Girls and boys varsity basketball games are being played at the same time in the Wight Gym and the Tarrier Dome. Halftime programs feature the Lower School jump-rope team and the tae kwon do students. Middle School students play a game of Ultimate outside and are memorizing Shakespeare in the hallways. MS and US students work intently to defend their Washington state robotics championship. Upper School thespians engage in a final rehearsal before their performance of “As You Like It.” Parents and art faculty prepare the gallery for a progressive evening of visual arts, dinner prepared by our incredible food service team, and performing arts. The Board of Trustees is responsibly managing our school’s finances and future. Parents are committed partners in their children’s educational journey. Our faculty and staff continue to refine and master their craft. And our students are engaged, healthy, and thriving.

And… and… and… this is the State of the School at Charles Wright Academy at the beginning of February 2017.

All of these anecdotal observations of the students’ and the school’s health are supported by hard data (as seen in the recently published 2016-2017 Report to Families). These are some impressive statistics that represent the strength of our program and our community of learners.

Since July the faculty, staff, and I have been engaged in exciting conversations about the future and “turning over stones” to imagine our future as a learning community. We do this because we believe our school has the capacity to be even better, and as committed and caring educators, we want the best for our students. Listed below are some of the things that we are currently working on to improve our educational community in the next 12 months:

  • creating a robust offering of 15 to 18 trimester electives in the Upper School in all disciplines starting in the fall of 2017
  • engaging in a campus-wide safety and security audit—changes are in progress
  • providing more tools and training for our Lower School faculty in early literacy teaching as well as in acquisition assessments and interventions
  • launching an educational technology audit in March 2017 to inform our vision and plan for technology education and infrastructure
  • shifting to a more equitable model of awarding financial aid
  • increasing cross-staff understanding of the value of every person and every job in delivering on our promise of an excellent education every day for every student
  • creating a strategic-thinking group of faculty and staff to guide and imagine the future of a CWA education
  • assessing the recently completed skills map led by the Curriculum Committee in order to create a seamless scope and sequence in all disciplines and divisions
  • reshaping the academic administrative structure to provide a more distributed workload to better support the student experience
  • shifting our thinking about prospective students from asking if they are “mission appropriate” to asking if they are “mission servable”

This is a not-so-short list of the work in progress by the faculty and staff even as they deliver a high-quality program to our students every day. In the next few weeks I will be sending out a more detailed report on the State of the School to the entire CWA community, and I look forward to conversations with you on the direction in which we are headed. We will also be announcing a series of Pub Nights inviting parents and guardians to meet with me in a casual setting to chat about CWA now and into the future.

The faculty and staff are quivering with anticipation and enthusiasm as they begin to build an even better program. The state of Charles Wright Academy is healthy. We are thriving.