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People Program Place Strategic Framework 2018–2020


“Education is an active process, not a passive one. Our school believes in ‘learning by doing.’ ” — H E L E N TAY LO R B U S H , F O U N D E R





Mission To spark in students of diverse backgrounds and talents a passion for learning, accomplishment, and contribution to their communities

Vision The Bush School is committed to preparing students to lead purposeful lives, setting them on a path to change the world. Founded on the principles of progressive education, our experiential program inspires students to drive inquiry, actively engaging their teachers, curricula, and environment.

Educational Foundations àà

Critical, independent, and creative thinking


Ethical judgment and action


Intercultural fluency


Local and global citizenship

Values Trust, Collaboration, Curiosity, Inclusivity, Challenge




Strategic thinking is inspiring. It sparks conversations within the community around shared values and aspirations. The Bush School has come together to create a framework that will guide the school, and strengthen and shape our future. As a living, evolving framework, this dynamic plan will be refreshed and updated every three years, acting as a tool for evaluation and a catalyst for future initiatives.




A Strategic Planning Task Force made up of Trustees, faculty, staff, and parents formed in September 2015. These diverse community voices were instrumental in the planning process. In June 2016, the Board approved and adopted the Strategic Framework. The Administrative Group began working through the Strategic Framework in July 2016. The framework continues to develop, as it reflects our evolving community.


To inform its work, the Strategic Planning Task Force gathered and reviewed information from many sources, including: àà

survey results from students, parents and guardians, faculty and staff, alumnae/i, parents of alumnae/i, and trustees (including the most recent feasibility study survey);


Strategic Framework exercises and engagement activities with Trustees, Administrative Group, all K–12 Faculty/ Staff, Building Community and Engagement (BCE) and Leadership Committees;


interviews by the Strategic Planning Task Force, Head of School, and Campaign Feasibility Consultants;


community meetings, workshops, and events; and


Head of School Percy L. Abram’s 140 meetings with the community.



We at The Bush School are proud of the way our organization has continued to adapt and evolve throughout its more than ninety year history. The school has been fortunate to have attracted and sustained healthy operational and strategic leadership. The Board of Trustees, the Head of School, Administrative Group, and faculty and staff provide clear vision and sage oversight of the school’s mission.




Since the school’s founding, much has changed at Bush and within the greater educational community. The school remains an educational leader throughout Seattle and beyond. As a guide for the future, the strategy is rooted in three primary areas: the people that make the school so vibrant, the programs that transform lives, and the places that define the learning environments. Based on extensive input, the following strategic priorities have been identified to help us further live our mission and values. This is a living document, and the school anticipates developing more action steps as the framework is implemented and as new information and ideas emerge.

Strategic Priorities 1. People: A Supportive and Inclusive Community àà

Engaged and Thriving Learners


Remarkable, Inspired Faculty and Staff

2. Program: Comprehensive Experiential Education àà

Strong Programmatic Reflection and Articulation

3. Place: Intentional, Diverse Environments



Mission-Appropriate K–12 Facilities


A Healthy Financial Future



People A Supportive and Inclusive Community




We are dedicated to building a stronger and more inclusive community through measured growth, increased access, and broader integration in the Seattle area and the Methow Valley.

Remarkable, Inspired Faculty and Staff The Bush School’s faculty and staff are caring, compassionate, intelligent, and dedicated to their students, colleagues, and the school. Beginning with intentional recruitment, the school seeks to ensure that faculty and staff receive the best support to enable student success, including professional development, feedback, and commensurate compensation.

Progress Indicators The school’s areas of focus are the following: àà

Inspire a culture of professional growth, collaboration, and lifelong learning


Recruit and retain mission-driven faculty and staff that reflect the diversity of our local and global communities


Evaluate and broaden our professional development programs


Allocate resources to and increase faculty and staff participation in professional growth opportunities


Strengthen mentoring and onboarding systems for faculty and staff


Provide feedback and support by thorough, consistent, and timely evaluation


Ensure that our compensation is competitive with peer schools to attract and retain committed, driven, and mission-consistent faculty and staff

Engaged and Thriving Learners Students are successful when they have acquired the practices and skills to be engaged and thriving learners. The school will focus on programs to support both the academic excellence in the programs for our students and the social-emotional health of our students.

