Welcome to Kirby School
As a parent and educator, I often consider what life experiences will provide my children with the skills and fortitude they will need to navigate modern society. Having grown up with the privilege of a free-range childhood where I faced both the perils and beauty of the countryside with little supervision, I have mourned the loss of that freedom for our children. I find it nearly impossible to recreate this experience for my own children at home, but I believe the benefits can be gained, perhaps even more impactfully and certainly more safely, in an educational setting.
When I reflect on the attributes that were developed by this free-roaming version of adolescence, there is one that stands out as a pillar on which others were built: personal agency.
Young people with agency don’t feel helpless–they have developed the capacity to define and pursue their own direction. At Kirby, we’ve created a practice ground for students to exercise their agency. We start from a foundation of mutual respect and allow students to have a defining voice in their educational experience. Through ample access and modeled commitment to a broad spectrum of programs, we provide a path for students to try new things and take chances.
When you lay a foundation of mutual respect between teachers and peers in a classroom, many new opportunities become possible. Students take intellectual and emotional risks and grow from them. They make mistakes and through a careful balance of challenge and support, they build the necessary strength to push against the obstacles they will face in the future. Kirby graduates show us year after year that this approach is effective. They are courageous, they are resilient, and they pursue their passions with zeal. I am honored to get to be a part of this beautiful journey.
Head of School