April 13, 2016

The Walden School Board of Trustees and Administration would like to thank everyone for sharing your thoughts as part of the annual survey.  Response to the survey will take many forms and will come in stages. We are continually working to position Walden for future success and thoughtfully reviewing all responses with this focus in mind. With that said, we thought it would be beneficial to highlight some of Walden’s past successes and to share a vision for the future.

    Walden School was founded in 1975 on the property of Kentucky Military Institute on LaGrange Road in Lyndon, Kentucky. 
    As this facility became increasingly expensive to maintain, in 1980, Walden chose to move to the current facility at 4238 Westport Road in St. Matthews, Kentucky, home of the former Stivers Elementary School. Stivers Elementary was constructed in 1948 intending to be a temporary facility.
    Since the original facility would now serve not only elementary students but also middle and high school, Walden made significant improvements and additions to the facilities and offerings that have benefited each student from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.  Most of the facility updates and upgrades have been completed with the generous support of donors including parents, grandparents, alumni and friends of Walden.

o     The gymnasium was added, as a separate structure, at the back of the existing building for use by all students at Walden. 

o      A new playground was added to enhance the already expansive outdoor space providing an area dedicated to the lower school students. The remaining yard became athletic fields and space for middle and high school students.

o      Growing enrollment also created the need to move the Library and Band program to self-contained spaces.

o      As Walden’s student population grew, the need for more classroom space was evident.  The two-level classroom facility was added around the gym and connected by a lobby to the existing school building.

o      The 7th & 8th Grade Science room received a major upgrade.

o      The Art programs have grown over the years as well, with kilns being added for the lower and middle/high school art programs.

o      As Walden’s enrollment increased so did student interest in athletics.  The generosity of Walden’s supporters allowed for the acquisition of property and construction of our current track and field-house facility.

o      The addition of the flag garden and tree sculpture along with other landscape improvements in the front of the school.

o      Adapting to ever-changing technology with the use daily by students of two computer labs, SmartBoards in all classrooms, and a security system installed on the property with cameras easily viewed at all times by staff. 

o      Use of iPads in the lower and middle school. Implementation of a bring-your-own-device program in grades 8-12.

o      Thanks again to the generosity shown by donors, a Mac-Lab will be installed for the 2016-17 school year. 

These changes, supplementing the efforts of the best faculty and staff of any school in the area, have made Walden the place that we all are happy to call home. That said, we must be constantly evolving to meet the ever changing needs of our students and families. Understanding and staying ahead of these needs is the focus of the Walden Board.  With that in mind we would like to share some thoughts on where Walden is headed.

    Facilities are crucial as we look to enhance student life and compete with other independent schools in the area. The Board has developed a long-term plan that we believe will position Walden for continued success over the next 40 years.

o      Currently, we are raising funds as part of a capital campaign, the goal of which is to allow for construction of a new library/technology center and later a new cafeteria.

o      Longer term, a complete campus plan is being developed that envisions replacement of the original buildings of Stivers Elementary with facilities that speak to the values and mission that we strive to achieve each day. 

    Beyond facilities, the Board, in partnership with faculty and staff, is focused on enhancing current and future educational opportunities for all Walden students.

o      Continuing to support faculty and staff by providing necessary resources and supporting opportunities for continuing education, pushing all to excel in their focus areas.

o      Expanding educational opportunities for all students and staying ahead of developments in the field.  Some trends that have been discussed, but not yet approved, include:

    Continuing to access resources in the Walden and Louisville community more broadly to expand educational offerings for our students with particular focus in the areas of technology and the arts,
     An indoor play space for kindergarten students to support their need for hands-on learning,
▪   A maker space that will allow all students to build and explore through creative problem-solving,
▪   An indoor green house to build on our science and environmental offerings,
▪   High School programs that put Walden at the forefront of education among all schools in the Louisville area.

Walden School is committed to diversity.  Our goal is to increase diversity among our students, faculty, staff and Board.

Of major importance to our future is our Head of School.  The Board of Trustees is underway in their search for this important leader of our community.  This individual will appreciate who we are, what we stand for, and that partnership is not just words; it’s a way of life at Walden.

The Board of Trustees, Head of School and administration, faculty and staff are continually looking at programs to enhance and motivate our students, instilling in them a lifelong enthusiasm for learning and challenging them to reach their full potential so they may flourish in a diverse and changing world.