In an uncertain world, schools, like families, find strength in their core values – the things that truly matter to them, that define them. As Urban has responded to the shifting realities of the pandemic, we have looked to our guiding principles to both sustain and motivate us.
Urban has never believed that institutional or individual success should be measured or understood through lofty SAT scores, flashy college acceptances, athletic championships, or impressive GPAs – though all are abundantly manifest at the school today. We believe that a truly aspirational education also cultivates more intangible and enduring qualities of mind and character: empathy, optimism, determination, open-mindedness, creativity, analytical acuity, and, in a way that is surely more urgent than ever, an authentic investment in making our world a better place.
Easier said than done, of course. But, as you dig into the Urban website, note the commitment to sustained dialogue about complex topics; curricular freedom to ignite and honor student interest; myriad arenas for collaboration and innovation; and an authentic commitment to community engagement, equity, and social justice. Most of all, sense if you can, the unique alchemy of the Urban culture – the joyful, purposefully engaged community of learners proud to be part of a singular institution ever restless to improve.
Ultimately, of course, I hope your interest in Urban can go beyond the virtual – that you’ll talk to current students and parents/guardians, ask alumni how their Urban lessons became life lessons, and find time to visit us in person. Until then, I wish you good health and continued energy to confront the challenges of the day.