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Morristown-Beard School A COEDUCATIONAL INDEPENDENT SCHOOL FOR GRADES SIX THROUGH TWELVE

2010

Strategic Plan FINAL REPORT


2010-2011 BOARD OF TRUSTEES M. Thomas Conway, President Michael Ranger, Vice President Katherine Rohrer, Vice President John Taylor, Treasurer Richard Markee, Secretary

John Adams Penny B. Boorman ’51 Patrick Burke ’84 Mary-Ellen Campbell (Honorary) John M. Egan John F. Fay Linda S. George David V.H. Hedley ’64 (Honorary) Allan P. Kirby, Jr. ’49 (Honorary) Sheila Klehm Michael Magner Betsy Patterson John Peirano Debra Roth Lee Kellogg Sadrian ’89 Barbara Sandelands Donnell A. Segalas Haleh Shafaie Joseph Stefani ’81 Monya Taylor ’88 Siobhan A. Teare ’77

STRATEGIC PL AN COMMITTEE

Bruce Adams

Hillary Nastro

John Adams

Henry Kean ‘10

Tracey Barrett Jack Bartholomew

Sheila Klehm Rose Koch

Helen Bonner

Lauren Lentine

Penny Boorman ‘51

Richard Markee

Patrick Burke ‘84 Darren Burns Alison Cady Noreen Cassidy Tom Conway

Ridie Markenson John Mascaro Rob Mead Jodie Miller Rob Mitchell

Alex Curtis

Jen Osburn

Holly Darby

John Peirano

Aline de la Torre

Stephanie Puchalski

Andie Deventer

Michael Ranger

David Doyle Joanne Dzama John Egan John Farhat John Fay Austin Fernandez‘12

Roger Richard Kathy Rohrer Debi Roth Lee Sadrian ‘89 Barbara Sandelands Don Segalas

Larch Fidler

Haleh Shafaie

Paul Fisher

Susie Speidel

Edward Franz

Joe Stefani ‘81

Linda George

Jaime Summers ‘11

Ezra Gottlieb

Jenna Sumner

Cyndy Hamilton

John Taylor

Tim Hannigan

Siobhan Teare ‘77

Mark Hartman

Christal Vivanco ‘11


Morristown-Beard School 2010 STRATEGIC PLAN Final Report

I. Curriculum Objective: Over the next five years, Morristown-Beard School will strengthen its commitment, in all departments, to a student-centered, skills-grounded curriculum characterized by methodologies of engagement and with an emphasis on critical thinking as articulated in its Curricular Philosophy.

IMPLEMENTATION: Conduct a systemic and systematic review of existing practices in order to further this ongoing transformation. Establish standards to hold departments and personnel accountable for implementation of the Curricular Philosophy, together with appropriate means of evaluation and review. Increase institutional support for professional development opportunities aimed at implementing the Curricular Philosophy, stressing skills in critical thinking and technology. Evaluate and revise as needed the daily schedule and calendar in order to serve the implementation of the Curricular Philosophy. Establish conditions supportive of interdisciplinary efforts wherever feasible. Continue to seek ways to enhance the Learning Center’s work with students and faculty. Intensify efforts to integrate writing in all disciplines, including the possibility of creating a writing center. Integrate global perspectives, including sustainability awareness and practices, into the curriculum wherever possible.

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Morristown-Beard School 2010 Strategic Plan


II. Technology Objective: Over the next five years, MBS will act purposively to identify, investigate and implement technologies to advance the School’s mission and curricular goals, recognizing that technology is a pedagogical means and not an end in itself. IMPLEMENTATION: Research and examine pedagogically sound forms of technology for classroom deployment in all disciplines. Provide adequate resources, staffing and technological infrastructure to ensure seamless integration of technologies in MBS classrooms and other teaching areas, stressing the furtherance of curricular objectives. Commit to the appropriate forms of professional development to ensure that investments in technology are put to productive use. Investigate the possibility of using Wilkie Hall as a locus of digital communication and curriculum.

Morristown-Beard School 2010 Strategic Plan

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Morristown-Beard School 2010 Strategic Plan


III. Sustainability Objective: Over the next five years, MBS will strive to make sustainability a key ingredient of the MBS experience, involving the entire School community, and realized in our curriculum, daily operations and physical plant.

IMPLEMENTATION: Obtain a current baseline value for our carbon footprint and waste/recycling; set measurable, attainable goals; define plans for specific areas of investigation; deploy, monitor progress, and refine. Integrate sustainability issues into current curricular offerings and investigate the creation of new courses, potentially cross-curricular, to further this goal. Seek out service-learning opportunities within advisories to support school-wide sustainability efforts. Within the constraints of our existing plant, strive to implement green practices and enhance recycling initiatives. Commit to ensure that all future building projects follow best practices whenever possible with respect to energy efficiency, solar and renewable energies, natural light and fresh air. Begin investigating a state-of-the-art green science/math facility.

