Our greatest aspiration for Branson graduates is that they will lead fulfilling, joyful and impactful lives characterized by service to others. While developing intellectual excellence is a critical means to this end, we know it is the values and strength of character our students develop as young people – the habits of their hearts as well as their minds – that will determine whether they become the leaders we envision.

In this pillar of our plan, we commit to making Branson a school whose methods for inspiring and shaping great character are as thoughtful, consistent, ambitious and successful as our methods for inspiring great intellect. 

Our first step is to align all of the school’s decisions and practices, big or small, with our mission and community values. We will undertake a multi-year program of thoughtful assessment and innovation with the goal of ensuring that our culture, methods, traditions, curriculum and community members are thoroughly aligned in support of our core beliefs. We do so mindful that, ultimately, our success can only be measured by the extent to which our students take ownership of these ideals, individually and in a peer culture where young people provide one another the inspiration and accountability to be their best selves.

Second, we will develop skills and programs we call “Beyond Branson”. Our lovely and peaceful campus does much to support Branson’s sense of close community. But physical remoteness can also limit our awareness of connection and interdependence with the wider community. In today’s world, our students simply cannot meet their potential as empathetic, effective and ethical leaders without meaningful and authentic connections with people from different backgrounds who have different stories and skills to share. And, students cannot learn to act with courage without challenging themselves to take risks.

It is time to reimagine our campus as home base in a network of academic and extracurricular learning activities in the Bay Area and beyond – all driven by Branson’s high expectations for students’ intellectual and moral development. Within the next several years, our goal is to have both curricular and co-curricular learning experiences outside our Ross gates be a core part of the Branson experience for every student. We aim to embed students in organizations and contexts where transformative moments are possible, where they learn to think beyond themselves, take risks and develop a bigger view of the world and their place in it.


2.1 Systematically review, refine and reinvent all pieces of Branson’s programming and culture to ensure they are effective and aligned in realizing our mission and values in the lives of students and our entire community.

2.2 Design and implement a process that clarifies our specific expectations of one another within the Branson community, and achieve a culture of accountability embraced by all. This will include deepening the entire community’s understanding of and adherence to the honor code, a core Branson strength.

2.3 Reinvent and invest more deeply in Branson’s community engagement program. Create anchor partnerships between Branson and a few local organizations, with the goal of moving every student into experiences that engage them personally and intellectually in social change.

2.4 Create an outdoor education program that challenges every Branson student with different experiences over the course of their four years, leading to personal growth and a more unified and inclusive school community.