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Tara Arras

Assistant Head of School for Advancement

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 Thoughtfully, ethically, and sustainably designed, the new Upper School will free students and faculty from outdated facilities and open new pathways for excellence.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 enable 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 their fields 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 Wisconsin 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.

Family Affair

Imagine an 11th grade student strolling into the dining commons in a newly renovated Upper School. After grabbing her lunch, she heads through the doors connecting the indoor cafeteria to the outdoor dining space, snagging a seat next to her friends and classmates at one of many tables. As she enjoys the sunshine and fresh air, she catches snippets of conversations from nearby tables: service club members holding their weekly meeting, classmates collaborating on a project, players getting excited about an upcoming game. She breathes deeply and centers herself, enjoying the feel of nature and hum of student voices around her.

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