2012 Strategic Plan
today. tomorrow. together.
BROOKWOOD SCHOOL 2012 STRATEGIC PLAN BROOKWOOD SCHOOL 2012 STRATEGIC PLAN
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS………………………. 2 M
TATEMENT anISSION overview of the process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
VERARCHING OAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mission statement
DUCATIONAL goal ROGRAM overarching ...................................
NSTITUTIONALprogram USTAINABILITY educational ...............................
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ACILITIES sustainability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . institutional
ONCLUSION facilities ..............................................
conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS
This Strategic Plan is the result of eighteen months of the collective efforts of many members of the Brookwood community. The planning process began with the formation of a Strategic Planning Committee led by Brookwood Trustees Pat Zonnenberg and Jurrien Timmer and comprised of members of the Board and the administration. Soon after, we began the planning with two brainstorming retreats, one with the senior administration of the school and the other with the full Brookwood Board of Trustees. While reaffirming Brookwood’s Mission Statement and core values, these two retreats focused on identifying strategic opportunities. Through surveys and workshops, faculty and parents then assessed and affirmed these strategic focus areas. The information gathered through the assessment process informed and confirmed the direction of the 2012 Strategic Plan. Subsequently, the Board formed six committees (using the members of the Board of Trustees, Brookwood’s senior administrative team, and all Parents’ Association officers) to explore further each strategic opportunity. Committees formed were: Enrollment Marketing, Branding, Affordability and Financial Aid, Global Education, Renewable Resources and Facilities, and Community Partnerships. These committees met throughout the 2010-11 school year, and each was asked to explore its respective strategic opportunity through the “lenses” of Affordability, Differentiation, Diversity, Innovation, and Institutional Sustainability. In some cases, the “lenses,” or one of them, evolved into more of a focus than was the initial strategic opportunity. At the conclusion of this process, the committees presented recommendations to the Board in June of 2011. Over the course of the summer of 2011, the committee recommendations were examined and condensed into the following strategic planning document. This plan begins with an overarching goal that is intended to provide philosophical direction for institutional thinking and decision-making in the next several years. Relevant strategic direction is then provided for three major areas of the school herein; each section is comprised of a general goal, followed by more specific goals and potential implementation strategies.
BROOKWOOD MISSION STATEMENT
Brookwood is a warm, child-centered community of exuberant learners with an unparalleled commitment to both the development of the mind and the development of the self. Through a distinctive balance of challenge and encouragement, the school fosters excellent lifelong habits of scholarship and instills deep respect for others and a healthy sense of self. Ultimately, Brookwood strives to graduate academically accomplished individuals of conscience, character, and compassion.
EDUCATING FOR THE FUTURE: OUR OVERARCHING GOAL
Taking all aspects cumulatively, the overarching goal of this Strategic Plan is to develop an academic program and learning environment based on innovative, researched-based practice and decision-making and, thereby, to achieve increased institutional distinction and differentiation for Brookwood.
Rationale: The development of this new Strategic Plan comes at a critical time in the history of education, of independent schools, and of Brookwood. Underlying all of the inquiry, deliberation, discussion, and decisionmaking involved in this plan was an acute awareness that the world is changing at a pace faster than any one mind or organization can match, and that great educational enterprises must now prepare students for a world they must imagine, but cannot possibly know. Additionally, we recognized that economic and regional demographic realities have created a market environment in which only those schools that effectively differentiate themselves from others will thrive. These two realities combined and gave rise to an assertion that the cultivation of a forward-thinking and creative institutional mindset, as well as a bias toward programmatic innovation, must underlie all initiatives arising from this plan; the engendering of innovative, research-based practice and decision-making are the highest explicit and implicit priorities in this plan for Brookwood, while a deeper and more informed commitment to sustainability on the part of the institution and increased emphasis on developing technological literacy will necessarily underlie and attend this thinking and practice.
