Highly Supportive Dunn School Faculty Encourages Creativity and Curiosity in Education | Private and independent school guide


The 2021 school year has just started and the guide to private and independent schools in Noozhawk will definitely make things easier when planning your child’s education! Our school guide provides you and your child with all the information you need about private schools in Santa Barbara County.

To give parents the tools to make informed decisions about the best-suited school for their children in Santa Barbara, Noozhawk conducted a series of interviews with representatives from local private and independent schools for the School Guide to This year.

In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Kalyan Balaven, Principal of Dunn School to find out more about what they offer at their school.

Dunn School

Question: What is the name of your school and what levels do you offer?

Reply: Dunn School is a boarding and coeducational day school serving Grades 6-12. Students can embark from grades 9 to 12.

Question: How is your school run or managed?

A: Dunn School is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. The day-to-day operations of the school are administered by the school principal, who reports to the board.

Question: Are you offering in-person or online instruction this academic year?

A: Our 2021-2022 school year takes place face-to-face. With a 55-acre campus and great weather in the Santa Ynez Valley, we were able to keep our students healthy and safe throughout the pandemic while providing in-person education. We believe that the in-person experience is crucial to successfully carrying out the mission of the school of educating all students.

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(Photo by Dunn School.)

Question: What program is available and taught in your school?

A: Our academic program balances intellectual rigor and mastery of skills with a very supportive and accessible faculty. Our teachers encourage creativity, intellectual courage, curiosity and ethics in the learning process. This allows us to engage a wide range of learning across all disciplines in an authentic and goal-oriented academics approach.

Question: Can you describe your student-teacher ratio?

A: At Dunn School, you can expect a very individualized education. We have an average class size of 12 students and a student-teacher ratio of 5: 1. In our environment, students build strong relationships with their teachers.

Question: How does your school select / hire teachers and how does it invest in their continuing education?

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(Photo by Dunn School.)

A: Teachers are hired through a rigorous process that usually involves a national search to find the best candidate for the available position and for the school community. Finalists for each position have a one-day campus tour that includes a sample lesson. We also devote a lot of time and resources to professional development. We run a series of on-campus development opportunities and encourage and enable faculty to seek out a professional development program, either of their own choosing or through a partner organization such as the California Teacher Development Collaborative.

Question: What sports or extracurricular activities does your school offer?

A: We offer 13 different interschool interschool athletic programs in addition to other unique activities like surfing, mountain biking, yoga, drama, robotics, strength and conditioning. On weekends, students can sign up for school-sponsored trips that can include outings like dining at your favorite restaurant, going to the beach, or shopping on State Street. Aside from the learning that occurs within the confines of the classroom, the Dunn School strongly believes in the power of experiential education. At any time, students can take an outdoor educational canoe trip down the Colorado River or to the top of Mount Whitney in the Sierras. These opportunities are designed for student growth and provide unique leadership reinforcement. Plus, our week-long mini-session enhances experiential education by offering trips around the world to places like Guatemala, the Swiss Alps, Spain or even an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

Question: Describe how your school measures student progress.

A: Dunn was created with the mission of educating the whole student for a life of leadership. The education of all students remains paramount in the way we deliver the curriculum and is done through the prism of our five core values: emotional well-being, physical preparation, intellectual growth, social responsibility and courage. moral. These values ​​provide an important tool to help measure the progress of our students during their time at Dunn and beyond.

Question: How does your school meet special education needs?

A: Dunn has supported students with learning disabilities for almost 50 years. Being in an environment that understands and supports cognitive and neural diversity is empowering for our students. Our school employs seven full-time learning specialists who work with students in our Learning Strategies program, either one-on-one or in groups of less than 5. These students attend the same preparatory classes. college, but they receive the support they must overcome their learning difference. It is important to note that there is no stigma associated with working with a learning specialist here. Finally, there is no greater joy than seeing self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment reintegrating into a student’s life when that student is supported by an environment where teachers understand that all children are born. learn differently.

Question: What opportunities do you offer for parental involvement?

A: We greatly appreciate our parents and their involvement in the school. Many Dunn parents donate their time, talents and / or their treasure to the school through the Dunn Association. The Dunn Association is a parent-run program that provides families with the opportunity to give back to the community by attending events such as lecture series, book clubs, recall clubs, and more.

Question: What is the cost of tuition to attend your school?

A: The 2021-22 Tuition Fee for Dunn Middle School is $ 28,500, the Day Tuition Fee for the Upper School is $ 33,900, and our Boarding Fee for the Upper School is $ 69,500. .

Question: Do you offer scholarships, and if so, what are the criteria for applying?

A: We provide need-based financial assistance to families who cannot afford the full tuition fees. This year, 55% of our students received financial aid of $ 3.8 million. Our goal is to make a Dunn School education accessible to all eligible families.

Click here for more information on Dunn School.


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