In February 2009, Montgomery School published a Strategic Plan, the contents of which follow...
A Message from the Head of School
We are pleased to share with you the new Strategic Plan for Montgomery School. This plan will guide the School’s progress over the next five years. Montgomery School is at a critical juncture of institutional growth and development. We just celebrated the 20th anniversary of our move to Chester Springs. In 2007, we completed ambitious capital improvements, fully implementing the 2002 Strategic Plan and providing a strong physical infrastructure for fulfilling our mission. This substantial progress enables us to turn our attention to programmatic development.
This plan was developed through the efforts of more than 80 members of the Montgomery School community. At Future Forum I in October 2007, current and past parents, trustees, faculty and staff, students, and members of the broader community convened to identify key themes. Those themes became the guiding principles of this plan. Strategic initiative teams then worked to identify the goals we must achieve to address these guiding principles as well as the resources these achievements would require. Future Forum II in October 2008 allowed members of the community to preview the plan and suggest important additional goals. The Board of Trustees approved the final plan in November 2008.
Each guiding principle of this plan is tied inextricably to our mission of educating students in mind, body, and character. Each guiding principle represents elements of our educational offering that we wish to augment as well as values that we aspire for our students to embrace and demonstrate. And finally, each guiding principle describes an important set of values and behaviors we wish to model for our students and to guide the leadership of our school.
Montgomery School is an independent, co-educational day school serving prekindergarten through grade eight in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. The School is dedicated to the development of each child in mind and body through academics, fine and performing arts, and athletics in an enriching cultural and physical environment. The School is equally committed to the development of each child’s character, with an emphasis on integrity, respect, responsibility, and service to others.
At first glance, this plan may appear modest, organized according to four guiding principles and comprised of 19 goals. Nevertheless, our aspirations are ambitious. As we developed this plan, we recognized that the world we are preparing our students for will be vastly different from the world we live in today. The intertwined forces of rapid technological advances, globalization and multiculturalism, economic volatility and uncertainty, and environmental challenges are shaping the future our students will inherit. Our aspiration is to prepare them not only to thrive in this future, but to make their own unique positive impact upon it. We look forward to working with you in the years ahead to fulfill these goals and to taking the steps outlined in this plan. We want to ensure the vitality of Montgomery School so it can continue to prepare students for lives of purpose and positive impact.
Strategic Plan: The Goals
Balance & Integration
The tenets of balance and integration are central to our mission of preparing students to seek and achieve balance among mind, body, and character. We will enhance our curriculum to reinforce integration across academic disciplines, helping students make connections across subject areas as well as within and outside the classroom. This will enrich students’ learning experiences and hone their ability to balance rational thought and analysis with intuition and creativity.
- Further develop integration across academic disciplines to help students gain a fuller understanding of what they are learning, strengthen their abilities to recognize and predict patterns, and hone their rational and creative capabilities.
- Maximize opportunities for creativity in all students by ensuring a strong performing and fine arts program and incorporating the arts throughout the curriculum.
- More fully integrate technology into teaching and learning, while modeling responsible use of technology.
- Place an increased emphasis in the curriculum on health, nutrition, fitness and wellness, and their importance to a full and well-balanced life, while specifically focusing on adolescent physical and social development.
- Enrich the extracurricular program with broad offerings during and outside of school hours, encouraging participation across grade levels.
Stewardship & Sustainability
Montgomery School’s many resources include a 60-acre campus rich in facilities, a strong faculty and staff, and a loyal community. The School is committed to being a good steward of these assets by carefully optimizing their use, adopting responsible environmental practices, and fulfilling our mission through prudent and sustainable fiscal management. Through these efforts, we will model these guiding principles for our students as an important component of their overall learning experience.
- Ensure financial sustainability by maximizing enrollment through strong recruitment and retention practices.
- Increase philanthropic giving to Montgomery School to support program enhancements and seed an endowment over time.
- Actively steward our campus and facilities, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and “green” practices.
- Provide an expanded environmental curriculum.
- Invest in our faculty by ensuring opportunities for professional development and growth.
- Optimize use of current space in support of curricular initiatives for academics, fine and performing arts, and athletics.
Diversity & Inclusiveness
Montgomery School recognizes that to prepare students for lives of purpose and positive impact in the 21st century, we must overtly address and embrace diversity and inclusiveness. Our students will be living, learning, and working in diverse and multicultural environments, and we must help them develop the respect for and openness to difference that these environments increasingly will require. To do this, we need to build a more diverse and multicultural community.
- Develop and integrate a global and multicultural curriculum to prepare our students to be engaged citizens in a multicultural world. Our curriculum will include enhanced foreign language offerings, emphasize current events, and provide an understanding of the diverse history, traditions, and cultures of the world.
- Attract and retain a more diverse student body through aggressive use of outreach, marketing, and financial aid.
- Attract and retain a more diverse faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees through candidate identification, recruitment, and retention practices.
- Offer personal and professional development programs for all community members on diversity and multiculturalism.
Community & Citizenship
In keeping with our mission of providing a character-based education, we will be a community that models good citizenship and service to others. We will more closely integrate community service with our educational program inside and outside the classroom, and we will engage our students and institution more deeply with the larger community.
- Further integrate community service within the student experience, inside and outside the classroom.
- Share the School’s campus and leadership with other organizations to make a positive contribution to the larger community.
- Develop an integrated, web-centric communication strategy that streamlines communication and uses appropriate vehicles.
- Create a parent education program with offerings to the wider community.
The Bridge to Implementation
Achieving these goals over the next five years will require a broad range of resources including additional funding, staffing, professional development, volunteers, library and technology assets, and in some cases, policies and plans to set direction.
The commitment and involvement of every member of the Montgomery School community will be required to achieve these goals:
- The Board of Trustees will need to establish policy and strategic direction on such areas as an updated Campus Master Plan and a commitment to diversity. Trustees will need to set the strategy for augmenting the Annual Fund and seeding an endowment.
- The Head of School and administrative team will be charged with implementing the plan. Implementation will involve almost all administrative functions including enrollment management, outreach and marketing, financial aid, development, facilities management, and recruitment and retention.
- Division heads and faculty will need to develop and integrate cross-disciplinary programs and enhanced programs in such areas as community service, foreign languages, and the arts.
- Current and past parents, alumni, and friends will need to commit financial and volunteer resources to fund and staff programs, serve as advocates and ambassadors for the School, and invest in its long-term success.