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM GOAL: As Brookwood continues to aspire to academic excellence, we seek to enhance and augment innovative practice at the school even as we sustain the academic rigor we prize. Metaphorically, we seek to enlarge our classrooms, to “take down the walls of Brookwood,” and toward that end, three initiatives have been identified: (A) Intensify global education efforts Rationale: While borders and boundaries still exist between states, countries, and continents, changes in both technology and transportation have rendered those divides less important than is our profound global interconnectedness. We know almost instantly when scientific achievement, tragedy, economic turbulence, or revolution occurs a world away. And we know that what happens in Japan, Louisiana, Libya, or Egypt will ultimately impact us here, just as it has our new-age “neighbors.” We know that this interconnectedness will demand of our students a fund of knowledge different from that required of us (greater emphasis on the non-Western world); a range of literacies (technology and/or world language proficiency) we had less need for; an updated set of skills – both academic (evaluating the legitimacy of ever-proliferating sources of information) and interpersonal (problem-solving, creative, collaborative skills); and a kind of attitudinal flexibility, adaptability, open-mindedness, and resilience most of us have never had to call on. The development of cultural competency skills and an increased emphasis on all aspects of global awareness and literacy are essential.
(B) Establish an increased number of meaningful institutional partnerships and alliances Rationale: Establishing strategic partnerships and alliances can serve a number of goals in this plan. While elementary school-aged children may not be old enough to travel the globe in person, they can become more familiar with the people and places of the Earth through global alliances and exchanges. The North Shore and Boston offer a plethora of institutions and museums that can deeply enrich our science and history curricula, providing both expertise and experiential options for teachers. Opportunities for service learning abound in the area. Alliances with noteworthy institutions and cutting edge global exchanges can only serve to further differentiate Brookwood from its peer schools. Guidelines: Strategic alliances and partnerships at Brookwood should logically serve one of the following five goals: • Educational: To serve the curricular objectives, philosophy, and mission of the school, one of which is to promote global citizenship. • Cultural Competence: To provide for a greater multi-cultural/global experience for our students; to serve the global education efforts of the school. • Service Learning: To provide and promote service to both internal and external communities (our school, other schools, towns, villages, countries, our world). • Economic Value: (both directly and indirectly) to determine means through our partnerships and programs by which to generate additional revenue, create cost savings and/or to provide other financial services for the school. • Recognition: To broaden and/or enhance Brookwood’s name recognition - to differentiate Brookwood from its peer schools.
(C) Expand student opportunities for experiential, “real-world” problem-solving Rationale: We know that being prepared for this world will mean cultivating and adopting an ever more nimble approach to programmatic opportunity, while maintaining a structure and skill development continuum appropriate to elementary and middle school-aged children; in order to cultivate that same nimble quality and creative thinking in our students, we need a more pronounced experiential methodological approach, more “real-world” opportunities, and less traditional classroom time. We will need to focus not only on learning how to access knowledge but also learning how to use it. It will mean more multi-disciplinary and multi-grade endeavors, more choice for students in all aspects of program and daily life, and more active service learning. It will mean a greater emphasis on real problem-solving and less emphasis on content coverage. Attention to the development of technological literacy, as well as to acquiring and maintaining the technological instruments necessary for carrying out these strategies, is an implicit but emphatic goal.
INSTITUTIONAL SUSTAINABILITY GOAL: In recent years, the uncertainty and insecurity engendered by the last recession has made us all question the long-term vitality of our cherished institutions. Independent schools, Brookwood among them, are not immune to the effects of a tumultuous economy. More than ever, the school needs to plan with long-term institutional sustainability in mind. Given current economic and demographic conditions, to focus on Brookwoodâ€™s financial and operational sustainability through four specific avenues: (A) Affordability Rationale: The future financial stability of Brookwood School is most directly affected by enrollment. Given the current and projected state of the economy, Brookwood must continue to find ways to make the school more affordable for a larger constituency. Creating a more affordable school while maintaining faculty compensation and a commitment to ongoing programmatic excellence is critical to our future success.
