrators of color to our schools and to facilitate efforts and programs that enhance and broaden the quality of life for all students.
We believe that schools should provide a context for teachers to teach and for students to learn. Independent schools, which are governed by boards of trustees and rely on private sources for funding, provide an environment for teachers who have a passion for their disciplines—and a love for teaching. Students who choose to attend independent schools are responsive to academic challenges—they are eager to learn. They and their families are committed to excellence, performance, competition, success, and community.
We work to foster an environment that will educate all students for the multicultural world of the 21st century. We believe that our strength lies in our differences and our commonalities, and those differences should be resources for learning. When this happens, every student will experience teaching and learning that suits a world characterized by diversity.
The mission of SPHERE is to encourage and assist member schools as they collaborate in sustaining diverse, inclusive and culturally responsive environments for teaching and learning. Member schools seek to foster a respect for difference and an understanding of multicultural perspectives in curricular and extracurricular programs.