During the 2015-16 school year, in anticipation of this year’s planning process, the Board of Trustees and Head of School Melinda Bihn worked to define the broad topics to address in our next strategic plan: identity, community, student experience, and financial stewardship.
While the Board and school leadership are responsible for developing the plan, it is important to us that members of the school community--students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff--have opportunities to provide perspectives that will shape the plan. Our goal is to identify key strategies in each of these areas by the end of the 2016-17 academic year and to launch our new strategic initiatives in the 2017-18 school year. Please read further for progress in each of our areas of focus. If you have any questions, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Strategic Planning Committee Updates
How can we align the perceptions of our school with our vision for our school?
To understand our community's perception of our school's identity, Neustadt Creative Marketing conducted 22 focus groups and interviews of parents, faculty, staff, students, and trustees in September. With that information, they are formulating a parent survey that will be sent to all parents before the end of the year. In addition, NCM is conducting focus groups of prospective parents, and interviews with 8th Grade Placement Counselors, Preschool Directors and other SF Admission process thought influencers in order to understand how members of the community-at-large view our school.
How can we strengthen our sense of community?
- In October, we conducted 11 parent focus groups attended by a total of 60 parents representing all of the school's divisions--maternelle, lower school, middle school and high school. Additionally, we held two student focus groups involving a total of 28 students from middle and high school. The broad spectrum of parent and student participation provided thoughtful conversation and valuable feedback on what defines our sense of a strong community. Thank you to all who participated in this phase of our community work.
How can we enhance our students' experience?
- On the October in-service day, the entire faculty and staff met to work on our students' experience. Each member of our professional community participated in a brainstorming session on two of the student experience topics--inclusion, equity and justice; the Middle School experience; modern teaching and learning; student support; and urban engagement. Topic co-leaders then met to code the data--that is, to sort the ideas generated in these discussions. We will meet again in topic groups in December and in January to develop for each topic our vision and context, strategic goals, and indicators of success.
Financial Vision and Stewardship
How can we best enable the school to realize our strategic vision and be financially sustainable?
- The committee has identified the key financial questions for our school and is analyzing demographic data that will shape our financial plan for the coming years. As strategic priorities emerge from our planning process, we will integrate these into our financial modeling.