Dana-Hall, is a well known and respected all-girl boarding and day school (6-12 grade) competing in a time period in which social attitudes towards single sex education is shrinking. Measures of demographics and social trends indicate a clear shift towards a co-educational school environment. This new reality, where demand is decreasing faster than supply, results in declining numbers of potential female applicants over which the last four all-girl boarding and day schools are aggressively competing to maintain continues enrolment figures. Other former all-girl schools have either moved to admit boys or merged with better-funded boys schools to avoid bankruptcy. On top of these constraints, and in direct relation, Dana-Hall is also encountering financial challenges to the extent that the current tuition revenues are not sufficient to cover operating expenses. Alternative sources of revenue to make ends meet include: annual giving, investment income, rental of property, property sales and the introduction of a sixth-grade program. Cutting expenses is difficult, since excellent academic programs and an enjoyable living environment are essential factors to attracting the quantity and quality students.
Obviously, falling enrolment and strained finances should be the basis for a mission review and change in strategy.
The question is weather Dana-Hall should follow the stream into a gender-integrated classroom or perhaps continue to operate within its current market. We can all agree that the model under which Dana-Hall is currently operating is insufficient and will eventually lead to the institutes bankruptcy when its alternative financial resources dry out (as would be the case for example when there is no more property to sell). Therefore, there are two alternatives:
1.Going against the deeply-held mission by making the school co-educational either through the acceptance of male applicants or through a merger agreement. 2.Trying to fix the existing...