August 14, 2019

Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year!

William Perkins Tift / Secondary School Principal

Dear Oakwood Families,

The opening of a new school year provides an important moment for each of us to start fresh, to set clear intentions, or to mark new resolutions; and I encourage each of you to have those kinds of goal-setting, reflective conversations at home in these final days of summer.

Here on campus, the summer has been a full, productive, and focused one. In phase one of a multiyear process, ten of our classrooms have brand new, more-modular furnishings that better support the engaged teaching and learning central to an Oakwood education. We have continued to develop the curriculum and approach, including University of California approval for our Advanced Studies program which will have a full debut in the fall of 2020. Our gym floor was repaired and refurbished. We have engaged with professional consultants to help develop plans for improving our theatre space. Our faculty and staff have deeply engaged in professional growth locally and across the globe on new teaching strategies; diversity, equity and inclusion; leadership development; curricular renewal and more. And, we have welcomed 8 remarkable new colleagues in a variety of capacities to the Oakwood faculty and staff on the Secondary Campus. (You can read more about these wonderful folks here!)

Our theme this year—Better Together—is itself a call for intentional work. How do we best harness the strengths, perspectives, ideas, skills, and experiences of a diverse school community? Better Together calls on each of us to be productively engaged in the life of the school, to address problems with proposed solutions, to communicate with greater frequency and transparency, to embrace different perspectives, and to be inclusive. We will do all of this in service of what brings us together in the first place: the shared vision from our Statement of Philosophy of educating young people to be effective, empowered citizens in a democratic society.

I am humbled and honored to be partnered in this work with you and with such a gifted and principled group of educational leaders, faculty, and staff.

Here’s to a wonderful school year—together.


William Perkins Tift