Three steps toward a beginning: a welcome from the Head of School


I love a good beginning. I love the sense of possibility, the anticipation, the slightly dizzying sense of being both inspired and overwhelmed by what’s ahead. In fact, that’s one of the things I love about Dalton: We’re always, in some way, beginning. I’ll say a little more about that below.  

While I’ve got you here, let me take a moment to describe three characteristics of Dalton that are at the core of everything we do.  

First, Dalton is a place of belonging. Our students come from across the city—and beyond—bringing a huge range of histories and experience. That kind of diversity and inclusivity is a constant source of inspiration and innovation. It makes us stronger, smarter, and more attuned to each other’s needs. We spend a lot of time thinking about—and practicing—the best ways to build a flourishing community.

Second, Dalton defines excellence on its own terms. We’re always asking: What does excellence look like—in a classroom, on a basketball court, on a robotics field, in a service learning experience, on a global trip? We know there are no definitive answers to those questions—and so we keep searching, and finding pleasure in the search.

Third, Dalton is under construction. Actually, this is something you can find on the Building Project page. But I’m not thinking of construction strictly in terms of adding new floors and renovating others. I’m thinking of it in a more abstract way. Dalton is a school that is designed to change. We were founded by Helen Parkhurst, a groundbreaking, progressive educator. She put into place The Dalton Plan—which sounds formal but is, in fact, an invitation always to be open to change, to incorporate new ideas, to create (and re-create) the conditions in which students and teachers can achieve their highest ambitions.

In other words, we are designed to see every student, every class, every morning, as a new beginning.

There’s a lot more to say. But I’ll stop for now and let you explore. On behalf of the Dalton community, thanks for your interest in our school. Here’s to a great beginning. We’re looking forward to what comes next.

Jim Best
Head of School
212.423.5200 | info@dalton.org
(K-3) 53 East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128
(4-12) 108 East 89th Street, New York, NY 10128