Central to our mission is the imperative of preparing our students for higher learning and for life. Life, to be sure, goes on whether we prepare for it or not, but higher learning necessitates a well-organized plan, considerable research, self-evaluation and discussion. Although this focus runs throughout our school and starts at the earliest grades, the path to higher learning becomes more immediate and delineated in the last couple of years of Senior School.
This can be a time when parents and students disagree stubbornly over what degree to pursue. Or it can be a time when parents and students both wonder if the student will ever decide what to pursue in university. Nevertheless, we maintain our faith that going to university – or some similar institution of higher learning such as art school, theatre school, cooking school (some of our top graduates have gone on to culinary college), or community college – is an important and worthwhile step.
There is a deep and compelling reason why university preparation is so firmly rooted in our school’s purpose. It is the belief that this preparation for university is also preparation for life. We don’t mean simply the preparation to jump the hurdles of important passages marking our progress in life: elementary school, middle school, high school, university, career. We mean preparation for the academic rigour that goes hand-in-hand with the pursuit of truth. It is this rigour that gives our students the ability to sift the true from the untrue, the relevant from the irrelevant – to think critically, and to think for themselves.
How and where to pursue the vocation of higher learning is a very personal journey, and the process and the outcome will look different for each of our students. Our most important role is to give our students the guidance and the resources they need to find their own path.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
– Dr Seuss, Dartmouth class of '25, from "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
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