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Virginia Episcopal School Strategic Plan Delivering a Transformational Experience for Our Students, Faculty and Staff

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What’s Inside Our Strategic Planning Journey

VES Mission, Values and Vision

Our Commitment: The Portrait of a VES Graduate

Our Five Strategic Choices

Deliver “Programs with Purpose”

Deliver a Curriculum that Inspires Curious, Innovative Thinkers and Producers

Expand Access to VES and Enhance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Promote an Exceptional Culture for Faculty and Staff

Drive Operational Excellence, Innovation and Stewardship

Campus Master Plan

Strategic Financial Plan

Our Strategic Design Team

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Today, schools need to prepare students for more rapid economic and social change than ever before, for jobs that have not yet been created, to use technologies that have not yet been invented, and to solve social problems that we don’t yet know will arise. – Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

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Our Strategic Planning Journey We launched VES’s current strategic planning process in February 2016, after we brought to a successful close our Vision 2016 strategic plan and capital campaign with the celebration of 100 years of VES educational leadership. With the exponential rate of change in our world and new models of education creating disruption in the market, we knew we had a challenge ahead—one that would demand fresh eyes, laser focus, honest assessments, bold ideas, and broad engagement and transparency with our stakeholders. We chose to go on this journey with an experienced sherpa: Greenwich Leadership Partners, a strategic planning and leadership consulting team with a national practice focused on independent schools. We had the unique opportunity to join with a cohort of select schools as GLP launched its inaugural Strategic Planning Institute. Through this one-year program, our Strategic Design Team learned together, grappled with issues, and explored new ideas and new processes for strategic design. We shared our work, tested our concepts and collaborated with our colleagues in the Institute and at VES. In designing our strategic vision, we sought and received feedback through empathy interviews, focus groups, design thinking challenges, board meeting presentations and hallway conversations. And we asked essential questions: How do we ensure that our curriculum remains relevant, reflective of real life, and still delivers the skills and knowledge demanded by our university partners?

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What learning environments inspire curious, innovative thinkers and producers? How can we strengthen meaningful connections and create deeper learning in all that we do? How do we sustain VES as a thriving institution for the decades ahead? Along the journey, we: •C  onducted 50 interviews with faculty and staff, identifying priority issues and gathering input to inform our strategic plan. •E  ngaged students and faculty in design thinking challenges. •R  efreshed our Vision Statement and Core Values, reflecting where we are as a VES community today and our ambitions for tomorrow. •D  eveloped the Portrait of a VES Graduate with input gleaned through dialogue and creative exercises with students, parents, faculty, trustees and leaders in education and business. •D  eveloped the Characteristics of Professional Excellence and Essential Faculty Expectations to align faculty behind common performance objectives and professional growth goals. •T  hrough a year of investigation, inquiry and discussion, created a new Academic Philosophy statement. •C  rafted our VES Statement of Community, defining our beliefs and expectations for an inclusive community, with guidance from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools. •A  rticulated five Strategic Choices that will guide and shape our work over the next five to seven years and beyond. Our work could not have been possible without a highly committed and high-performing faculty and staff, dedicated and connected parent and alumni communities, an engaged and passionate student body and supportive, forward-thinking trustees. And so here we stand today, already leaning in to execute this strategic vision —a plan that, while ambitious, is actionable; a plan that allows us to be agile and responsive as we continually assess and anticipate forces shaping the world around us; and a roadmap we hope will inspire the hearts and minds of our students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends of the school. We invite you to join us as we continue on our compelling mission.

Michael K. Alford ’82 Chair, VES Board of Trustees

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G. Thomas Battle, Jr. ’83 Headmaster

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Guided by Our Mission

Grounded in Our Core Values

Virginia Episcopal School is an engaging community that guides students to strive Toward Full Stature in their academic, ethical, spiritual and personal growth.

Show Humility Act with Honor and Integrity Fully Engage in Building Community and Self Strive for Excellence in All We Do

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Living into Our Vision for VES VES is an intentionally small, globally diverse educational community dedicated to excellence in student engagement, innovative learning and faculty support and growth. Our aim is to be the best small boarding school in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. Virginia Episcopal School | Strategic Plan

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Our Commitment to You At VES, we believe that, to be their best, students must develop specific knowledge, skills, character and a learning mindset for the 21st century. Boarding school provides a powerful setting to achieve success as students and adults learn to live together in a community with purpose and benefit from learning experiences that extend far beyond the academic day. Through the full breadth of our programs—academics, student life, character and spiritual development, athletics, the arts, service learning and residential experiences—VES students acquire the core competencies essential to succeed in our rapidly evolving world. VES graduates are: • • • • •

Self-aware. Curious, innovative thinkers and producers. Mindful leaders who serve with courage and compassion. Focused on community. Ready to navigate and continue their personal growth in a dynamic world.

