About a year ago, a group of trustees, parents, faculty, and administrators set out to create a new strategic plan that would provide comprehensive direction for our school over the next five or so years. A draft was developed last winter and went through a number of revisions until receiving final approval from our Board early this fall.
The first section of the plan focuses on Program & Pedagogy. Our overall policy goal is to “further emphasize academic excellence and high expectations for each student through employing powerful teaching strategies, current educational research, up-to-date technology, and a broad spectrum of offerings.” To reach this goal, we plan to expand differentiated instruction at all grade levels for both ends of the ability range. We will evaluate the curriculum looking for opportunities to increase depth of content while balancing breadth. We will strengthen our programs in values, athletics, community service, life skills, and media literacy while seeking to create other non-academic instruction to develop the whole child. In addition, we will increase faculty collaboration on cross-curricular lessons, multi-grade level interactions, and integration of skills.
Related to the section entitled “Students & Family,” we will further pursue improved ways of welcoming all families to our school community and formalize support systems for students entering all grade levels. Additionally, we will explore more frequent opportunities and varied formats for parent feedback. We will seek to educate the parent body on curriculum and social issues, the school’s finances, and the role of the Board of Trustees. We have already begun implementing Lower School clubs and expanding and reorganizing Upper School co-curricular activities.
The section “Faculty & Staff” emphasizes the overall goal of recruiting and retaining “top talent while sustaining a culture of growth and innovation.” We intend to continue to emphasize a positive work environment, expand professional development opportunities, and seek additional ways to have the faculty and administration reflect the diversity of our community. Also, we will regularly assess overall compensation relative to targets set by the Board.
For the section entitled “Enrollment Management & Marketing,” the general goal is to “seek full enrollment across all grades to support the mission, vision, and philosophy of the school.” “Physical Plant & Facility” seeks to “provide a welcoming and secure environment to support and enhance the quality of learning.” The section devoted to “Finance & Development” sets as an overall goal identifying “new sources of capital and prioritizing use of resources while keeping the school operationally sustainable, the budget balanced, and the tuition moderate.”
I urge you to explore the whole document and feel free to contact me with any questions you have. This plan will create The Country School’s next chapter. I look forward to guiding the school’s further development and refinement as we continue to ensure that our children “Start Right Here.”