Welcome Home to KUA

Letter to the Community
I hope you have all had a healthy, active, and fun summer!  There is a lot to catch up on and many updates have trickled through campus about summer jobs, family trips, and some great connections being made by many of our students – both returning and new.
Over the past few weeks, I have enjoyed connecting with so many families, as well as alumni at KUA events in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and it is great to feel the excitement for the year ahead. 
I want to share some of the many great initiatives we launched this summer that will have a positive impact on our year together, ranging from physical enhancements to amazing new faculty members to meaningful program enhancements.   
Over the course of the summer there have been improvements to nearly every corner of campus. One of the first you will notice, thanks to a gift from the Class of 2022 and their families, is the new patio and stairway that lead from the Wildcat down to the lower fields. Across the fields, the new Kimball Barn is still under construction and the adjacent parking lot will welcome visiting teams and families very early in the fall. Underground, an extensive investment in our heating system will have an immediate impact on our carbon footprint and improve the comfort level of the residence halls on the top of the hill throughout winter. Dexter and Richards dorms received completely new windows and there have been interior and exterior painting projects throughout campus. You’ll find a new digital arts studio in Flickinger, as well as a completely new ‘sprung floor’ stage in the theater.   
The last few weeks have been a busy time on campus, as our new faculty members all moved onto campus. Along with an incredibly talented group of educators who we will highlight at the opening of school, we have seen a wonderful spike in the campus little-kid population, which will make the family feel of our campus as vibrant as ever.  We can all look forward to the passion, expertise, and diversity this group will bring to our community, as we have flights from Spain, Northern Alaska, China, the U.S. west coast, and cars from all over the country arriving to campus. On Monday, all our new faculty kicked off the year with a new-faculty orientation that, in true KUA fashion, includes an overnight orientation hike.
At the very onset of the summer, we had faculty members who committed to working over the summer on the evolution of three programmatic areas: KUA Design, our Ninth-Grade Program, and our STEM//environmental program.  Just as our seniors have established Growth as the student theme for the year, we are committed to that same practice throughout the community.  Of the many updates I could share on this work, I will choose the remarkable work that has been done to refine KUA Design and use it as a guide for our programs throughout campus.  This summer, our entire faculty read Neuroteach by Glenn Whitman. Additionally, 17 faculty members participated in a week of professional development led by the author that empowers teachers with clarity on what science has proven to be effective in the process of learning. Throughout the year, we will continue to explore various aspects of this work and highlight its application in our full program, which will guide the growth of our full faculty for years to come.  
The past few summers much of our efforts focused on creating a responsible plan for opening campus during a pandemic. We will share details on our ongoing health and safety measures, but thankfully Covid has not been an all-consuming topic, which has allowed us to focus on the central work of refining an exceptional, comprehensive educational program on the foundation of relationships and a sense of belonging for all.   
On so many levels, KUA is calling you back and looking forward to seeing you all roll back on to campus soon.  The middle of August is not an indication that summer is over, in the same way that the end of the main course is not the conclusion of a meal.  So please – let the next few weeks be an excellent dessert! 
See you all soon, 
Tyler Lewis Head of School