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Curious, innovative thinkers and producers. •C  reate, transform and apply knowledge and come to see the disciplines as powerful lenses to understand the world. • Ask compelling questions and think critically. • Bring people together to collaborate in solving multifaceted problems. • Express their ideas with confidence and clarity.

Mindful leaders who serve with courage and compassion. •H  ave had the opportunity to cultivate essential leadership skills. • Embrace inclusivity and respect diverse perspectives.

Focused on community. •A  re engaged citizens who contribute to improving the communities where they live, work and play. • Act with and advocate for integrity in their community. • Are thoughtful, kind and inspire positive change.

Ready to navigate and continue their personal growth in our dynamic world.

Self-aware. •K  now their personal interests, strengths and weaknesses. • Wisely manage their time and set priorities. • Choose to lead a wellbalanced and healthy lifestyle. • Demonstrate emotional intelligence in their interactions with others. • Are guided by a strong ethical and spiritual compass.

•S  eek to understand the world around them. • Tackle life with determination, adaptability and resilience. • Desire to be lifelong learners.

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Our Strategic Choices VES will invest in five strategic choices over the five- to seven-year life of this plan.

Each choice is designed to strengthen meaningful connections and create deeper learning in all that we do.

•D  eliver “programs with purpose” in every aspect of the school that promote happy, healthy young adults striving toward their highest level of personal achievement. •D  eliver a curriculum, anchored to the VES Academic Philosophy, that inspires and develops curious, innovative thinkers and producers. •E  xpand access to VES and enhance diversity, equity and inclusion within the school community. • Promote an exceptional culture for faculty and staff. • Drive operational excellence, innovation and stewardship.

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STRATEGIC CHOICE

Deliver “programs with purpose” in every aspect of the school that promote happy, healthy young adults striving toward their highest level of personal achievement. Through intentional alignment and integration across all programs— academics, athletics, arts and student and residential life—VES students acquire knowledge, competencies and character traits essential for success in college and beyond. VES is uniquely positioned to shape self-aware, mindful leaders who serve their communities with compassion, find joy in their lives, and make smart choices. Our graduates are prepared to continue their journey with confidence and the ability to go out and make a positive difference in the world.

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WE WILL • Align all programming to the Portrait of a VES Graduate. •E  mploy best practices in teaching, advising and coaching, based on how students learn best. • Identify and leverage partnerships with experts in adolescent development and tools that most effectively support the cognitive, social and emotional development of our students. • Enhance opportunities for students to explore their spirituality. •D  evelop systems—including an enhanced advisory program and grade-level experiences—to evaluate, showcase, communicate and capture student growth and performance. • Enhance our campus facilities in support of these goals: » Construct  a new academic building that will provide additional classroom space, more flexibility in academic delivery, and improved opportunities for student-student and faculty-student collaboration. » Establish a contemporary, multi-use Student & Residential Life Center. » Renovate  and expand student housing to improve the quality of living spaces and increase boarding capacity. » Upgrade  athletic facilities—install a turf field, new tennis courts and lights on select fields and tennis courts; resurface main basketball court and side courts; resurface track; update scoreboards; and improve home and visitor locker rooms. • Grow the VES Endowment to sustain excellent student programs.

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STRATEGIC CHOICE

Deliver a curriculum, anchored to the VES Academic Philosophy, that inspires and develops curious, innovative thinkers and producers. At VES, our faculty are designers, and we are committed to an Academic Philosophy in which: •D  ynamic questions shape our content, experiences, perspectives and outcomes. • Intellectual playfulness drives our practice. •C  reative thinkers and producers are our goal, committed to making beautiful work and communicating effectively with one another and throughout the world. What does this mean for our students and faculty? Learning that sparks delight and wonder along the path to deeper learning. Experiences carefully crafted to help students discover their strengths and interests. Starting with compelling questions that feed curiosity, explore relevant content, build critical thinking skills, deepen empathy and understanding, and stimulate creativity in seeking solutions. And instilling characteristics cited as desirable in college applicants and new hires in today’s workplace.

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WE WILL • Create and show evidence of our distinctive VES Academic Philosophy. • Evaluate and design our practices in assessment/grading, learning relevance of the curriculum, course offerings and department structure to ensure alignment with our Academic Philosophy and Portrait of a VES Graduate. •R  enovate, redefine and expand existing academic spaces to stimulate deeper learning and accommodate group, interdisciplinary and project work. •C  onstruct a new academic building that will provide additional classroom space, more flexibility in academic delivery, and improved opportunities for student-student and faculty-student collaboration. • Endow programs that sustain excellence in teaching and learning.

