Looking back at the 2020-2021 school year, we will never forget the moment in history as life continued to change and adapt to the realities of COVID-19. The first day of school last fall was unlike any that came before, and the weeks and months that followed brought countless experiences worth cherishing and new ways of doing things. Every step along the way, on-campus or remote, synchronous or asynchronous, connecting through online meetings or with a long-awaited handshake or hug, the Oakwood School community cared for one another, to teach, to learn, and to truly Embrace the Moment.
Above all else, I am grateful that so many individuals gave something of themselves for the betterment of our whole school. Although physically apart from one another, many answered the call to volunteer their time and expertise. In times of uncertainty, our entire community generously provided much-needed financial support. All of this was essential to bringing Oakwood School to where we are today—a thriving educational community living up to the mission our founding families envisioned over seven decades ago.
Contributions made by the volunteers and donors in this Annual Report supported student-centered initiatives, many of which have their origins in work that began several years ago and will continue to develop as part of Oakwood’s long-term strategic plans. Most central to our mission is teaching and learning, and your donations helped to further bolster curricular offerings and provide professional development for teachers and administrators. Your gifts also helped to provide access to an Oakwood education for students whose families represent a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds through our financial assistance program. And, you helped ensure that all students have access to both the academic and social-emotional support needed to maximize their learning.
You also supported efforts to ensure that Oakwood is moving towards equity, is inclusive, and that every member of our community feels like they belong. This happened in a myriad of ways, from welcoming the biggest ever group of world-renowned speakers to our Voices Envisioned series, to engaging in personal learning via dinner table conversations and reading groups, and laying the foundation for improving our response to bias incident reports.
Thanks to the generosity of Brian and Arpita Diamond, Oakwood’s commitment to sustainability and environmental justice gained lasting momentum. The endowment created in their name will have a powerful impact and is helping our school develop a comprehensive plan that touches all parts of the school. From operations to classroom learning, we will aim to do everything possible to minimize the negative impacts that our practices may have on the environment while empowering students in their roles as climate activists.
And finally, by giving to Oakwood, you helped keep our community safe. The equipment and infrastructure that made remote learning possible, the logistics, training, and safety measures that enabled students to return to campus—none of it would have been possible without your partnership and financial support.
The strength of our school is defined by our common goals and collective vision. Last year showed that when Oakwood works as a collective whole, we move Forward Together to attain our highest ideals, empowering students to be proactive contributors to society.
Thank you for your support during the 2020-2021 year, I am grateful for each and every contribution made to Oakwood School and our students.
Jaime A. Dominguez
Head of School