Progress Indicators The school’s areas of focus are the following:



Identify and articulate the skills and habits students will need to be successful in life;


Faithfully implement the school’s social-emotional curriculum (RULER, Advisory, Mindfulness, and Responsive Classroom programs)


Educate K–12 families about the academic, emotional, and social demands students face in school and partner with them to support all students


Align instructional practices, course expectations, and daily schedule to support how students learn best


Ensure that the academic program, co-curricular offerings, and social experiences reflect a commitment to intercultural fluency



Program Comprehensive Experiential Education




The Bush School’s academic program is engaging, challenging, and comprehensive. At Bush, teachers help students become analytic, critical, and engaged learners across disciplines, beyond the classroom, and throughout their lives. At Bush, we believe that experiential teaching— an iterative pedagogy that involves personal experience, reflection, abstraction, and experimentation—is the most effective way to engage students in the learning process.


Strong Programmatic Reflection and Articulation The Bush School provides a progressive, inquiry-based, student-centered program focused on participatory learning. This engaging learning environment is designed to produce caring and informed students, artists, athletes, thinkers, and citizens who aspire to live rewarding and purposeful lives. – HE A D OF S C HOOL PE R CY L. A BR A M , PH.D.

Progress Indicators The school’s areas of focus are the following: àà

Align learning outcomes at each grade level that are consistent and sequential


Apply sound practices in all elements of the Bush community including Admissions, Development, Operations, Governance, Academic Program, Student Life, and the Families Association that reflect our commitment to intercultural fluency


Develop and implement a placed-based learning curriculum for The Bush School Methow Campus


Further articulate and define experiential education, as well as the approach and philosophy to K–12 education


Develop a process for building curriculum and evaluating experiential education


Build robust learning partnerships in the Seattle and Methow communities



Place Intentional, Diverse Environments




Helen Taylor Bush believed that school should serve as a bridge between family and community.

Mission-Appropriate K–12 Facilities Bush seeks to create dynamic learning spaces that foster connection, and promote collaboration, experimentation, and creativity. Our community has the unique opportunity to increase access and inclusion through planned, measured growth, and to build additional robust program offerings that will connect students with the intellectual resources that abound in Seattle and the Methow Valley.

Progress Indicators The school’s areas of focus are the following:

Bush continues to build a sense of place and belonging on campuses that are emotionally and physically safe for students, reflect the values of truth, beauty, and purpose, and foster connections between and among students and adults. For more than nine decades, The Bush School has sown deep roots in the Seattle community. The introduction of The Bush School Methow Campus supports the school’s place-based learning programs, offering students a different context in which to study their environment.


Develop flexible learning spaces in which teachers can apply the best pedagogical and engaging practices


Build greater connections across all three divisions


Provide dynamic centers of learning for students and faculty on campus and in connection with the Methow Campus community


Expand access and exposure to the school’s unique educational program to families across Seattle and the Methow Valley.

A Healthy Financial Future One of the Board’s primary responsibilities is its fiduciary obligation to preserve the school’s long-term financial health. The Board develops and refines a financial plan that allows the school to meet its strategic priorities, deliver on its mission, and maintain a robust financial outlook given the changing economic realities within the region and industry.

Progress Indicators The school’s areas of focus are the following:



Remain committed to teacher excellence and socio-economic diversity among families


Manage the Campus Master Plan and capital campaign so current students are minimally impacted during the building process


Work to develop ancillary revenue streams to increase financial aid and reduce reliance on tuition to cover operating expenses.




“For more than nine decades, The Bush School has educated compassionate, resourceful, and engaged students devoted to a life of achievement and purpose.” — H E A D O F S C H O O L P E R C Y L . A B R A M , P H . D.



3400 East Harrison Street, Seattle, Washington 98112 (206) 322-7978 | 32

Strategic Framework 2018-2020  
Strategic Framework 2018-2020