Since Hyde’s founding in 1966, we have sought to effectively balance the healthy tension between our responsibility to provide quality education for Hyde’s students with our commitment to make a difference “beyond the gates.”
The years have taught us that our top priority must be to ensure that each of our schools is led by leaders and teachers who are focused solely on the best interests of the students in attendance. Given that doing justice to this priority leaves little room for anything else, we have created The Hyde Foundation, a distinct legal non-profit entity, to promote Hyde’s message and opportunity “beyond the gates.”
While a blog is not a good place for long explanations, suffice it to say that our plan for the future will call upon the Hyde Foundation to develop hardware (i.e., schools) and software (i.e., consulting and promotion).
Hardware = Schools
We must operate a group of schools that is small enough to manage and large enough to satisfy the burden of proof regarding the universality of the Hyde philosophy. Our boarding schools are amazing places, but the boarding model, by itself, cannot inspire a national conversation for at least two reasons: 1) too expensive to operate; 2) the country does not relate to it. Hence, the Hyde Foundation will focus its efforts on the creation of a group of 4-5 public charter schools, perhaps in New York City, and build upon the dramatic success experienced at Hyde-Bronx, a school where students exhibit high academic performance while fully engaging in the Hyde process. Next on the horizon is Hyde-Brooklyn, tentatively scheduled to open by 2011.
Software = Consulting, Research, and Promotion
Consulting: We will “portabalize” the Hyde experience with a consulting arm that will provide curricular materials, training, and consulting for schools and communities across the country.
Research: We will establish a quantitative picture of Hyde’s success and publish materials chronicling the effectiveness of the Hyde approach. When a community asks, “How will Hyde benefit our community?” we need to be able to offer more than an anecdotal answer.
Promotion: Toward the goal of inspiring a national conversation, we will flood the media – print, radio, TV, the web – with research and testimonials that express the Hyde magic. A dynamic web site will serve as a cyber-meeting place for those who want to jump on the Hyde bandwagon and will facilitate partnerships with like-minded educators, parents, and leaders.
Up to this point, all of Hyde’s growth beyond the gates has resulted from a conservative “pay as you go” strategy. We must transition to a fund-raising model in order to realize our vision.
Time to get busy. Onward, Malcolm Gauld