Nashoba Brooks History
Building Excellence . . . from the Foundations of
"Since the first I day arrived at Nashoba Brooks, I have been
fascinated by its history. Although, as head of school, my focus is
on the present and the future, I realize how much the school we are
today and the school we envision for tomorrow depend upon the foundations
of the past. Our particular past is characterized by a robust mix of
innovation and tradition, which were the hallmarks of our two predecessor
schools. The Brooks School of Concord began in 1928 as a nursery school
and expanded to a primary school in the 1930s to answer the need for
early childhood education. Nashoba Country Day School for girls was
formed in 1960 when Concord Academy dropped its lower grades, to continue
offering a program especially for girls. Nashoba Brooks was created
from those two "parent" schools in 1980, and the student structureco-educational,
Age 3-Grade 3; and all girls in Grades 4 -8was kept intact. I
am often asked about this unique combination. It is not serendipity,
but instead, the result of a foresightful plan.
"While Brooks School and Nashoba Country Day had different student
profiles (one co-educational, preschool through grade three; the other
girls-only, grades four through eight), their philosophies were similar,
including an emphasis on diversity of all sorts, on balancing habits
of mind with habits of character, and on a student-centered experiential
program based on a strong core of skills. The merger was more than intelligentit
was also wise, a prescient solution to future educational concerns.
By resisting the temptation to go co-ed in the upper grades and reaffirming
its commitment to providing the best atmosphere for adolescent girls,
the school would be rewarded by the findings of Harvard's Carol Gilligan
and other developmental experts. As for the lower grades, the retention
of a co-ed profile would anticipate research indicating that co-education
is beneficial both to boys and girls in those early years, a time when
stereotyping messages push children to discard vital aspects of themselves.
Our school today is the fortunate heir of such foresight. Our uncommon
structure is uncommonly effective. It supports the excellence of our
program, and it serves all ages well."
E. Kay Cowan, Head of School at Nashoba Brooks since 1992, is on the
boards of The National Coalition of Girls' Schools, the National Association
of Principals of Schools for Girls, and The Alliance for Teen Safety,
based in Concord, Massachusetts. She is also a Corporator of Dana Hall
School, Wellesley Massachusetts.