News & Views

Country School Introduces New Strategic Plan

The Country School community gathered in-person and virtually at the 2021 Annual Meeting on Oct. 13 to launch the school’s Strategic Plan, “Redefining Childhood Education for the Future.” In addition, the night was dedicated to honoring faculty and staff, celebrating recent accomplishments and looking toward the school’s future.
Mr. Cooper spoke about how the school has been an institution focused on bringing the best of forward-thinking educational pedagogy and philosophy to children for over 100 years. 
“In response to or in expectation of inflection points in the broader context of history, Country School has repeatedly led and led in a way that is reflective of our mission, no matter the prevailing cultural sentiment,” he said. 

Founded in 1916, the school was built on the belief that childhood in itself is an integral part of life to be lived fully and happily. The school has been a pioneer in various educational innovations including coeducational and experiential education, racial integration, and social-emotional learning. The founding of its Horizons program set the national standard. 

“It is time for us to once again lead,” said Mr. Cooper who went on to outline the three elements of the school’s strategic plan: Our Program, Our Community, and Our Future.

“Our goal is to provide best in class childhood education focused on the “best of both worlds”: an exceptional foundation in academics, athletics, and the arts combined with unparalleled social-emotional framework resulting in students who love learning, know how to lead, and are nurtured with a high level of wellbeing... to nurture and cultivate the most vibrant, connected, open, diverse, and welcoming community possible to best support student growth and belonging.”

“It is critical that the adults of tomorrow have the vision to see change, the agility to meet it, the character to meet it well, and the leadership to bring others along“If you boil down our strategic plan into its essence, it is this: we educate our students not just so they are prepared to succeed in today’s world but rather so that they may define tomorrow’s. It’s that simple,” said Mr. Cooper. Read his full Annual Meeting remarks.
Board President Sarah Irwin thanked parent volunteers for their dedication to the school and the entire community for its robust participation in the Annual Fund and capital campaign. As of today, the school has raised over 21 million dollars for the building of the new dining hall, Athletics & Wellness Center, which opened last September, and endowment. 
“The experience of the pandemic has shown us that Country School is made of strong stuff and is a place we can count on ‒ as generations before us have done, to deliver the very best experience for our children,” said Ms. Irwin.
“NCCS has a strong foundation of excellence and the past 18 months have demonstrated how capable our school is of innovation.There is no stronger position from which to plan for the future. Nimble, dynamic, on-going strategic thinking must be our plan. As parents in a time of extraordinarily rapid change, we know this generation of children will need some new and exceptional tools in order to thrive and forge a better future. They will need to be change-makers, problem-solvers, relationship-builders. They will need exposure to varied perspectives and cultures; an increasingly diverse and inclusive environment that reflects the world in which they will live; and as ever, they will need the deep and simple joys of play, of discovery, of childhood.” 
Earlier in the evening, Mr. Cooper presented Service Anniversary Awards to several members of the faculty and staff, including Dave Stoller, Director of Technology, for 40 years of service. As part of the program, 30-year faculty member Mark Macrides was presented The Shirley and Jonathan O’Herron Family Faculty Award. The biennial award honors a faculty or staff member who has shown extraordinary dedication to the school and to the students. Read more.
New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.