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20/20:

A CLEAR VISION A THREE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN FOR PORTLEDGE SCHOOL 2017-2020


OUR MISSION Portledge School offers a competitive college preparatory program in a warm, inclusive community. Students are inspired to realize their individual potential by developing the critical thinking skills and moral courage necessary for lifelong learning in an increasingly complex world.


On behalf of the Strategic Planning Committee, I am proud to present 20/20: A Clear Vision— a three-year strategic plan that provides the next steps needed to ensure the continued success of our school and our students. Unanimously approved by the 2017-2018 Board of Trustees, this plan’s value cannot be overstated, as it affirms our commitment to our mission and our keen focus on the future. The goals and strategies set forth within this document are reflective of the feedback and priorities identified by all sectors of our community, and remain true to our founding philosophies. 20/20: A Clear Vision will serve as the foundation of our work and a barometer of our success over the next three years. Strategic objectives include: • The Student Experience • School Culture • Faculty Excellence

• Equity and Social Justice • Financial Sustainability • Campus Facilities and Technology

As you read through this comprehensive document, I trust that you will be as enthusiastic and excited as I am. While this plan is aspirational, it is also a necessity. We will utilize these guiding principles to deepen our commitment to the education of our students as we deliver on the Portledge Experience— an experience that stands for educational excellence, inclusivity, innovative teaching practices, and preparing our students for college life and beyond. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the entire Portledge community and in particular to the Strategic Planning Committee. This document is a clear representation of the power and determination of our community, and we look forward to keeping you updated as we progress toward our goals over the next three years. Sincerely, Simon Owen-Williams Head of School


OUR MISSION

OUR

VALUES Portledge School is an independent, pre-nursery through twelfth grade preparatory day school. The school’s coordinated sequential programs, beginning with the Reggio Emilia program in Early Childhood, provide a rigorous academic environment, preparing students to live responsible and productive lives. Dedicated teachers use small class size to deliver knowledge based on inquiry and are inspired by a student-centered learning approach. Individual talents are nurtured through the arts, athletics, and a variety of community and travel programs that emphasize the Portledge Pillars of kindness, purpose, honor, and respect.


PLANNING

PROCESS OVERVIEW The Strategic Planning Committee met throughout 2016 and 2017, and planning tasks included: • Review of best practices from NAIS and data analysis of our geographic trade area, enrollment trends, faculty pay practices, and current state of technological and physical plant infrastructure. • Review and evaluation of previous plan.

• Creation of a planning process timeline for approval and distribution. • Surveys disseminated across key constituents, including faculty, alumni, parents, and students. • Preliminary goals developed and assigned to specific committee members. • Review of professional survey analysis to gauge accuracy of preliminary goals and priorities. • Board review of draft goals. • Open meetings for reactions to goals.


STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE Nancy Aranda (Faculty Member)

Saralyn Lawn (Director of Lower School)

Tara Askeland (Director of Development)

Victoria Levy (Director of Communications)

Claude Bahnik ‘90 (Current Board Member)

Samara Meshel (Current Board President)

Lindsey Barnett (Current Board Member)

Dan Naftalis (Faculty Member)

Shane Cappuccio (Faculty Member)

Simon Owen-Williams (Head of School)

Michael Coope (Director of Admissions)

Dana Pagliara (Current Board Vice President)

Karen Crowley (Assistant Head of School)

Stephen Palacios (Former Board President)

Jason Dula (Faculty Member)

Jonathan Sandos ‘03 (Director of Athletics)

Leigh Farrell (Director of Early Childhood)

Janice Taubman (Faculty Member)

Rick Fleck (Chief Financial Officer)

Donald Wilson (Current Board Member)

Olga Florentino (Faculty Member)

Luisa Wu (Faculty Member)

Shana Goldstein (Faculty Member)

Valerie Yardeni (Current Board Member)

Emily Lavelle ‘00 (Alumna)


OUR KEY STRATEGIC PRIORITIES GOAL 1 ......................................................................................................... The Student Experience GOAL 2 ..................................................................................................................... School Culture GOAL 3 .................................................................................................................Faculty Excellence GOAL 4 ....................................................................................................... Equity and Social Justice GOAL 5 .......................................................................................................... Financial Sustainability GOAL 6 ..........................................................................................Campus Facilities and Technology


THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE

GOAL 1:

Better demonstrate and document each student’s yearly growth as a Portledge citizen and scholar.

RATIONALE

Portledge is a close-knit environment where excellent teachers help each individual student grow. This goal seeks to improve student learning by empowering students to find increased academic success and increased self-knowledge, and by informing administrators, teachers, and parents of the kinds of growth the student has already seen and could potentially see in the future.


STRATEGIES 1. Further develop, refine, and publish a set of standards at the kindergarten, fifth, eighth, and twelfth grade level, which will establish benchmarks of character traits and academic skills for students to work toward. 2. Refine and adopt a consistent set of classroom strategies which teach students to take ownership of their learning experience. 3. Improve and expand upon our delivery and documentation of character education.

4. Create partnerships with external organizations which enable students to explore their passions and interests outside of the classroom. 5. Review and refine our athletic philosophy, both overall and division-specific, in order to develop a holistic and comprehensive athletic program. 6. Assess and identify opportunities to further our commitment to the health and wellness of our students through programs such as mindfulness, nutrition, and health awareness.


SCHOOL CULTURE

GOAL 2:

Strengthen our distinct school culture to further enhance the Portledge mission.

