Dear Frederica Academy Family and Prospective Stakeholders,
Healthy schools recognize the importance of being prepared for the future by planning with creativity and collective vision. The challenges of operating an independent day school have become increasingly complex with each passing year. A wide range of external and internal factors requires an institution to reexamine periodically its mission and goals. External factors vary from evolving technologies, the economic climate, demographics, societal values, family demands, and even the recent pandemic. Internal demands include the financial state of a school, a school’s ability to attract and retain excellent administrators, faculty, and staff; the affordability of tuition; and the depth and breadth of programs.
A strategic plan enables a school community to reaffirm its priorities and to reassess its needs and strengths. Those involved in the planning scrutinize each facet of school life and determine where and how improvements might be made. A strategic plan is a document to guide the Board of Trustees and the administration as they continue to identify appropriate and impactful goals and strategies for the school’s future.
This strategic plan is the cumulative result of more than a few streams of suggestions, both formal and informal. A Board-appointed ad hoc committee, comprised of Board and Leadership Team members, served as the central group through which all ideas were presented and vetted. Work began with Leadership Team and Board retreats last summer before engaging the entire faculty and staff and the parent body with the Strategic Plan survey earlier this year. The Board’s Strategic Planning Committee and the Leadership Team carefully reviewed the survey results to identify themes that could be incorporated into the draft plan; and from that analysis and those conversations, a plan was presented to the full Board for final approval and adoption.
The final document is structured to reflect three critical and distinct elements of our school’s plan going forward.
The Stewardship portion of the plan identifies best practices that must occur consistently in the daily operations of the school. Those practices anchor the school’s policies and programs and form the bedrock of our culture.
The Action portion of the plan identifies sixteen specific initiatives or special events that are essential for the continued growth and development of the school. The timeline for these initiatives, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, was one year. That timeline is being revisited in the context of a better understanding of the pandemic’s duration.
The third portion of the plan is the Vision segment, and that identifies initiatives to be begun and hopefully completed within the 2-4 year range.
In each case for all three parts, the specific responsibility for managing the completion of the initiative is identified in the plan; in general, most of the work to implement the plan falls to the Leadership Team and the Head of School, who will periodically report to the Board on the work progress.
On behalf of all those who collaborated to create this 2020 Strategic Plan, I invite you to peruse the document and become acquainted with its contents. It will serve as a blueprint for institutional growth at Frederica Academy going forward.
Scott L. Hutchinson, Head of School