To read the message, click here
or see below.
This is a great time to make your 2022-2023 Ad Summum Annual Fund
donation. Make your gift early! All donations received NOW through Tuesday, November 29
will be counted towards GivingTuesday.
2022-2023 Ad Summum Annual Fund
22 November 2022
Hello, Kew-Forest Faculty, Staff, Students, Parents, Alumni, Friends, and Collaborators. You are the Kew-Forest Family, and I send you greetings and a warm welcome from The Kew-Forest School! I'm so grateful you've taken the time to be here with me today and that you’re interested in hearing about our happenings.
We are excited to have begun a year that feels normal, by which I mean a year filled with play, discovery, and friendship; a year of advanced extracurricular science research, and of travel to American University in Washington, DC, for our first overnight, in-person Model UN Conference since 2019; a year of athletic competitions, Parent Association mix and mingles, alumni gatherings; and a year of envisioning and planning for the exciting possibilities for Kew-Forest’s future.
As you know, this past June the Board of Trustees concluded a sale of a portion of the school’s property with their eyes fixed firmly on securing the School’s long term financial sustainability. Queens has changed a lot in the last 30-50 years, whether you look at demographics, financial resources, new construction, or at other markers. Kew-Forest has lived through all of that and we intend to live through decades to come, and the land sale was one of the first of several exciting steps forward first and foremost because it positions Kew-Forest to establish an endowment.
That endowment is the beginning of Kew-Forest’s long-term, interest-bearing investment savings. According to NBOA, the National Business Officers Association, 62% of independent schools in the United States have an endowment of less than 5 million dollars, and 22% have no endowment at all. Thanks to the efforts of our Board of Trustees, we will move from being among that 22% of schools with no endowment into a financial position that is ahead of more than 62% of schools, but we must go beyond even that point. For our endowment — or for any school or college’s endowment — to truly propel us forward, we need to push toward the 100 million dollar range because we cannot spend any of the invested dollars of our endowment; we can only spend a portion of the interest we earn on it.
So, we have work to do!
Kew-Forest is a small school with big dreams and plans, and with all of us pulling together, we can and will make them happen!
- We will grow our endowment so that it becomes a powerful means of supporting a Kew-Forest education for current and future students.
- We will continue enhancing our programs — deepening our emphasis on inquiry to help students understand the whys and hows of their work and worlds rather than simply knowing facts through rote memorization — whether they are Lower Schoolers coming to understand grammar and punctuation, Middle Schoolers digging into friction, velocity, and engineering, or Upper Schoolers unpacking how history, traditions, and popular culture shape their identities.
- We are building more and more interdisciplinary, experiential opportunities for our students, helping them find their voices, and teaching them how to use them for a greater good.
- Outside of the classroom in athletics and extracurricular activities like Lego Robotics and Mock Trial, we are providing myriad opportunities for exploration and growth.
- We are refreshing our facilities in small but meaningful ways in the near term and launching a campus master plan process to envision and explore larger possibilities.
- And as we have since the school’s founding, we continue opening our doors to vibrant Queens families near and far to share our passion for academic and intellectual curiosity, for global citizenship, and, in the words of our founding mission, for making every child a power for good.
- A small school with big dreams and plans…and to make it all happen we need you. We need you because our endowment is not yet large enough to propel us forward on its own. And we need you because the independent school business model — not just at K-F (I first learned about this at Phillips Exeter Academy, which has the largest endowment of perhaps any secondary school in country if not the world) — the independent school business model is one where revenue from tuition, even if every student paid the full tuition and none received financial aid, does not cover the costs of providing an education.
We, to use an analogy, are giving each of our students a high quality Jaguar education at Honda prices.
When you look at the K-F community today, you see the vibrant people of the borough of Queens – families, alumni, staff, and students who are the force for good that will lead the world of tomorrow. For us to continue being a beacon in Queens for Queens and beyond, for us to continue shaping young people who will be a force for good in the world, we need your partnership and support, and so I invite you to join us. Your contributions to the Annual Fund, whether large or small, signal your willingness to join us in turning Kew-Forest’s big dreams into reality. Giving Tuesday, an international day of charitable giving on November 29 this year, would be an excellent time to make your Ad Summum Annual Fund contribution. I thank each of you for being part of the Kew-Forest family, and for your support of our journey forward.
To the top!
Tiffany D. Trotter
Interim Head of School