A Message From the Head of the Upper Division

What truly matters in a student’s high school experience? This question was brought into sharp focus by our experiences during the recent global pandemic, which served to reinforce what we already knew: students thrive when their classes feed their intrinsic curiosity, when they work alongside similarly-committed peers, with highly skilled and dedicated teachers alongside them. As well as being challenged in the classroom, they need to feel connected to both their community and their physical environment in order to meet these challenges. If a student truly feels like their school is one of their homes in the world, and they are free to bring their whole and true self to school every day, then they can focus on achieving whatever goals they set for themselves both inside the classroom and beyond. And, these goals will be unique to each student—there is not a single “right” path through school that will work for all. At Stevenson, we seek students from all backgrounds who share the same overarching goal: to make the most out of whatever opportunities come their way, and to do so with dedication, kindness, and joy.

While COVID-19 has undeniably been the central reality of the past year, the pandemic hasn’t kept us from continuing to move Stevenson forward. Indeed, our commitment to making a great school even better has continued without pause. In just the past few years, we have:

  • redesigned our daily schedule, including a later start to the academic day and longer class periods for immersive, collaborative learning
  • implemented a variety of assessments that reduce needless academic stress, and replaced days previously dedicated to testing with days dedicated to learning
  • refined our approach to orienting and supporting new students
  • increased electives across all academic departments
  • reinvented our science curriculum to take advantage of our remarkable physical location
  • increased our commitment to community engagement, with place-based curricula and opportunities for service learning
  • continued to build one of the strongest all-round athletics programs in the region
  • strengthened our college counseling program through the addition of more full-time college counselors and extensive training of our teacher-counselors
  • promoted the formation of student affinity groups, based on student feedback and advocacy and supported by our director of equity and inclusion

Everything we do is guided by our School’s core values of safety, trust, respect, belonging, and inclusion. Our community’s commitment to these values allows our students to gain a truly meaningful education, as well as lifelong friends and mentors, while never forgetting the importance of leading a joyful life. Now that we are back to in-person schooling, our collective appreciation of the opportunity to both learn and play together has never been greater, and we eagerly anticipate the start of the 2021-22 school year.

We are often told by visitors that our collective commitment to these core values makes the Stevenson campus feel unique, and we invite you to experience this for yourself—we hope to see you soon.


Aimée Bates
Head of the Upper Division

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