Last spring we announced that we were setting out on a hero’s journey to collaborate together as faculty and administration to develop a Strategic Academic Plan.
This forward-thinking, outcome-driven plan would include a new daily schedule for Middle and Upper Division for 2019-20, along with a set of pedagogical and programmatic distinctives that will shape our future curriculum.
To that two-pronged end, we engaged Independent School Management (ISM), and partnered with Dr. Bryan Smyth, ISM’s Director of Research, to consult with us through a two phase process. In April, Dr. Smyth came on campus for three days to complete Phase 1: Priorities for Change. He largely engaged in conversation with 32 selected faculty across all divisions and departments to help us identify our top “Priorities for Change.”
This week, Dr. Smyth returned to campus to complete Phase 2: Schedule Analysis and Design. He spent four days meeting with various constituencies to solicit input on a future schedule that will allow us to operationalize around our “Priorities for Change”. Dr. Smyth’s time with us involved a four-hour presentation to our Middle and Upper Division faculty and administration on Thursday. Dr. Smyth’s presentation culminated in unveiling three new possible schedules for both the Middle and Upper Division that he believes will strategically allow us to build a bridge between our mission and our new Portrait of a Graduate.
Going forward, our faculty will provide feedback on what excites them about the prototype schedules, and what questions they have in regard to them. From there, the schedule team that includes our Middle and Upper Division Directors, Deans (Academic and Student), Athletic Director, Associate Head of School for Academics, and Head of School, will meet regularly with a goal to finalize a new MD/UD schedule for the 2019-20 school year in the winter or early spring.
We are certainly buzzing with excitement about the journey that lies ahead for our students, faculty, and administration. We sense that the road ahead will be challenging and messy at times. We understand though that this is often how progress works in the life of any organization that is committed to growing its edge of excellence. That said, we expect that this heroic journey will unify us as One Great School as we aspire to help each one of our students experience deeper level learning that will result in a life of balance, purpose, and joy.