Dear Stratford Families,
First, I want to thank Sherry Adams for this singular opportunity to shape and guide the development of Stratford’s first high school. It is a privilege that I accepted with great enthusiasm for the School’s mission and profound respect for its devoted faculty and staff. Since arriving on the scene a few weeks ago, I have visited several Stratford campuses, observed classes, and met with principals, teachers and middle-school students, emphasizing that I am eager to listen and learn. In turn, they have asked for my vision for our new high school – what I think is important. I share now what I have conveyed to others: at a very high level, my conception of the elements and outcomes of an exemplary high school program.
The curriculum and program should have depth and breadth, giving students opportunities to discover new interests and dive deep into a singular interest or nascent passion. With guidance from passionate and compassionate teachers, students should engage with big ideas in STEM disciplines and in the humanities and arts; hone their intellectual and creative capacities; freely exchange ideas as they develop their unique voices; and, increasingly important, learn how to get their questions answered. They should practice working independently and in groups and on teams. They should learn the skills and habits of mind necessary to thrive in an increasingly global community. Every day and in all their school encounters, the children in our care should be inspired, nurtured, challenged, and treated fairly. And they should have fun! With a broad array of extracurricular activities, team play and competitions, and high school rituals and traditions, students’ four-year journey through high school should be wonderfully fun and memorable.
With those aspirations, we go forward with our planning and attention to many important details. Near-term work includes plans to renovate our existing campus to support learning goals for our students, including the ability to work collaboratively on longer-term, potentially interdisciplinary, projects. Additionally, hoping to build upon Stratford’s core strengths while examining areas of potential improvement, we intend to reach out to current Stratford parents, to alumni and their parents. We want our high school to be a well-articulated extension of our current middle school program while offering innovative and age-appropriate learning opportunities for our first students who will begin their high school journey in the fall of 2019. Until then, plan to hear from us in monthly newsletters in which we will share news of our evolution. As I continue my campus visits and meetings, I hope to have opportunities to meet you and share my excitement for Stratford’s newest venture.
Jeanne Huybrechts, Ed.D.
Read more about Jeanne here.