A couple of weeks ago, we mailed letters of admission to more than 100 kids whose talents, motivation and attitude predict success in the environment provided by Proctor. It is an inexact science, yet our success rate is very high.
These newly admitted students have until April 10 to declare their intentions. What factors will sway their decision? When I was a kid, private schools vied for "academic excellence." Teachers are superior; work is hard; graduates go to good colleges. Today, academic excellence is the minimum ante for being in the game.
Schools that can't clear that hurdle devise desperate alternatives: specific-team athletic powerhouse programs or huge international populations. Families considering an offer of admission to Proctor will look at the school from highly disparate perspectives, because we're appealing to a remarkably diverse population.
Some are attracted by the social ethos, and I applaud them, because the respect and pride that our kids have for their school could not be manufactured without a lot of other legitimate realities: great teachers, peers, programs, infrastructure, community values, etc.
But one of the qualities that we want people to appreciate is less obvious. A visiting consultant once remarked, "You seem to be offering 357 students a program designed for a much larger population." Here's another way of articulating this: Proctor is unique in its ability to cultivate individuals by enabling students to customize their experience. This is a Mandarin Chinese class:
In Math Design Theory, Patty guides exploration of explosion models, which involve growing spheres.
What school is teaching hair identification in a class dedicated to Forensics?