Strategic Vision

PA’s new Vision is to be the leader in innovation. That sounds interesting, but what does it really mean?

  • Innovation at PA means the thoughtful examination of everything we do in the context of immediate electronic access to information.
  • It means that our community is actively engaged in a dynamic “both/and” conversation about how to balance the traditional 3 R’s, content/knowledge, media literacy, and critical 21st Century skills. It is not an either/or discussion in which we must choose between proven techniques that have always worked in the classroom and new and innovative approaches to learning.
  • We want to be ahead of the curve by reviewing and evaluating the most progressive and innovative approaches in education and to borrow a phrase from Lower School Head Noel Brewster, “Bruinizing” them by picking out the best and most relevant features that fit our approach and our program.

These words represent a synthesis of our renewed call for students to be highly engaged, active, creative thinkers with our timeless expectations of them to give back to their families and community while achieving their highest personal potential as we prepare them for college and for life.

In many ways, 21st Century Skills are those timeless skills that have always made people successful: critical thinking, applied learning, communication, creativity, problem-solving, cross-cultural understanding, etc.

These timeless skills are now more important than ever in an age when the competitive playing field has been “levelized” or “equalized” by immediate electronic access to content and information.

The “democratization” of information access makes the ability to comprehend, analyze, compare, connect, and creatively apply that knowledge an invaluable competitive asset in today’s world

Technology literacy is another critical 21st Century aptitude because everyone needs to be “media fluent” in our increasingly digital society. It is also critically important to be able to separate the “wheat from the chaff” in terms of locating and working with quality content on the internet.

PA will always be focused on a rigorous and varied academic and extra-curricular program that educates the whole child, allows students to hone their unique talents, and prepares them for college and life.

Our fast-paced, technology-driven society can at times have a sadly depersonalizing effect on human relationships. In a world that sometimes seems less hospitable and decent than we might wish, PA is proudly “counter-cultural” in insisting on our Core Values, which instill a sense of respect for self and others and call us to be the best possible version of ourselves.

As our new Mission reaffirms, we are unalterably committed to our students’ achievement on the “traditional success markers” of competitive college admissions, standardized test scores, and competitive performance in academic, athletic, and all manner of extra-curricular competitions. Many of these traditional success markers (particularly national standardized tests) are undergoing and will continue to undergo profound changes. PA students will be ready for the challenge.

We are steadfastly committed to maintaining and strengthening our identity as an independent, non-sectarian school that actively embraces all faiths, races, and cultures. In a world that is getting smaller and more interconnected by the day, our students will be equipped to successfully interact with people of different backgrounds, perspectives, and cultural and religious heritages.

Core Values


Respect Responsibility