Oxbow School Closure

Dear friends, families, and colleagues of The Oxbow School community,

In everything we do, we strive to embody openness, honesty, and true partnership with this community. In our 25th year, we reflect on the many challenges we have faced, and now, it is our duty to write to you in the spirit of partnership, albeit with difficult news.

The Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to close The Oxbow School following the 2024 Summer Art Institute session. In recent weeks, the Board has carefully and painstakingly considered the future of The Oxbow School and has been in touch with both its former and current Heads of School, Stephen Thomas and Jennifer Jordan, respectively. The headwinds against independent schools have been, and remain, quite strong, and the practical and financial realities of operating a small, arts-focused boarding school such as ours have dramatically evolved.

This was not a decision we took lightly, but it was one the Board was called to make. In the end, we simply could not adapt our unique and intimate school experience without losing the special character and identity that have defined Oxbow.

We recognize this news is heartbreaking for everyone in our community, past and present. Yet, we know our shared mission and the impact we have made extends far beyond the walls of this school, now and in the future.

Even after The Oxbow School closes, our students will continue to seek growth and knowledge in new ways. We know that education is fueled by passion, which burns deep within each student at The Oxbow School. We know that inspiration is found in every avenue of life and that transformative and innovative learning does not exist here alone.

We are deeply grateful to our dedicated and talented faculty, whose unshakeable belief in our students and the arts laid the foundation for many meaningful experiences. Importantly, school leaders will identify and share ways in which we can appropriately celebrate and honor the legacy of this school and the pioneering contributions of our founders, Ann Hatch and Robert and Margrit Mondavi, together while reflecting on the many lives we have touched.

We strongly believe, as we know you do too, in the power of the arts. We encourage our students, faculty, and alumni to continue seeking knowledge and inspiration, and we know you will continue honing your unique talents for years to come. We have forged lasting experiences, bonds, and memories here at Oxbow. We will collectively carry the achievements we have accomplished together.

Thank you for being a part of this exceptional community.


Oxbow School, Board of Trustees

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The Oxbow School was a semester program in Napa, California focusing on studio art-making and interdisciplinary humanities. This program provided sophomores, juniors, seniors, and gap-year students the opportunity for an intensive art experience and thought-provoking academic instruction. Oxbow also offered a spirited and engaging 6-week Summer Art Institute for rising sophomores, juniors, seniors, and gap year students.

The atmosphere at Oxbow was one of artistic and social exploration combined with rigorous academics designed to prepare students for college and beyond. Oxbow alumni often went on to earn distinguished art and writing awards, and earned offers of admission and win scholarships at top colleges and universities.

Oxbow invited students to enlarge their artistic vision and enhance their technical skills in an environment dedicated to supporting artistic inquiry. Students took this opportunity to further their education, expand their social horizons, explore their passion for art, and create a new foundation for their future.

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