Envisioning the Future of MCDS
By Katherine Dinh, Head of School

In the summer of 2019, coming to the extraordinary MCDS campus for the first time as Head of School, I was aware that I was joining a school that was founded with purpose and vision 65 years prior to my arrival. The founders envisioned an educational community where learning was both vigorous and fun, where lessons would take place inside classrooms and out in nature. Above all, from the very beginning, MCDS has been an inclusive, joyful environment.

MCDS is still a place of vibrant learning, indoors and outdoors, where children and adults take intellectual risks and grow physically and emotionally. The program inspires us to be curious, practice empathy, and take action for positive change. These values have been embedded in MCDS’s curriculum and community from the outset. Over time, MCDS has evolved to ensure that students are equipped with the most relevant skills, knowledge, and attributes to flourish in school and beyond. 

In forming our strategic plan, we are dreaming boldly, and imagining a future in which young people work together creatively to build an inclusive and sustainable world.  

We are at an exciting stage as we envision the future through our strategic planning process. By gathering input from our entire community, we are framing our school mission, along with MCDS’s new core values, and developing a vision for the next few years. In forming our strategic plan, we are dreaming boldly, and imagining a future in which young people work together creatively to build an inclusive and sustainable world.  

Partnering with Mission Minded, a strategy and marketing firm specializing in non-profit organizations, MCDS formed a Steering Committee made up of faculty, staff, administration, trustees, current parents, and alumni to guide this process. 

The process is intended to be inclusive of all voices, with many opportunities for every constituent group to get involved and provide input. Since the fall, we have reached out to community members through interviews, focus groups, open sessions, and a comprehensive survey. By scanning the school community for feedback, we will begin to make commitments about the school’s priorities over the next few years. Our goal is to complete the process, with approval by the Board, in May of this year. By fall 2022, we will launch the new strategic plan and begin the implementation process. 

We continue to invite thoughts and input from the community, and encourage people to learn more about the planning process, and see a list of Steering Committee members here

An idea I’ve heard spoken at MCDS often is the notion that we should always appreciate the shade of trees that were planted by those who came before us, and we should contribute to planting trees that will thrive and provide shelter for those who come after. Our hope is that our next strategic plan will be a bold vision with clear and inspiring priorities, which will actively engage everyone at MCDS to make a difference on our campus, our local communities, and far beyond.