Message from Steve Wilkins

Carroll School succeeds with students whom most schools simply don't know how to educate.  We are experts in teaching and inspiring bright students with language based learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. For 54 years, this has been our only mission.

Success where others dare not tread is ingrained in the genetic material of Carroll School. Therefore, it should be no surprise that this mighty little school has succeeded in a spectacular capital campaign.

With a shared, intrepid belief in our mission, we are profoundly grateful for your magnificent, jaw-dropping generosity. We are in awe of the high level of support, the huge participation by the community, and the vision captured in so many of your gifts.

I first came to Carroll in 1977 for a nine year stint when this school was in its childhood and adolescence. We knew how to do two things back then: teach dyslexics to read through the Orton-Gillingham method and rebuild their self-esteem through programs such as Bounders. Substantial financial aid, competitive faculty compensation, neuroscience, and campus expansion were luxuries that a younger Carroll could only imagine.

By the time I returned to Carroll in 2005, the school had grown well past the experimental stage and was facing the growing pains of a school just entering its adulthood: define itself more specifically, demonstrate competence, and expand focus in its areas of strength.

Now fifteen years later, the campaign has inspired the faculty and administration to think differently, to dream big, and to act rather than wait. Thinking differently also meant Carroll began implementing some of the goals of the campaign before campaign targets were fully met. Educationally, we also refused to wait for the end of the campaign before acting.

We grabbed the concept of GEC and dramatically improved program flexibility to better meet the needs of each child. Carroll educators: (a) increased the amount of tutoring and focus block instruction, (b) developed and implemented cognitive interventions for all students, (c) adjusted students’ education according to constant achievement and profile data, (d) evolved our teacher training programs, and (e) started on the work of building a more diverse, inclusive, and culturally responsive community.

During the five years of active campaigning, Carroll’s Board of Trustees and our community also displayed the type of flexibility that defines this school. When the option to purchase the Wayland Campus arose by serendipity in the middle of the campaign, the Board seized the moment. The purchase achieved many of the campaign goals, and the impact on our community was immediate. Another related opportunity emerged during the campaign that no one precisely envisioned in planning INFC, but it made so much sense as a strategic vision.

In addition to the $33 million raised in the INFC campaign, an additional $7.1 million gift to purchase 103 acres of land (Carroll donated 85 of those acres of conservation land to Mass Audubon) adjacent to the Wayland campus has been added to the total philanthropy directed to Carroll during these years.

Listening to hundreds of Carroll friends complete that sentence “If not for Carroll…” was always emotional, often hilarious, and deeply heartening. That is why the If Not for Carroll Campaign resonated with so many sectors of the Carroll community because it highlights a universal truth for our families.

If Not for Carroll... so many of our alumni and their families would not be thriving as they are today.  Carroll teaches academic skills, resilience, advocacy, and positive mindset. As a result, student achievement outcomes today are the best they have ever been in the school’s history. The next steps in our history are destined to promote even more profound results for Carroll students.