Jen's Philosophy

All schools can and should be collaborating within and among themselves to create child-centered environments.  It is Jen's belief that schools are obligated to provide environments where students can be seen and heard as well as to teach students to learn to be visible and use their voices in ways that work for them.  Helping students feel visible and listened to is a mutual obligation.  The adults in a school are called upon to create safe places for students to take an academic risk, speak their minds, try a new sport, audition for the play and celebrate their authentic selves.  To create a mutual conversation, students need to commit to learning methods of communication. 

To accomplish these goals, healthy Schools have:

Rigorous programs where students are able to access more rigorous programs when they have self-advocacy skills, are encouraged to ask question and are in an environment which ensures emotional, academic and social safety

  • Expectations for the development of self-advocacy skills

  • Strong advisory programs

  • Transparency balanced with confidentiality 

  • Assessment of the program, faculty as well as students

  • Collaboration within the school as well as with the greater world

  • Active and dynamic diversity programs

  • Student leadership programs

  • Advisory Programs

  • Interactive and collaborative relationships between the administration, faculty, parents, and students

Learn more 

Photo by Lib Okulski

What People are saying

Jen Cort is a master of "speaking the truth to power". She is confident without feeling the need to push her views on others. Yet, because of their admiration and respect for her, others want to follow her lead.  Jen was probably the key "mover and shaker on our diversity committee not only on the faculty/staff level but on influencing the Board of Trustees to take stands on diversity issues that have become models for other independent schools.  If I were young and starting a new school and given the opportunity to choose a 'start up faculty' of only five educators from all of those I have known, Jen Cort would be one of those five.

Ken Smith, Former Head of Sandy Spring Friends School

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