Every day, Blue Ridge School works with young men to hone their strengths, realize their potential, and move confidently into the future. As a school, we expect no less of ourselves.
In 2014 and 2015, individuals from across the Blue Ridge community gathered to set a vision for the school’s future. Faculty, parents, alumni, students and school leaders considered an essential question: HOW WILL BLUE RIDGE SCHOOL THRIVE IN A COMPLEX AND EVER-CHANGING WORLD? THROUGHOUT OUR DISCUSSIONS, WE KEPT RETURNING TO AN INDISPUTABLE FACT: THE WORLD NEEDS CAPABLE YOUNG MEN OF CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY. Now more than ever, Barons have a vital role to play in their families, communities and society at large.
From this foundation we developed Baron Strong: Building the Future of Blue Ridge School. It details our plans for reaching prospective students and families, refining the school’s signature programs, investing in faculty and staff, and creating a self-sustaining future. In short, it is our blueprint for ensuring that generations of boys will continue to learn and grow within a community built around the way they learn best.
Grounded in a deep understanding of how boys learn best, Blue Ridge School presents an experience that is unique among secondary schools. For this reason, we seek boys and families who understand our distinctive value and are willing to embrace the opportunities our school presents. This focus on “fit” not only enriches our community, but it also allows us to address the challenges presented by the shrinking market for boarding schools nationally. Our continued success is contingent upon maintaining a stable enrollment of 180 students annually. To achieve this goal in an increasingly competitive market, we must develop a brand that is as strong and distinctive as our programs, and we must continually work to connect with those families whose interests and values align with ours. Simply stated, we must tell our story to those who stand to gain the most from it.
Blue Ridge will continue to develop a fully immersive educational program that is focused on bringing out the very best in each boy. Drawing on our own experience in how boys learn, as well as the latest research, we will build on our strengths to establish Blue Ridge School as a national leader in the development of young men. We will continue to focus on the whole boy, emphasizing academic challenge as required for college alongside the personal development that provides each boy with the life skills needed to achieve his full potential. Our distinctive campus and community will be central to this effort, as they represent an increasingly unique and valuable environment in our rapidly changing world.
As relational learners, young men are profoundly shaped by the adults in their lives. This fact takes on heightened importance in a boarding environment like ours. Developing and retaining exceptional faculty members is an essential part of the Blue Ridge mission and here again, we are committed to building on our strengths. As a residential community, we must make sure that Blue Ridge School is a place where teachers can thrive professionally and personally. We must invest in professional development, encourage innovative instruction, and seek out teachers who represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We must provide a stimulating, supportive and rewarding environment for our faculty and their families. And we must offer competitive compensation and benefits. These and other investments not only enrich the lives of our boys, but they also establish Blue Ridge School as a top-choice for the most promising and talented teachers.
Our school is fundamentally sound thanks to responsible stewardship of our financial resources. However real challenges exist as the market for secondary education evolves. Historically, the school has relied on tuition as the primary source of revenue – an approach that is increasingly risky given rising costs and market fluctuations. Looking to the future, Blue Ridge School must move aggressively towards financial self-sufficiency by diversifying our revenue sources, controlling costs, and developing a robust culture of philanthropy among those who value what we do.