RATIONALE

A positive school culture improves educational outcomes for students, and can have a profound impact on a school’s overall success. All of our community members contribute to the creation of our culture, which helps Portledge have a sense of continuity, positive energy, and strong morale.

STRATEGIES 1. Clarify and promote Portledge’s core principles and values, and integrate these as common ethos throughout each division. 2. Align co-curricular offerings* to create a wide range of choices that promote character development, enhance leadership opportunities, and encourage and maximize student participation within every division. 3. Institute and preserve tradition-building signature events (Founders Day, Blue/White Day, Commencement, etc.), programs, and initiatives that create an optimal climate for school spirit and result in a deeper connection with the school. *Co-curricular offerings: all non-academic activities, including sports, clubs, plays, etc.

4. Initiate the creation of “personalized communications” criteria by setting reasonable guidelines and expectations for all community members, developing faculty training workshops, and incorporating a faculty recognition program. 5. Engage our alumni as valued, vital, and integral members of the Portledge community by having them serve as emissaries of the institution, as they actively further the mission and vision of the school through their involvement, advocacy, and philanthropic support.


FACULTY EXCELLENCE

GOAL 3:

Provide the teaching resources, professional development, and compensation needed to attract and retain outstanding faculty and staff who excel at delivering the Portledge Experience.

RATIONALE

Portledge recognizes that our extraordinary and dedicated teachers are critical to successful student learning. By focusing on the recruitment, development, support, and retention of high-impact teachers, we will continue to maintain and strengthen the personalized learning and instructional practices teachers use that are central to the Portledge Experience.


STRATEGIES 1. Develop a three-year plan to engage in major professional development, coaching, and feedback related to improving instructional practices to optimize student growth and learning.

2. Retain and recruit the most highly qualified and talented faculty who are consistent with the values of the “Portrait of a Portledge Teacher.� 3. Develop a comprehensive, consistent, and regular system of evaluation that fosters professional growth and leadership, increases consistency in teaching effectiveness, and creates master teachers.

4. Prioritize collaboration time for teachers within the school day to discuss instructional design, professional development topics, and student learning. 5. Establish a mentorship program that places new teachers under the guidance of master teachers who can support, communicate, and cultivate these shared instructional practices.


EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

GOAL 4:

Create an inclusive learning environment that engages teachers, students, families, staff, and administrators in a commitment to equity, social justice*, and intercultural awareness.

RATIONALE

By focusing on a school culture of equity and inclusivity, we can create an institutional environment of welcome and respect. Exposing our community to multiple perspectives and diverse voices serves as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue and real-world change.

*Social justice: The fair treatment of people and the celebration of our differences.


STRATEGIES

1. Create a physical space that promotes constructive dialogue around cultural sensitivity and open-mindedness. 2. Introduce curriculum within and beyond the classroom walls to promote the appreciation of differences in our community. 3. Provide ongoing training that prepares our faculty and staff to increase their own awareness in order to effectively teach topics related to social justice and equity to prepare our students to become responsible global citizens. 4. Strengthen community outreach opportunities. 5. Develop a plan to promote and integrate social justice and character education in all facets of the school over the next three years. 6. Increase diversity of students and faculty/staff while aligning with the Portledge School mission.


FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

GOAL 5:

To develop a long-range financial plan that will help the initiatives outlined in the Strategic Plan and Master Plan thrive over the long term.

RATIONALE

A sound financial plan supporting the Strategic Plan and Master Plan will increase the probability and significance of the success of each.

STRATEGIES 1. Determine the optimum size of the school with consideration for physical plant size, resources, and school mission.

5. Investigate alternative and diversified funding sources which would support strategic initiatives.

2. Conduct an audit of current resource deployment with a view to increasing resources, as appropriate, allocated directly to the learning experience of Portledge students.

6. Continue to develop sound administrative controls and compliance procedures* that will best protect the school today and in the future.

3. Develop contingency models to ensure Portledge is well prepared for a variety of possible economic scenarios. 4. Update our long-range plan to support the programmatic goals associated with the Strategic Plan.

7. Continue to recruit and retain supportive trustees with skills and vision to fulfill the Strategic Plan’s objectives. 8. Research possibilities for growth in the endowment to support and meet our long-term operational and strategic targets.

*Compliance procedures: Business Office practices designed to ensure alignment with NAIS best practices.


CAMPUS FACILITIES AND TECHNOLOGY

GOAL 6:

Advance campus facilities and technological infrastructure to provide an efficient and safe learning environment that supports the Portledge School mission.

RATIONALE

Safety, whether online or otherwise, remains a central concern for our community. To this end, we seek to update facilities, infrastructure, and technology to create a positive environment where student welfare can be maximized.


STRATEGIES

1. Pursue the ongoing implementation of the Technology Plan to deliver advanced technological capabilities. 2. Set technology competencies within the faculty and further our commitment to professional development in this area to build these competencies. 3. Maintain an open campus culture while increasing security personnel, updating campus-wide features, and continuing to review, assess, and revise campus and digital safety protocols. 4. Create a Master Plan that will help guide the physical and virtual evolution of the Portledge learning environment over the next ten years. 5. Build and maintain our facilities in order to enhance and promote our academic and cultural goals.


20/20: A Clear Vision  

3-year Strategic Plan for Portledge School (2017-2020)

20/20: A Clear Vision  

3-year Strategic Plan for Portledge School (2017-2020)