As we round the corner into the final weeks of school, it is a chance to update you on the important work of our new strategic plan that is almost complete. After a year of work involving parents, alumni, students, and staff, our Board of Governors will be finalizing and ratifying our next five-year plan at its annual June board meeting. It has been an involved process with twists and turns, as we have wrestled with the priorities and principles to preserve and uphold our school’s relevance in a time of global challenge and change. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this tremendous effort that will chart our course for years to come.
When I reflect on our previous plan, I can’t help but be thankful (…and a bit surprised!) by what we have accomplished. While there is always more to be done, our school has taken a bold step into the future and delivered on the last plan’s primary enabling task of “renewing and creating learning spaces that inspire”. We developed a plan to retire the former “west wing” and eliminate aging and inadequate spaces on our campus. We delivered a comprehensive campus master plan (a first for Matthews Hall!) and we focused on our commitment to ensuring our students and teachers have the best facilities in which to learn. Our multi-year, multi-phase plan still propels our efforts today, as we anticipate a growing preschool, future arts block and, ultimately, a student dining hall. I have no doubt that Matthews Hall will accomplish these ambitious goals with hard work and determination.
While the investigation, planning, and fund-raising for new construction have been vital to “future-proofing” our school, our soon-to-be-released plan will have new and significant insights and goals to serve our students. Our roadmap for the future will also include an updated mission statement with refreshed core values to reflect our school’s 105 year commitment to providing an experience that is different, better, and special. Our new plan will preserve the best elements of the past and embrace the future with optimism and pragmatism.
As we finish a full month, you can be assured that our plan for the future of our school will be published and promulgated in time for a new year of learning at Matthews Hall. Our new plan, once adopted, will guide our work in the classroom and in the boardroom. It will be our roadmap to responsibility and accountability on behalf of the students and families we serve.
If Kate Matthews were to visit, it is also important to note that she will still recognize the school she founded – a school in which children are taught to live “sanely and happily with contemporaries, learning to face life bravely and with joy, whatever it may bring”.
Appreciating the past, the present, and the future at once is vital in the life of any good school. Our new strategic plan will be the kaleidoscope that helps us to do just that.
And the colours and patterns we will see will be the symbols of change and growth in harmony with childhood and the world around us.
Debeo, Possum, Volo!
Ric Anderson, Head of School