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San Domenico School News & Events

Harvard's Turning the Tide II Report

Dear Families,

Back in 2014, San Domenico was one of the founding schools to sign on as an Early Adopter School in the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Making Caring Project. Together with a small contingent of middle and high schools across the country, we participated in research with Harvard’s Graduate School of Education on bringing forth caring and kindness in education. The resulting report, Turning the Tide: Making Caring Common, came out in 2016 and highlighted a broad coalition of schools committed to re-examining the college admissions process and moving away from "just getting in", to "inspiring concern for others and the common good."

To this end, in 2015, we updated our Vision Statement to be even more in line with the current needs of the times and our School’s 169-year commitment to purpose-driven education:

"At San Domenico an exceptional education requires not just academic excellence but also meaning and purpose. We provide a character-driven Kindergarten through Grade 12 Independent School education, leading the way in redefining the metrics of achievement and graduating inspired students equipped to create a better world."

Today, more than 189 middle and high schools nationwide have signed on to the Making Caring Common Campaign and Harvard's second report has been released. Turning the Tide II: How Parents and High Schools Can Cultivate Ethical Character and Reduce Distress in The College Admissions Process. Their recommendations continue to be in alignment with our commitment to "exceptional education and a sense of purpose," which informs our K-12 curriculum and our 9-12 college counseling.

Photo credit: Jason Henry for The New York Times

And so it was no surprise to us, that amid all of the news reports published in the past week in the aftermath of the college bribery scandal, one of our Seniors, Angus Gosman, was profiled in The New York Times article, ‘I Put My Work In’: Honest Applicants Await College Admissions Results.

"We all have a role to play in promoting moral and ethical values during the college admissions process,” states the Turning the Tide report. We posit further, that the messaging focused on performance rather than process starts early, and we encourage you to reflect on what messages you may be sending your child, even in Lower and Middle School.

Please take some time to read the Making Caring Common: Turning the Tide II report and to look over some of their tips for parents:

  1. Tips for Ethical Parenting in the College Admissions Process
  2. Conversation Starters for Creating a Sane, Healthy College Admissions Process with Your Teen
  3. Tips for More 'Caring' College Admissions

Thank you for joining us in this long-overdue shift toward better supporting our children through their academic journey.


Cecily Stock '77, M.A., J.D.
Head of School