Alcohol & Drug Policy

The Collective Art of Parenting at St. Andrew's: A Note on Preventing Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Tad Roach


Dear Parents,

I have learned so much in my career as St. Andrew's headmaster, and many of my best teachers and mentors have been parents who have so deeply understood and supported my vision for a new American boarding school. I therefore always write to you all with deep respect and appreciation for your faith in St. Andrew's and for your commitment to forming this community of adults to inspire the best young people in the country and world: our students.

A couple of years ago, I realized that St. Andrew's parents do so much more than mentor and challenge and love their sons and daughters; they actually parent and inspire the students surrounding their sons and daughters at the school: the students who play on their child's team, live in their child's dorm, play in their child's orchestra.

We know as parents that we need other adult voices, other adult perspectives that honor our values, our aspirations, our belief in goodness, civility, kindness, and generosity. As boarding school parents, we call upon St. Andrew's faculty to meet our children where they are and help them to dream, aspire, serve, and develop. When we host our child's St. Andrew's friends for a trip to dinner, to Wawa, to our homes for a weekend, we extend the reach, the commitment, and the ethos of the school.

Over the past decade, St. Andrew's students, faculty, and parents have pursued a countercultural approach to the American boarding experience, replacing alcohol/drug abuse with a community of resilience, grit, and engagement, tempering the lures of social media with authentic human friendship, rejecting hierarchy of hazing and abuse with care and love and appreciation for human dignity. This miracle did not come about because of a rule, a zero tolerance pronouncement, or an edict from on high. It emerged as we collectively realized that at St. Andrew's, anything and everything enlightened and courageous is possible.

This culture, the work of generations of great St. Andreans, now gives us the opportunity to spend all our time, energy, and creativity on the art of teaching and the assertion of goodness and creativity in the world.

We begin again soon. And we need to strengthen and reaffirm this culture and its capacity to make the school's highest aspirations possible. As parents, you know or will soon know the power and energy that emanate from this commitment to educational and human goodness. Please join us in making sure that our commitment to this way of living, learning, and expressing grace extends from our campus to your homes and back again.

Best,

Daniel T. Roach, Jr.
Merrill M. Stenbeck Headmaster's Chair

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