Dear Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool Communities,

We have some particularly important news to share with you about Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool. As part of this year’s continued development of the student experience, our Board of Trustees led a process to review and revise our school’s mission statement. In general, the mission serves as the first and primary policy of the school, a policy that should anchor all that we do. It has been at least a decade since we engaged in a substantive review of this sort, so it was time to revisit this foundational statement. I am happy to report that on April 13, 2019, the Board of Trustees approved a new mission, which will guide the school in the years to come, and notably, serve as a foundation as we embark on the process of writing a new strategic plan. The school’s mission now reads:

The Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool community celebrates childhood, pursues excellence, and cultivates kindness. Our educational program is intellectually inspiring, and we foster joyful learning and mutual respect in all that we do. We empower each student to rise to their authentic self, preparing confident graduates who shape their future with ingenuity and integrity.

Approved by the Board of Trustees, April 13, 2019

The statement contains three parts, with our core values clearly stated in the first sentence, essential qualities of the educational program in the second sentence, and the results of an RA/LP experience referenced in the final sentence. A mission statement is necessarily broad, forgoing specific depictions of programs. However, there is no doubt that the new mission statement clearly connects to the Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool student and family experience.

Over the next few months, you will see this new mission take its place in the school both physically and philosophically. Framed copies of the previous mission will be replaced. The website will be updated. Printed school publications will contain this new mission when they are renewed. You will hear me and division heads and preschool directors reference this mission in written communication and when we are making public remarks.

There are so many people to thank for their work on this project, but none more important than Trustee Lynne Geaney (Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee) and Rachel Sondheimer (Board President). The Strategic Planning Committee did the hard work of developing this mission, and both of these Trustees were driving forces behind the work. The full Strategic Planning Committee (administrators Alison O’Callaghan, Briggs Tobin, Mo Carleton, Dave Suter, Tom Main, and Trustees Lynne Geaney, Kate Ritter, Howard Turner, Stephanie Luedke, and Rachel Sondheimer, and former Trustee Jerry Garavel) all selflessly contributed their time and insights, and deftly managed the entire process. Landmark Directors were consulted and offered a number of opportunities to contribute and shape this mission. Comprehensive surveys were distributed to faculty and staff on all four campuses, and there was a parent survey that every RA/LP family had an opportunity to complete. When we crafted a near-final draft, faculty and staff from all campuses were invited to comment. And, of course, the full Board of Trustees contributed in a variety of ways at different times throughout the process. This mission is informed by the thinking and insights that came from this broad group. Thank you all.

RA/LP is an ambitious and forward-looking school. The work of the Strategic Planning Committee is far from complete, but we have already begun the next steps, including the task of writing a comprehensive Strategic Plan that will guide our initiatives over the next several years. We are excited about the future and will keep you updated on the development of this Strategic Plan.

As always, please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions.

Thank you.




Tom Main
Head of School

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