From the Head of School
By Margarita Curtis
With heartfelt enthusiasm for The Link, a newsletter for the Deerfield Parents Network (DPN), I’d like to welcome you to this first edition. Last January, a group of parents and administrators articulated the mission statement that would launch the DPN: “We will focus on building stronger partnerships among Deerfield parents—and between parents and the Academy.” Succinct yet powerful, this mission statement arose from our recognition that boarding schools in the 21st century need to evolve from their historical “in loco parentis” role to a more communicative and cooperative association with parents. I welcome this new partnership and am confident that Deerfield parents and educators will respect each other’s areas of expertise and forge new bonds of professional and personal collaboration.
The first two goals of the DPN have been to develop an orientation program for new parents (“First Link”) and to explore opportunities to communicate and support the values underlying a Deerfield education. A group of current parents, trustees and senior staff, led by Dean of Students Toby Emerson, have stepped up as our first generation of active volunteers. Their names are listed elsewhere in this newsletter, and their incredible energy and dedication are deserving of our sincere thanks.
We have no defined blueprint for next steps. Instead, I envision that our partnership both in communicating values and partnering to support all Deerfield students will evolve organically over time. As a first step, we want to ensure that our community values—respect, honesty, hard work, humility, and a commitment to service—as well as our focus on encouraging every student’s individual growth and self-awareness—are continually woven into our work. It is critical that words are mirrored by acts, both around campus and beyond, and that in their years at Deerfield, our students gain moral grounding and a focus on the common good.
This newsletter represents yet another opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about substantive issues. The questions should be plentiful and the responses complex. I look forward to our more focused partnership as we embark on this new school year, filled with the promise of our students.
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