Welcome from the Head of School

Head of School John Delautre with four students

The Whitfield School experience is about growth—in strength of character, scholarship, and citizenship—and our commitment is to provide your child with the best preparation for the challenges of the 21st century.

Dear friends of Whitfield,

A glance at today's headlines (or even out the nearest window.) will confirm how rapidly our world is evolving. Today's graduates must negotiate a new global reality in science and technology, in business and economics, and in relationships, both interpersonal and international. Together we face a fascinating challenge, and education has had a hard time keeping up.

In this dizzying atmosphere the key to success, for individuals as well as schools, is twofold: RESPECT for the wisdom that forged our society and government in the first place and OPENNESS to new ideas and ways of being.
We have to know where we're coming from, but we must also be flexible, collaborative, light on our feet, "undefensive," and quick thinking. We need to admit that the knowledge explosion of the last 20 years has changed everything and then explore the meaning of that momentous change. If the aim of education in a bygone era was to find "the right answer," today's goal is much more about asking the right questions and knowing where to look to satisfy them. And in today's marketplace of ideas knowing how to package and communicate one's findings effectively has become as important as the findings themselves.

The good news is that we have discovered so much in the last generation about how students learn best, and at Whitfield you will find a faculty and a culture attuned to this body of knowledge. The path to becoming an educated person must always be rigorous—nothing of value is achieved without great effort—but now we know that learning is also greatly enhanced in an atmosphere of partnership, true intellectual curiosity, and joy.

Now we know that the model of teacher as coach and mentor far surpasses in effectiveness that of the "sage on the stage," and that an overemphasis on grades, test scores, and competition can short circuit authentic academic achievement. We have learned that proficiency in a foreign language will open life-changing doors. And we have established beyond any question that a rich experience of the arts and of athletics—areas of special strength at Whitfield—will contribute to a lifetime of enhanced purpose and satisfaction. The research is compelling.

Above all, Whitfield is about close relationships and a powerful experience of community. Ours is an atmosphere where people count and where personal integrity is paramount. Please take a moment to browse our website and then schedule a visit and tour.

Come experience for yourself the energy in our classrooms, the beauty of our campus, and the extraordinary people who are Whitfield!

Sincerely,

John Delautre
Head of School

email John Delautre