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STRATEGIC CHOICE

Expand access to VES and enhance diversity, equity and inclusion within the school community. VES chooses to ground our community in principles and best practices of equity and justice, following the guidance of the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools. Our globally diverse community brings together individuals with a range of perspectives, experiences, identities and backgrounds. We deeply value how this diversity enriches academic discussions and student life experiences, cultivating an inclusive and supportive climate for all individuals in the VES community.

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WE WILL •C  reate a long-term tuition strategy and endowment program that attract and make a VES education affordable for students from diverse backgrounds, alumni children and children of faculty. •D  evelop policies, practices and endowment funding that ensure equal access for all students to engage in VES learning experiences regardless of their ability to pay. •R  ecruit, hire, develop and retain faculty, staff and trustees who are diverse in their ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds to reflect the VES student body. •E  ducate and engage the students, faculty, staff, parents and VES Board of Trustees to effectively apply principles of diversity, equity and inclusion within our community and their everyday lives. •E  stablish an Equity & Inclusion Coordinator role to support the community as we live into the VES Statement of Community.

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STRATEGIC CHOICE

Promote an exceptional culture for faculty and staff. The faculty and staff of VES are our greatest assets and we intend to invest even more deeply in them. VES leadership is committed to supporting these individuals in achieving meaningful work that furthers our mission, using their talents to positively impact our students, their families and our community at large in the classroom and beyond. We will continue to build a professional culture that attracts, retains and enriches the best and the brightest who will find joy in making VES their home.

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WE WILL •C  enter hiring, onboarding, mentoring and training around our mission, values, Portrait of a VES Graduate, Essential Faculty Expectations, and Characteristics of Professional Excellence. •R  ecruit, hire, develop and retain faculty and staff who are diverse in their ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds to reflect the VES student body. •M  anage and refine faculty and staff evaluation processes to ensure frequent, open and honest feedback; engage staff in self-reflection and evaluation; and promote accountability. •P  rovide time and professional development for faculty with regard to best practices in 21st century teaching and learning and, for staff, advancements in their fields. •G  row and sustain the VES - UVA Curry School of Education partnership for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. •D  efine a compensation and benefits framework and desired market position that enables VES to attract, grow and retain high-performing faculty and staff. • Increase endowment for faculty and staff compensation, awards, benefits, and professional growth and development. •U  pgrade faculty offices and academic meeting spaces to ensure student access and faculty collaboration and to support the teaching and learning practices we promote. •E  nhance campus housing by renovating existing homes and investing in new campus housing.

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STRATEGIC CHOICE

Drive operational excellence, innovation and stewardship. Operational excellence and discipline are essential to our vision of being the best small boarding school in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. We are keenly aware that this rigor will propel us beyond sustainability, delivering the growth and competitive advantage of an institution dedicated to educating and developing young people Toward Full Stature. As we position VES to thrive, we will employ people-centered design thinking protocols, fostering creative solutions and innovative practices. Deepening our impact as an educational institution, we will continue to cultivate interest, engagement and investment in our school, while wisely managing our resources.

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WE WILL • Embed operational discipline through all levels of the organization. •T  ell our VES story and deliver powerful experiences that cultivate people’s interest in applying to, engaging with, investing in and partnering with our school. • Implement campus improvements guided by the campus master plan. •L  aunch a major fundraising campaign and implement best practices for donor engagement, gift solicitation and stewardship. •C  reate a financial plan that defines multiple strategies to support a sustainable, flexible VES and positions the school to thrive.

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VES Campus Master Plan The campus itself is, in many ways, a physical manifestation of our Toward Full Stature mission, where campus creates a strong sense of place and community. As we move forward to address sustainability, safety, increased boarding capacity, contemporary learning and living spaces, campus beauty and historic preservation, we are committed to ensuring that our actions align to the Campus Master Plan Vision Statement, which provides a fundamental framework for defining the 20-year plan: • A place of community where students and faculty make lifetime connections. • A campus where students come first. • A campus where faculty and administration love to live, work and grow. •A  campus of timeless character, preserving and translating the Jett/Brooke vision into a modern preparatory school. • Well organized, with clear edges, well-defined precincts and a strong center. • A responsible steward of fiscal and physical resources.

