As we step boldly into spring this week (…27°C!!), we are busily enjoying everything that comes with the return of pleasant weather in schools – time outdoors, track & field, gala events, and springtime traditions. We hope that your son or daughter feels rejuvenated in class and on the playground. For teachers, administrators, and the Board of Governors (who love the warm weather, too!), we have been enjoying the present, while also thinking about the future – next week, next year, and next decade!
Over the past year, you have been hearing about the development of our school’s roadmap for the future or strategic plan. Since last spring, we have been working with a variety of stakeholders to properly understand the “focus” of our small 105-year-old school. In a world of information overload with one distraction after another, it requires clarity and focus to achieve anything valuable. Our strategic planning efforts, which are nearing completion, are helping us do just that.
Like individuals, schools have all sorts of different priorities that are brought to their attention every day, but to be truly effective, a school like Matthews Hall must have a clear sense of direction and purpose. Our strategic planning committee, comprised of governors, parents (past and present), teachers, alumni, and school leaders is currently developing the tactical plans that will allow our school to move forward into the next several years with purpose, pragmatism, and vision. This phase of our work is the second-to-last step before our plan is reviewed and presented to the Board of Governors for ratification. We are almost there!
It’s easy for governors, principals, school administrators, teachers, parents, and other members of a school community to lose sight of the big picture in the day-to-day demands that compete for our time and distract us. A future-focused strategic plan will help us lift our vision from the present and keep our focus on the things that matter most. Following the disruption of a global pandemic, our strategic visioning is more important now than ever. In an increasingly busy and “noisy” world, the focus to which we commit will be critical because it is not possible to be everything to everyone.
What are some of the emerging themes in our next strategic plan and why are they important? One is certainly evolution. Our school has evolved and continues to evolve in response to the needs and priorities of the children and families we serve. As we complete this important strategic work, we will be adopting a new mission statement supported by refined core values that will inspire and remind us of the core purpose of our school. This will allow us to envision the Matthews Hall of tomorrow, while serving children creatively for today.
Academics, Student Life, Community, Campus, and the Strength and Permanence of Matthews Hall will all be reflected in our exciting new plan for the future, as the tactical planning for our strategic priorities are finalized.
When we unveil our new strategic plan in a few months, we will have a road map to guide, inspire, and unite our community, keeping the focus on what matters, and preparing governors, teachers, students, and parents to be principled agents of care in a world of challenge and change.
A small elementary school may not be able to change the world, but we can do small things with great care – and that just might make all the difference.
Debeo Possum Volo!
Ric Anderson, Head of School