Letter from the Head of School

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the entire Sidwell Friends community, thank you for the extraordinary generosity you demonstrated during the 2020/21 academic year. This year’s Report on Philanthropy celebrates the remarkable support that you have provided to the School during a challenging time.

I am profoundly grateful for your gifts, whether they come in the form of financial support and/or service. Your presence and participation continue to make Sidwell Friends an exceptional learning community.

Despite the pandemic, the School community approached the constant change with resilience and grace. I am grateful to our faculty, staff, students, and parents for their tremendous flexibility. And thanks to your generosity, we were able to reallocate funds to invest in educational technology, install state-of-the-art HVAC systems, hire extra classroom and playground monitors, and to reward faculty and staff for their extraordinary efforts. You provided the resources and inspiration we needed to welcome students back to campus and to create a safe and effective in-person learning environment.

Even as the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, we are excited about our future plans to unify the campus, a goal we will achieve through a comprehensive capital and endowment campaign. As you will see in this report, two historic gifts have moved us significantly closer to beginning the first phase of unification: the renovation of the Upton Street campus to house the Upper School, the Center for Ethical Leadership (CEL), and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

We look forward to engaging the community in this work, as well as enlisting you to help meet our strategic goals of supporting highly competitive faculty/staff compensation, endowing our commitment to financial aid, and deepening our efforts to create a just, equitable, and inclusive community. We are especially pleased that donors have enabled us to fully fund the Supervía Chair in Spanish and Latin American Studies, to make substantial progress toward establishing a faculty chair in African and African American Studies, and to launch an initiative to fund a chair in Asian American Studies. In addition, donors have invested in our partnership with Howard University, enabling us to hire an intern to build our collaboration and to appoint a coordinator for emerging CEL programs and student internships. The unique nature and promise of these programs have garnered the attention of alumni and leaders from national foundations, who believe that CEL and CTL might serve as a model for other independent schools.

Thank you for investing in Sidwell Friends. Your gift makes a tangible difference to our diverse and dynamic students, and assures that we will, after the manner of Friends and in the Sidwell Friends tradition, continue to nurture their intellectual, spiritual, and emotional lives.

In friendship and with gratitude,

Bryan Garman
Head of School

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