"Childhood is in itself an integral part of life to be lived fully and happily." - Henry Welles, Headmaster, 1938

THESE WORDS ARE AS IMPORTANT TODAY as when as when Headmaster Henry Welles wrote them in New Canaan Country School’s first statement of purpose in 1938. We believe that it is during childhood that one builds the dispositions and habits of mind necessary to live lives of impact and purpose. Much like the very nature of childhood itself, it is in such a spirit of attending to the now in order to impact the future that spurred NCCS to undertake a Strategic Plan — one that sets an action plan for the next five years that will have impact for students at NCCS well beyond that time.

Our plan, Redefining Childhood Education for the Future, is rooted in reaffirming and reinvigorating our original dedication to childhood. Just as children constantly evolve as they grow, so too must a school — even one with as rich a history and as strong a present as ours. We stand at a crossroads of future education, one accelerated and brought into clearer relief by the events of the spring of 2020. The coronavirus pandemic and the national reckoning on systemic racism have impacted much of how we teach and learn, have given us practice in distance and blended learning, forced us to reevaluate the use of time and talents, and made us reflect on the aspects of education that are most relevant. In many ways, it has provided an accelerant to the work we knew lie ahead. We find ourselves with an incredible opportunity, given our century-plus of providing best-in-class childhood education, to reimagine the next century. Thus, we feel the urgency both in the moment of today and in our everlasting commitment to childhood to undertake this plan and our vision for New Canaan Country School as leaders in childhood education.

Positioning NCCS for leadership involves several facets — codifying our beliefs about childhood development and our desired outcomes for NCCS students; further emphasizing character education, wellness, and diversity, equity and inclusion as critical foundational components of one’s life; strengthening partnerships in our larger community; and focusing on the ways our finances support our excellence.

What will this look like? In this document and over the course of the next several years, we will involve the community in forming our shared vision and will institute the programs and approaches that collectively position NCCS as a leader of childhood education both now and in the future. Our philosophy has always begun with children and their experiences, and our strategic plan for the future does exactly that — nothing can be more profound than the way we educate our children.

Audentes Fortuna Juvat!
(Fortune Favors the Bold!)

    • Strategic

Goal #1 - Our Program

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. 

  • Program of Study - Ensure a broad-based/well-rounded, exceptional educational foundation that prepares students for any challenge.
  • Capstone Experience - Create a unique 9th grade experience in which students explore and engage distinct and authentic learning challenges and opportunities.
  • Time and Schedule - Redefine the use of time, creating a more fluid, flexible and nimble schedule.
  • Teacher Development - Cultivate best in class teachers in order to attract, grow, and retain the strongest, most collaborative faculty possible.
  • Character Development - Emerge as a national leader in the area of character development.
  • Wellness - Expand and enhance our wellness efforts to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.

Goal #2 - Our Community

Nuture and cultivate the most vibrant, connected, open, diverse, and welcoming community possible to best support student growth and belonging.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity - Enhance and expand the diversity of our community, fundamental to our mission, and progress towards becoming a truly inclusive institution.
  • Partnerships - Develop distinct networked learning communities and education partnerships that expand our base of learners and help our students engage both locally and globally.
  • Community Cultivation - Rethink how we cultivate our school community, connections, and communication with families, their involvement in the education process.

Goal #3 - Our Future

Build and support the models and approaches that ensure a sustainable future.
  • Enrollment Management - Optimize our configuration and distribution of students. Revisit our pricing, financial model, and resource structure to build market resilience and to strengthen our accessibility to a larger, more diverse population.
  • Philanthropy - Enhance the culture of philanthropy, both annually and in support of special projects.
  • Revenue Expansion - Create new opportunities for alternative sources of revenue.
  • Environmental Sustainability - Pursue efforts to impact environmental sustainability in our practices and our curriculum.
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.