by Thad Falkner, Head of School
Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for our first Thursdays with Thad this school year. It was wonderful to see so many faces - I really enjoyed our discussion.
For everyone who was not able to join us, here are the updates and key discussion points.
We started with an update on our Foundation for the Future Endowment Campaign. Staff and volunteers have been working behind the scenes on this initiative since 2016. We recently announced a goal to raise $1.5 million in commitments to add to the existing endowment funds by the end of this fiscal year which would bring our total endowment to approximately $2 million. Currently, we have $915K committed over the next 5 years. What does this investment mean for Wilson? This Campaign is the first step in bringing Wilson's endowment to that of peer schools (approximately $6 million). Our goal is to eventually bring our endowment to $10 million, which surpasses where our peer schools are and really allows Wilson to soar.
The other update was about our ISACS (Independent School Association of the Central States) accreditation visit on October 21-24. Our students saw these visitors around the halls of school and visiting classrooms. Their task was to confirm our adherence to dozens of standards, recommend our continued accreditation, and offer valuable feedback to help Wilson reach ever higher levels of excellence.
At each of our Thursdays with Thad, I plan to spend time visiting a topic valuable to our parent community. For this one, we talked about Balance. How do we maintain a rigorous, age-appropriate education, rich with the arts and languages, while allotting time to allow our children to just be kids, to play outside and to explore other interests such as the creative arts, sports, as well as other pursuits?
It is an age when stress is a significant concern for students in college, in secondary school, and even in elementary school. Wilson educators and our parents work as a team to ensure our children take seriously the needed preparation for secondary school while staying curious, being well-rounded, and growing as unique and confident individuals. How? Wilson has a program that is far-reaching in subjects and topics as well as having significant depth where students master skills and think critically. Our math program addresses skills and problem solving so completely that our students consistently gain recognition; last year winning the Excellence in Mathematics competition. Another example is our music program that helps students use their voice, read music, play instruments, and affords them opportunities to perform and compose. Additional to having a leading curriculum, we emphasize transferable and soft skills, from adaptability to creativity and determination to communication. All of this is taught and experienced at Wilson while encouraging students to have balance. Whether it’s acting on feedback from parents to allow more time for unstructured outdoor play, increasing use of the surrounding area by taking regular hikes to Forest Park, or utilizing our one-of-a-kind Excellence Program to schedule an abundance of field trips, you can trust Wilson to stay agile and work in the best interests of our students.
As a result, secondary schools consistently remark about the exceptional preparation of our students and use the term “having wonderful balance” to describe Wilson graduates. We also hear directly from our graduates who report they feel more prepared with organizational skills, content understanding, and interpersonal skills than peers in secondary school. If you’d like to hear more about the survey of our graduates, we’d be glad to share more..
Our Thursday discussion also turned to other topics including:
Suggested topics for future discussion included:
If you have a topic you would like to discuss, please don't hesitate to share with me or Kate Poss-Morency (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We look forward to seeing you at our next Thursdays with Thad on December 13 at 8:00 a.m.!
Wilson in the News