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Tara Arras

Assistant Head of School for Advancement

Reimagine the Future of Learning

At Sidwell Friends, teaching and learning are inextricably linked. Through this campaign we will build our endowment to pay our extraordinary faculty and staff at the highest competitive levels. We will explore the best new models of teaching and learning. We will take the first vital step to reunifying our campus, so that all our students can learn with and from each other on one campus, renewing Thomas Sidwell’s vision of a Quaker school located in the nation’s capital uniquely positioned to educate graduates to practice ethical leadership.

Through an Innovative New Upper School

We will create an innovative new Upper School that provides the flexible teaching spaces we need, the science and independent research spaces that reflect best practices in higher education, an extraordinary robotics lab, a newly imagined library that will improve research and scholarship opportunities, as well as our new Center for Teaching and Learning and Center for Ethical Leadership. Thoughtfully, ethically, and sustainably designed the new Upper School will free students and faculty from outdated facilities and open new pathways for excellence.

Through the Center for Teaching and Learning

Sidwell Friends recruits the highest caliber of faculty—ever-curious teachers who constantly strive to improve how they reach students to elicit the best of their intellect, heart and spirit. The Center for Teaching and Learning will cultivate our faculty’s growth mindset, enabling teachers to continue to learn and share new and successful methodologies with one another.

Through Endowed Faculty Chairs

We will advance our commitment to Equity, Justice, and Community in concrete ways by endowing faculty chairs in African and African American Studies, Spanish and Latin American Studies, and Asian American Studies. Faculty chairs ensure that gifted teachers with deep expertise in the chair’s area are always a member of the Sidwell Friends faculty and available to students, peers, and parents. The faculty members who hold these chairs will help all three school divisions enhance their curricula with integrated cultural perspectives and narratives.

Through Laying the Groundwork for a Unified Campus

With our purchase of the Upton Street property, home to the future Upper School, we have added six contiguous acres to our Washington Avenue campus. To complete the unification later this decade, we will relocate the Lower School from its home in Bethesda, Maryland, where it has been for nearly 60 years. This is a singular, once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform where and how we teach and learn through more cross-divisional collaboration and even greater common purpose.

To discuss your philanthropy, including Planned Gifts, please contact an Advancement Teammate.

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Complete American history isn’t fully told if it excludes communities that are typically marginalized. This omission depletes an understanding and erodes the empathy muscle needed for future generations of leaders like Sidwell Friends students. They possess the wonderful power to change, shape and influence tomorrow. They can’t change what they don’t know.

Lesli and John Mathewson P’24

Sidwell Friends students must navigate a complex world, and in providing an environment in which they feel safe to fail and explore their creativity, the School better prepares them for the complexities they will face.

Cat Dawson Board of Trustees
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