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CFS, The School at Church Farm

Strategic Plan 20114

Dear Friends of CFS,


The School at Church Farm 2011 Board of Directors Mark T. Carroll, Chairman and President Stephen A. Loney ‘97, Secretary Richard H. Gherst II, Treasurer The Rev. Edmund K. Sherrill II, Head of School Samuel H. Ballam, III Rt. Rev. Charles Bennison, Jr. Gregory W. Coleman

In January of 2010, The CFS Board of Directors appointed a task force with the charge to develop a strategic plan for the School and its immediate future. In February 2010 that task force began using two primary tools to insure all constituencies of the School community would be involved: first, a series of electronic surveys was sent to each School constituency (faculty/staff, students, parents, alumni, and Board of Directors) and, second, a working retreat involving selected members of each constituency was held at School in April 2010. Facilitated by an outside consultant, participants at the retreat reviewed results of the surveys and sketched out possible responses. At the conclusion to the retreat, the consultant summarized findings in a report and offered a series of written recommendations the task force considered at its May 2010 meeting. By June of 2010, the task force had collected a body of information from which it could draw direction and identify principal points of interest, leading concerns, and critical issues voiced by the community. Over a series of subsequent meetings, this resource helped the task force distill, articulate, and prioritize several major goals it believes the School should pursue as most beneficial to the School’s future and around which action steps and time lines could be developed. In January 2011, the task force completed its work and submitted this plan to the CFS Board of Directors, who approved it in its current form.

Samuel B. Cupp, Jr. Stephen Darby Kermit S. Eck Sally N. Graham John Pickering Robert G. Rogers, Jr. Cannie C. Shafer James Tate ‘52 Jacques Vauclain

Certainly, there are many areas of interest any institution might address in and through a strategic plan, yet for the sake of clarity and focus such a plan can only highlight a few important objectives at a time. The objectives in this document have been identified by the task force as crucial to CFS at this moment in the School’s history. They will be further refined into actionable steps and timelines with subsequent and regular monitoring offered under the guidance and leadership of CFS administration and Board committees. Essential to this plan is the distinctive quality of our founding vision and the mission that has long served boys of ability and promise who have sought the kind of opportunity a great School like CFS provides. The consistent and generous tuition underwriting that CFS has historically provided families with little financial means is unique and worthy of every effort to maintain in the future. Throughout its deliberations, the task force spoke to the tremendous dedication the vast majority of persons in our community have to see that this noble purpose continues to be fulfilled in a modern context. While the mission statement may find a different iteration from time to time, the task force affirms and celebrates

the historic vision CFS has pursued in serving a portion of society that otherwise might be overlooked and underserved in independent schooling. Around this central purpose are other goals seeking to promote the very best in a well-rounded educational offering within our academic, residential, athletic and extra-curricular programs. We are first and foremost an academic institution, yet we live and learn together on a wonderful campus and within a rich and diverse community. We acknowledge and celebrate both the community we have become and campus we occupy as dynamic assets we wish to successfully, openly, and collaboratively engage as we nurture and raise boys for the 21st century. We understand that they can do so best in a multiplicity of ways that we wish to continue exploring, including greater attention to experiential learning outside the formal walls of a classroom. Where and whenever possible, we seek to promote and strengthen the leadership, responsibility, and willingness to serve that CFS graduates will carry with them into the world. Finally, and faithfully, we continue to seek and invite God’s blessing on our continuing work and opportunity to serve this mission here in our beautiful corner of creation.

The Reverend Edmund K. Sherrill II Head of School

Mr. Mark T. Carroll CFS Board of Directors, Chair


CFS Strategic Planning Task Force Bart Bronk ’96, Director of Admission

Pamela Long P ‘11

Mark Carroll P ’00, ’01, Board of Directors

Ken Rodgers P ’09, ’10, Director of Academic Affairs

Todd Elliott ‘80

Cannie Shafer, Board of Directors

Heather Farrell, Faculty

Ned Sherrill, Head of School

Dick Gherst, Board of Directors

Chuck Watterson, Director of Residential Life

Carol Houck, Administrative Staff

Strategic Plan 2011 Goals 4


Be uniquely diverse and financially accessible CFS has changed since its founding in student composition, yet has remained constant in terms of mission outreach. We affirm the wonderfully diverse community we have become and look to strengthen this unique and compelling asset in an increasing global community of cultural exchange and learning. We affirm our unique financial model, building upon this heritage, that has met the needs of others—particularly those boys who for lack of financial means might not have the educational opportunity CFS provides.