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WE WILL •C  onstruct a new academic building that will provide additional classroom space, more flexibility in academic delivery, and improved opportunities for student-student and faculty-student collaboration. • Establish a contemporary, multi-use Student & Residential Life Center. • Renovate,  redefine and expand existing academic spaces to stimulate deeper learning and accommodate group, interdisciplinary and project work. •U  pgrade faculty offices and academic meeting spaces to ensure student access and faculty collaboration and to support the teaching and learning practices we promote. •R  enovate and expand student housing to improve the quality of living spaces and increase boarding capacity. • Enhance  campus housing by renovating existing homes and investing in new campus housing. • Upgrade  athletic facilities—install a turf field, new tennis courts and lights on select fields and tennis courts; resurface main basketball court and side courts; resurface track; update scoreboards; and improve home and visitor locker rooms.

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VES Strategic Financial Plan As a small boarding school, VES experiences natural pressures felt by any “small business.� Even with 102-plus years of faithful philanthropic support, our operating model remains quite dependent on strong enrollment levels and the requisite tuition income. Excellent programs supported by talented, engaged faculty allow us to enjoy the current benefits of full enrollment. Yet over the course of this next strategic chapter in our history, we aspire to ensure a strong, financially thriving institution with ample reserves to protect against unforeseen threats; a significant endowment to provide faculty compensation and support, student tuition assistance and facility maintenance; and robust capital and annual giving to provide the fuel for sustained excellence and continuous improvement.

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WE WILL • Launch a major campaign to: » Generate endowment funding in support of these goals:  Increase faculty compensation, awards, benefits, and professional growth and development.  Sustain modest annual tuition increases in support of a strengthening value proposition.  Fund an endowment program that supports enrollment of students from diverse backgrounds and makes a VES education affordable for alumni children and children of faculty.  Ensure equal access for all students to engage in VES learning experiences regardless of their ability to pay. » Raise capital required to enhance our campus facilities in support of the goals of VES’s strategic vision and campus master plan. » Establish and maintain a strategic planned giving program. •S  ustain a robust annual giving program that supports strengthened programs, continuous improvement and thriving annual operations.

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Our Strategic Design Team Mike Alford ’82, Chair, VES Board of Trustees Tommy Battle ’83, Headmaster Chris Button, Associate Head of School Catherine Varner, Director of Marketing & Communications Jen Anderson, Dean of Faculty Mimi Csatlos, Academic Dean and Director of College Counseling Justine Button, Director of Admissions & Financial Aid Henry Clarke, Director of Development Debbie Leake, Director of Business Affairs With Intrepid Support from VES Board of Trustees VES Parents Curriculum Task Force led by Mimi Csatlos, working with Jen Anderson, Dr. Steve Jamison, Jason Knebel, Jane Lowe, Dr. Rachel Pollock, Jesi Thompson and Dr. Zach Wakefield Co-Curricular Task Force led by Chris Button, working with Bob Leake, Marcia Yochum, Jen Anderson, Debbie Burton, Dr. Larissa Knebel and Kiersten Bell Esther Underwood, Manager, Marketing & Communications Buildings & Grounds Committee led by trustees Lanny Harer ’63 and Joel Williams ’85, working with the architectural firm Glave & Holmes and construction management firm Downey & Scott Greenwich Leadership Partners, with credit to the strategic thinkers from High Tech High and our cohort group: Indian Mountain School, the Innovation Lab at Greenwich High School, Pine Point School and Unquowa School Terry Moore, senior consultant with Independent School Management, for his expertise in faculty culture, compensation and evaluation UVA Curry School of Education professors Dr. Gail Lovette, Dr. Michael Wheelock, Dr. Jennie Chiu, Dr. Michael Kennedy, Dr. Stephanie Von Hover, Dr. Bill Therrien and Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson Rob Hershey, Hershey Leadership Consulting VAIS Accreditation Visiting Team

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Contact Us If you have questions about the Strategic Choices, please speak with these individuals: Programs with Purpose: Chris Button | cbutton@ves.org Academic Curriculum: Mimi Csatlos | mcsatlos@ves.org Access to VES and Enhanced Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Diversity, Equity, Inclusion | Chris Button | cbutton@ves.org Tuition Strategy | Justine Button | jbutton@ves.org Development, Endowment | Henry Clarke | hclarke@ves.org Exceptional Culture for Faculty and Staff: Jen Anderson | janderson@ves.org Operational Excellence, Innovation and Stewardship Operational Excellence, Innovation, Campus Master Plan Tommy Battle | tbattle@ves.org Stewardship, Development, Capital Campaign | Henry Clarke | hclarke@ves.org Telling Our Story | Catherine Varner | cvarner@ves.org Financial Plan | Debbie Leake | dleake@ves.org

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Profile for VES_ Bishops

Virginia Episcopal School Strategic Plan  

Virginia Episcopal School Strategic Plan