Morristown-Beard School 2010 Strategic Plan

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IV. Accessibility Objective: Over the next five years MBS will strengthen its commitment to accessibility in the broad sense of the term through its policies, its curriculum and its communications.

IMPLEMENTATION: Explore new means to provide financial assistance for tuition and fees, including drawing upon community connections to enhance these efforts. Investigate possibilities of forging new academic connections, including international exchange programs, extended stay models, hosting students from other countries and similar initiatives. Develop a school culture and curriculum best suited to a globallyoriented and diverse population of faculty, staff and students. Broaden efforts to seek diversity among faculty and staff through recruitment fairs, networking opportunities and placement services. Continue to encourage current faculty and staff to apply for internal openings wherever feasible.

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Morristown-Beard School 2010 Strategic Plan


V. Marketing & Communications IMPLEMENTATION: Objective: Over the next five years, Morristown-Beard will undertake a concrete and specific course of action to define, articulate and cultivate awareness of its identity.

2010

SUMMER

THE MORRISTOWN-BEARD SCHOOL MAGAZINE

Communicate the qualities and characteristics making MBS unique; emphasize the School’s mission and its commitment to creating a culture of lifelong learners via the dissemination of the Curricular Philosophy. Investigate the introduction of new benchmarking assessments to measure the effectiveness of emerging curricular methodologies with the goal of sharing these results with the community. Expand promotion efforts to local schools and the larger community emphasizing the unique ways MBS creates and sustains its open, nurturing and vibrant academic experience. Proudly, boldly and thoughtfully communicate our identity in all materials and communications in concrete, succinct and easily articulated language.

THE CLASS of

2010

Commencement Issue!

Deploy technology more effectively to market Morristown-Beard; develop a content-rich, dynamic, visually-appealing website that is accessible to and engages all constituencies.

Plus: Alumni Weekend 2010

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2010 STRATEGIC PLAN

Mission Statement At Morristown-Beard, we believe that the School community is responsible for discovering and developing the unique individual potential of each student. Students, parents, trustees, administrators, teachers, staff and coaches understand that school environment plays a profound role in cultivating intellectual, physical, aesthetic, moral and ethical excellence. We believe that a Morristown-Beard School education prepares individuals to be enlightened, morally responsible citizens of the world. Our curriculum is designed to further this mission by providing a rigorous academic program that is age appropriate and responsive to different learning styles. We offer stimulating and challenging experiences in the classroom, on the playing field, and through participation in activities, performances, exhibits, and community service. To meet our objectives of exposing students to multiple ways of thinking and responding, and to increase their awareness of and connections to the larger world, we instill through precept and action, our Core Values, Habits of Mind and Essential Skills: Core Values Respect • Responsibility • Integrity • Courage • Compassion Habits of Mind A Strong Work Ethic • A Desire To Learn • Open-Mindedness • Self-Reliance • Creativity Essential Skills Effective Communication • Problem Solving • Synthesizing • Organizing • Working Collaboratively

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Morristown-Beard School 2010 Strategic Plan


Curricular Philosophy of Morristown-Beard School The Morristown-Beard curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, problem solving, independent thought, and intellectual risk taking. It supports cross-disciplinary connections and a holistic view of knowledge. It encourages integration of habits of intentional speaking and writing so that students may develop and articulate their ideas. The curriculum is process-oriented, and teachers’ assessment of student work reflects the means by which a student creates and learns in addition to final product. The curriculum at MorristownBeard esteems the qualitative as well as quantitative dimensions of learning and supports students’ making connections to other areas of intellectual thought and the larger world. We embrace the following principles to guide teachers in the deployment of their craft: Critical thinking focuses on the way a student reasons and approaches a problem or situation; the process is of more importance than the particular subject area in which the thinking is instantiated. Risk-taking is encouraged. The reward structure of an educational setting should recognize this as a valid learning modality, even when an investigation does not proceed as expected. Appropriate follow-up should be encouraged. Play or a sense of fun is a key component in nurturing appropriate intellectual risk-taking. Writing is a means of thinking and developing thoughts, not just a way to record pre-existing ideas. Analytic and reflective writing should not be the exclusive domain of the traditional text-based disciplines, but should be actively encouraged across the curriculum. Assessment of student learning and thinking is driven by educational objectives. It is not limited to in-class test taking, but may take many forms. Assessments attempt wherever possible to engage higher-order cognitive functions. They should themselves contain a learning component going beyond the mere recycling of information. Connections can be made across disciplines, more so as students mature. This includes reflections among common or connected subject areas, common approaches to solving problems, and deep-seated principles. Homework should be germane to the educational objectives of a course and not exceed what is needed to achieve those objectives. Professional awareness of basic theories and modalities of learning is expected of all MBS teachers, along with understanding of the fundamental questions that drive educational research. Teachers should model the behavior of risk-taking and critical thinking expected of their students. Morristown-Beard School 2010 Strategic Plan

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Morristown-Beard School 70 Whippany Road • Morristown, NJ 07960 • www.mbs.net


MBS Strategic Plan