COVID-19 Safety Plan | August 2021


Each time we ask at Assembly for a volunteer to cover a work job for a student away or sick, the hands shoot up and the volunteers materialize. Faced with the opportunity to volunteer for extra work, our students choose to help out. They choose to do what needs doing. Few schools can boast of such a communal esprit de corps.

We live in a world of seemingly ever expanding choices. How we each allocate the resources available to us are choices we make and expressions of our values – measures of our true wants and needs. Midland chooses to value people over things, hence our commitment to financial aid and to a simple rustic campus. In an age of abundance, we choose simplicity as an antidote to both societal complexity and complicity.

For 84 years, Midland has been a school where students spend time actually developing a work ethic, directly experiencing the consequences of resource production and consumption, honing social interaction skills face to face, and learning by doing. Choices, like all actions, come with consequences.

Our infrastructure was never fancy, in part because our “make do” pragmatism is a profound lesson from which our students learn through experience. Challenges such as deferred maintenance, compliance with modern building codes, and skyrocketing health insurance costs are held at bay by a series of mindful compromises, such as our dependence on the Annual Fund each year.

We hope you will make the choice to support Midland. The world and the generations to come need Midland to thrive. Your support is not a “want” for us. It is a need. Our short and long term vitality depends on the direct engagement and financial support of our extended community. This year and every year, we hope you will choose to support the school.

Thank you for your support!


Paul Squibb was determined to make Midland available to as many students as possible regardless of cost. Today, our financial mission is the same: make Midland available to the broadest possible group of families.

The Annual Scholarship Fund is the development backbone of Midland School. It gives every person with a past, present and future connection to Midland a philanthropic opportunity to invest in the life of a young person and in the strength of the school. We ask for financial support from alums, families, and friends through their participation in the Annual Scholarship Fund. We will, of course, continue to ask for your support in ensuing years. That need will always remain. However, with your support, Midland will continue to be accessible to students and families who would otherwise not receive a Midland education.

Please support Midland’s Annual Scholarship Fund by making your contribution today. Your gift helps extend the promise of Midland to today’s students. You can mail a check to Midland School, to the attention of Charis Derbyshire, PO Box 8, Los Olivos, CA, 93441. Or, you can make an online payment on our DONATE NOW page, and write “Annual Scholarship Fund” in the Special Instructions section.


If you would like to extend your support of Midland School to make a lasting impact, there are several gift arrangements to choose from.  Whether you would like to put your donation to work today or benefit us after your lifetime, you can find a charitable plan that lets you provide for your family and support Midland.

Beneficiary Designations

Passionate about supporting Midland School after your lifetime? It’s easy to do with a beneficiary designation. Just name Midland as a beneficiary to receive assets such as retirement plans and life insurance policies after you’re gone. You simply fill out a form that is entirely separate from your will—which makes this approach an easy way to give.

Not only is it an easy way to give, but it’s also flexible—you aren’t locked into the choices you make today. You can review and adjust beneficiary designations anytime you want.

Wills and Living Trusts

Interested in helping Midland School with our mission but feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing another check or giving up your assets today? A simple, flexible and versatile way to ensure we can continue our work for years to come is a gift in your will or living trust, known as a charitable bequest.

By including a bequest to Midland in your will or living trust, you are ensuring that we can continue our mission for years to come. Your gift also entitles your estate to an unlimited federal estate tax charitable deduction.

Charitable Gift Annuities

When you are looking for ways to help Midland School with our mission, you shouldn’t feel like you are choosing between your philanthropic goals and financial security. One gift that allows you to support Midland’s work while receiving fixed payments for life is a charitable gift annuity.

Not only does this gift provide you with regular payments and allow us to further our work, but when you create a charitable gift annuity with Midland you can receive a variety of tax benefits, including a federal income tax charitable deduction.

Charitable Remainder Trust

Looking for a way to give Midland a significant gift? If you have built up a sizeable estate and are also looking for ways to receive reliable payments, you may want to check out the advantages of setting up a charitable remainder trust.  A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

Benefits of a charitable remainder trust include:

  • A partial charitable income tax deduction
  • Potential for increased income
  • Up-front capital gains tax avoidance

There are two ways to receive payments with charitable remainder trusts:

  1. The annuity trust pays you, each year, the same dollar amount you choose at the start. Your payments stay the same, regardless of fluctuations in trust investments.
  2. The unitrust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. The amount of your payments is redetermined annually. If the value of the trust increases, so do your payments. If the value decreases, however, so will your payments.