People in conversation

Building a Sustainable Culture of Dialogue at Cary Academy: A Case Study


One of the most common questions educators and school leaders have is: What does a collaboration with Essential Partners look like, and what can it accomplish? There's no better answer than a real-world case study of a recent multi-year collaboration.

Cary Academy (CA), located in Cary, North Carolina, is a private learning community committed to discovery, innovation, and collaboration that prepares 6th–12th grade students to become self-directed and bold life-long learners. The school’s focus on discovery, innovation, collaboration, and excellence fosters a spirit of community, promoting engagement amongst students, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators.

This case study details the evolution of the Cary Academy dialogue project in collaboration with Essential Partners (EP) from its inception as a response to the 2016 election through multiple years of expanded stakeholder training and community engagement, with a goal of equipping a critical mass of CA community members with the skills and resources to independently sustain a culture of dialogue across the entire school community.



Daniel Pritchard

Corrinne McClure, Graduate Evaluation Intern