Preparing students for success after high school means challenging them to find meaning in everything they do; modeling how to communicate, collaborate, and cooperate with a diverse group of human beings; advocating for yourself and your point of view; and caring about our world and the people around you.

You will discover the features and benefits of Darrow throughout our website, but as to the question of Why Darrow?, the answer is straightforward - because now more than ever, the world needs what we offer.


This is daring. This is Darrow.




The new student from Boston meets Olive-from-Dallas and Tess-from-Dublin when she’s moving her stuff into Meacham. Like her, they’re nervous being away from home for the first time. But Olive and Tess are fun and funny and unlike anybody the girl has ever met. The three extraordinary young women with nothing in common are laughing within minutes, best friends within hours, and inseparable within days. It’s as if the very uniqueness that distinguishes them, binds them. Welcome to Darrow. 


Her son is a rebel. The youngest of her three kids, she isn’t sure what to expect when he goes to Darrow other than a lot of phone calls from bemused school staff. Instead, she receives email updates from his advisor that paint a startlingly intimate portrait. She can physically feel her boy through the advisor’s thoughtful descriptions of his life there, and it sometimes makes her cry. Darrow truly knows her son. Better yet, the School seems to love him, too.  


Growing up in schools where teachers lectured and students memorized, Darrow’s classroom culture is discombobulating to the new girl. Teachers encourage students to share ideas and their discussions are intense and dynamic. Awed by the deeper-than-expected thinking among her classmates, the girl gradually begins asking her own questions, advocating her own perspectives, and baring her own beliefs. She is finding her voice. It is a life-altering discovery, and the first of many to come.  


The boy thinks he wants to be a doctor, but he wonders if he has the aptitude or even the stomach to make it. When he expresses his concerns to one of his Science teachers, she designs a quarter-by-quarter curriculum to ready him for the challenges of Pre-Med. Expert, passionate, and unapologetically student-centered, Darrow faculty cultivate a school-wide environment that positions each student to thrive.


The “boy” has been struggling with identity issues since ze can remember. (Or, more accurately, zir’s community has been struggling with zir’s identity.) Middle School is a blur of bullying, counseling, and confusion masked in faux-understanding. While a less secure child would have broken into a thousand, self-pitying pieces, ze never does. At Darrow, ze is shocked by the absence of Trans politics. Here, people don’t accept you in spite of who you are - they accept you because of who you are. It is a distinction that means absolutely everything. 


When friends back home ask her what she likes most about Darrow, they are surprised when the girl summarizes the most effective wood-cutting techniques, confused when she lists endless hands-on experiments from her classes, and outright uncomfortable when she details the technical marvels of the Living Machine® (and it is a marvel). They can't understand the confidence she's gained in developing these skills and doing things for herself. Down the road, when she needs it most, she'll draw from this confidence. It will stay with her forever.


Before choosing Darrow, the senior considered other schools because of their stated emphasis on “academic rigor”. Looking back, it seems foolish. Darrow did introduce all kinds of rigor, if by ‘rigor’ one means rigorous creativity; rigorous community; rigorous mindfulness; rigorous service; and rigorous self-discovery. There were world-class academics, too, taught by galaxy-class teachers. She knows Darrow’s rigorous balance ultimately helped her win acceptance to her college of choice. For that, among other things, she is rigorously grateful.


Breaking the silence of a Friday Morning Meeting; fixing sap lines (and feeling sticky for days); hugging your advisor when you get that grade; playing in a real basketball game for the first time (thanks, Mr. Singleton!); sitting alone in the near-holy silence of the Tannery; receiving a handwritten letter from that child you mentored through Hands-to-Work; lighting candles around Tanner’s Pond; reading every teacher’s signature on your diploma and choking back hot tears. Full of surprises and moments of magic, Darrow is unlike any school, anywhere.


Whether an entrepreneur, astronaut, actor, leader, filmmaker, radio host, teacher, or jazz musician, Darrow alumni dare to explore when others retreat; dare to speak when others remain silent; dare to give more when others turn their backs. Darrow’s enduring gift to every student is the agency to pursue a purpose greater than themselves. We dare, and our daring can move the world.

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