(B) Non-tuition based income Rationale: Currently, about 80 percent of Brookwood’s revenues are derived from tuition, which means salary or other expenses are most directly dependent on enrollment. Approximately 13 percent of Brookwood’s revenues is derived from endowment income, Annual Fund, Parents’ Association contributions and related business income (RBI). To the extent that endowment income and income from other sources (particularly RBI) can cover a greater percentage of expenses, the school can be less dependent on tuition increases to cover any expense increases. (C) Marketing Rationale: Maintaining an enrollment of highly qualified students is critical to Brookwood’s future and mission. Due to the number of excellent public, independent, charter, and parochial elementary schools on the North Shore, the school must increase its marketing efforts to continue to differentiate itself among its peers. (D) Commitment to current Brookwood families Rationale: Our current parents remain our highest priority. Brookwood recognizes the commitment our current families are making in order to attend Brookwood, and we will make every effort to support their choice through increased communication, parent education, transportation options, and, if needed, financial aid.
FACILITY GOAL: To create an environment that inspires and facilitates both learning and innovative programming through the creation of more open, flexible spaces that can accommodate multiple purposes and teaching methodologies. (A) Renovation and upgrade of athletic facilities Rationale: Brookwoodâ€™s athletic offerings are hampered by the current state of its facilities. The condition of our playing fields is untenable. They are frequently unusable due to poor drainage and their condition consequently inhibits full functioning of both our physical education and athletic programs, as well as our after-school program. Our locker rooms are poorly laid out, unventilated, separated from the athletic offices and therefore hard to supervise. Both the condition of the fields and the position of the bathrooms within the locker rooms preclude renting our fields with facilities, limiting RBI opportunities. Brookwood will need to invest in our athletic fields and locker room facilities if we wish to further advance, or even sustain, our competitive athletic program.
(B) Redesign and renovation of Lower School Rationale: Learning to read, learning to get along, and indeed, learning how to learn are tasks that mark each personal journey for our Lower School students, and their classrooms need to reflect that. By having spaces that are flexible, age-appropriate, and sized to meet both child and program demands, we allow students and teachers an increased variety of methodological choices, and choices that reflect varying tasks and varying goals. We know that diverse approaches to education are necessary for the success of students in a contemporary society. Small groups, large groups, and individual work and attention are all required to fully implement the rich academic program we provide. The present configuration, with its adult-height counters and bulletin boards, reflect a time when children stayed seated and focused on a single instructor. But preparing even the youngest students for the challenges they will face in the future requires the kind of collaborative skills that are impossible to teach in a static, teacher-centered environment. (C) Rebuild Moniz Dining Room with second floor expansion Rationale: Our current dining room does not meet the needs of our community and has limited use for anything other than meals. Cramped space requires seriously inconvenient scheduling of lunch times and poor flow of students navigating the lunch lines; the crowding works against the goals of our school curriculum, among them the engendering of civility in our students. The small kitchen was designed to serve 100 fewer students than it now serves. The eating area is tired and worn and neither reflects the schoolâ€™s vibrant atmosphere, nor matches the quality of its other appealing spaces. A new Moniz Dining Room would address these needs and offer the opportunity to create a second floor consisting of a multipurpose, flexible space to meet more broad-ranging program needs. Any new building offers opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability. While we recognize that practical considerations may ultimately constrain certain undertakings, the decision to pursue LEED certification should nevertheless be considered on all future projects; in any case, it is possible to capture the beneficial effects of sustainable building practice without being certified, and it is our intention to be true to guidelines consistent with best practice standards for environmentally responsible construction.
CONCLUSION CONCLUSION The purpose of this document is to provide broad strategic directions to the administration of the school, charged with the implementation of those directions; the Board of Trustees monitors and ensures that implementation occurs effectively. This Strategic Plan demonstrates a clear institutional commitment to moving forward with gusto; while current demographic and economic realities might engender institutional inertia, Brookwoodâ€™s embrace of the strategic
Finally, it is important to note that implicit in the process of strategic planning and in the results thereof is an institutional commitment to moving forward with gusto; while current demographic and economic realities might premiere independent school on the North Shore. engender a kind of institutional inertia, Brookwoodâ€™s embrace of the strategic directions outlined herein is ample evidence of its vigor, optimism, intention and ability to continue be a premiere independent school option on the North Shore. directions outlined herein is ample evidence of its vigor, optimism, intention and ability to continue to be a
Today. Tomorrow. Together.
Today. Tomorrow. Together.
BROOKWOOD SCHOOL One Brookwood Road, Manchester, MA 01944 Copyright, Brookwood School 2012