4 Restate and affirm the School’s mission • Educate boys of ability and promise in grades 7-12 • Maintain a commitment to the underserved boy • Retain single-parent households as a primary target • Include families able to afford partial tuition levels • Allow for some percentage of “full pay” students • Identify and maintain an appropriate balance of day students

4 Recruit and nurture a community that is ethnically, racially, and socially diverse

4 Hire, develop, and retain a highly qualified faculty and staff

4 Ensure that the Board of Directors has an appropriate mix of experience, commitment, and resources to advance the school over the next ten years


Provide a college preparatory, experiential education within a residential community CFS is a boarding school intending to provide a safe, secure, and enriching learning environment in which all members of the community have a responsible role in the learning that takes place both in and outside of the classroom. We look for that learning to be meaningful, engaging, and available within the best practices of 21st century learning initiatives and the communities within which we will grow.

4 Build 21st century learning experiences

in and outside the classroom • Strengthen the curriculum, particularly in science, technology and math • Examine refinements and alternatives to the current academic schedule • Encourage greater opportunities for internships

4 Develop curricular offerings in environmental awareness and sustainability

4 Examine classroom facilities and needs to accommodate 21st century goals • Consolidate the fine arts program within existing structures

4 Evaluate, refine and strengthen the

advisor program according to NAIS best practices

4 Require and support regular professional development programs for faculty 4 Enhance the residential aspects of the

CFS experience • Merge the academic and cottage faculties • Plan for on-campus housing suitable for faculty families • Refine the residential curriculum to augment non-academic learning • Renovate or replace existing cottages and build new ones where necessary • Divest off-campus housing in an orderly manner

4 Continue traditional focus on athletics for fitness, leadership and teamwork


Foster a collaborative and open culture In the information age and a rapidly changing global culture, CFS desires to involve all members of the school community in understanding, developing, and promoting its educational mission and financial model. We desire that all associated with us and our program will be profoundly proud and passionate about the School and its mission.

4 Expand opportunities for all

constituencies to be aware of and provide input to the decision-making process

4 Develop better systems for regular

communications and knowledge sharing

4 Employ best practices for collaborative learning across disciplines

4 Encourage greater school pride and

bonding through rituals, special projects and tradition sharing



Inspire spirituality and a commitment to service and sustainability True to its roots in the Episcopal Church and contemporary character, CFS seeks to remain hospitable to a diversity of thought over the most profound questions of imagination and experience. Maintaining a robust spiritual program that places the needs of others alongside if not ahead of self-interest will provide any community member vital intellectual resources and moral strength to address seen and unforeseen challenges. Environmental sustainability and the ethics of our responsibility to the natural resources of our campus and the planet are essential to our program.

4Enhance the chapel program and

common worship • Develop creative programs that explore human meaning and purpose, ethics and moral values, and the great religions of the world • Embrace a multi-faith perspective within a Christian/Episcopal setting

4Expand and promote community

service and related work • Define the school’s commitment to service in graduation or annual requirements

4Increase our commitment to

environmental sustainability • Pursue the most efficient energy management and procurement systems • Make conservation/recycling/energy management part of the everyday life of the community

Expand our financial resources to perpetuate the mission


We celebrate the many blessings provided by our current endowment for they are unique and wonderful. We aim to repay our great debt to past generations by doing our part today to assure the vitality of this resource and its growth so that the promise of our mission might be continually fulfilled in changing and challenging economic circumstances.

4Assure that all constituencies

understand and support our great mission and history of giving

4Revive our culture of asking and giving

• Enhance the annual fund with the Board of Directors in a leadership role • Expand support from alumni, parents, faculty and staff • Develop and implement plans for major gifts and planned giving

4Achieve and maintain an effective endowment spending policy

4Prepare for a capital campaign to increase endowment and improve our academic, residential and athletic facilities

4Explore opportunities to use our facilities to increase revenue and improve community relations

4Expand our public relations and external communications profile

4Manage the school enrollment for the

most efficient use of facilities and staff commensurate with the mission and our financial capacity

While the mission statement may find a different iteration from time to time, the task force affirms and celebrates the historic vision CFS has pursued in serving a portion of society that otherwise might be overlooked and underserved in independent schooling.


The School at Church Farm 1001 East Lincoln Highway, Exton, PA 19341 610.363.7500

Strategic Plan 2011  

The Strategic Plan for 2011 for CFS, The School at Church Farm.

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