School Family



"Our son's growth is nurtured not only by his teachers, but by the older students who serve as role models and mentors. Without a doubt, sending our son to Doane is the best investment we’ve ever made in his future."

- Christen, Lower School parent

The School Family program is a central part of Doane's culture and represents its emphasis on character education across all grades.

Doane’s unique School Family program sets it apart from other schools. Doane consciously creates bi-weekly opportunities for students to interact across all grade levels in a safe and caring environment. Doane students are placed into one of fourteen school families, each of which is composed of students from PreK – grade 12 and led by faculty members who serve as “parents.” Students and teachers remain in the same family throughout their time at Doane, thereby creating friendships that grow, evolve, and deepen over the years.

Families meet biweekly for 30 minutes. Activities include completing community service projects, playing board games, reading stories together, making crafts and pieces of art, celebrating holidays and birthdays, playing on the playground, and competing against a fellow family in kickball.

One of the highlights of Doane’s year is when the entire school community gathers in the dining hall for a Thanksgiving Feast. Seated by school family, students and teachers take turns sharing what they are thankful for while senior family members carve a turkey and serve those around them.

The School Family program reminds older students of their potential to serve as role models. During a phase of life when it is easy and natural to focus one’s attention inward, it teaches them about the responsibility and power of looking beyond one’s self and caring for others. Reciprocally, it provides younger students with positive examples and gives them the powerful and validating feeling of being listened to and valued by older students.