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Author: Milton Academy

A Commitment to Mental Health

LEARNING HAPPENS BEST WHEN STUDENTS FEEL SAFE AND CALM, SAY MILTON’S LOWER AND MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPALS Story by Sarah Abrams Illustration by Brian Rea Mental health care authorities—from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry—have been reporting a precipitous nationwide rise in the levels of stress and anxiety among school-age children. In 2021, citing recent national surveys, the U.S. surgeon general reported “alarming increases in the prevalence of certain mental health challenges” of the nation’s youth. For both Lower School Principal Frank Patti and Middle School Principal Steven Bertozzi, caring for the...

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Cornel West meets with Milton English Students

“What does it mean to be human?” philosopher Cornel West asked Milton students. “How do we hold onto integrity in the face of oppression? How do we hold onto honesty in the face of deception? How do we hold onto decency in the face of insult and assault, and how do we hold on to the enabling virtue of them all—courage—in the face of catastrophic bombardment?”

West, a renowned scholar, writer, and activist, joined students taking Philosophy and Literature virtually last week. He discussed how literature can help people understand seemingly insurmountable challenges, or what Samuel Beckett called “the mess” of modern human existence.

Young people are facing catastrophic political, social, and environmental issues, West said. They may find some clarity in the work of artists and thinkers who “wrestle with catastrophe.” A self-described “Chekhovian Christian,” West said he finds healing in work that confronts disaster head-on.

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Endowment Investment Policy Updates

Milton Academy’s endowment performance is critical to the school’s current and long-term success. With a value of approximately $400 million the endowment contributed 18 percent of the school’s budget last year. Recently, Milton Academy’s Board of Trustees discussed how the school’s endowment investment decisions are made and how environmental, social, and governance factors (also called ESG factors) are considered as part of the school’s investing philosophy. Following a review of university, college, and other independent school best practices, the Investment Committee recommended that the school add more specific environmental, social, and governance (ESG) guidance to the school’s Investment Policy Statement, which sets forth the guidelines the committee uses to manage the school’s endowment. These guidelines require that the committee collect ESG data annually, review existing and prospective investment managers’ holdings and firm practices, and incorporate that information to better inform investment decisions. The Trustees approved these changes in 2021, ensuring that ESG considerations play a larger role in the school’s investment process. Overall, the incorporation of ESG factors into Milton’s investment policy marks an important step forward and places Milton in a leadership position among independent schools. It also demonstrates the school’s ongoing commitment to data-driven decision making, environmental sustainability, and...

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