March 25, 2019

Dear Campus School Families,

Every once in a while I will dig into the Campus School archives, where 92 years of our school’s history are documented. It is always a fascinating exploration of what was – the origins of our school, samples of student work, old newsletters, news stories, and historical documents that trace the evolution of our school and our relationship with Smith College.

There is one document that dates back to the 1960s that I find particularly interesting. It captures the educational philosophy and approach of the school, which at the time was known as the Smith College Day School. There is a striking similarity between then and now: an emphasis on joyful learning, a focus on challenging and supporting all students to develop their unique talents, the recognition that being connected to Smith College is a unique and powerful learning experience for students and teachers alike, and the importance of developing the whole child. It is also clear from this document that our school has, for a very long time, had a decidedly progressive orientation, one that views teaching as a humanistic endeavor that respects the dignity and uniqueness of each student and creates the conditions for every student to bloom and grow. We have never been a school that reduces teaching and learning to simple formulas or standardized curricula or assessments; learning is too complex and magnificent for such an orientation.

While the education that is currently offered at Campus School has certainly evolved to fit the needs of today’s students, the core principles and philosophy of the school are largely unchanged; I would bet that teachers and students from the 1960s would find our school of 2019 very familiar. There is great strength to be had from a school that has such deep roots – and a clear sense of identity and purpose.