Sustaining Our Future: A Strategic Plan for 2009-2014
Strategic planning has been a hallmark of constructive change at Head-Royce over the last three decades. We are pleased to present the latest five-year Strategic Plan for our School. Our Strategic Planning Committee believes our School is in a very strong position, blessed with able teachers, motivated and accomplished students, an outstanding curricular program, a newly rebuilt campus, and a culture of excellence. In light of the domestic economic downturn, it is also clear that now more than ever we must work hard to ensure that Head-Royce will be affordable and accessible for many years to come.
The committee identified ten goals to shape the School's future. At the top of the list is a new focus on sustainability and a desire "to strengthen our initiatives to become a sustainable, model green school in all areas of program, operations, finance and facilities." It is clear that we must work especially hard to "secure the School's financial strength, improve access and affordability and maintain sound fiscal management to ensure the School's long-term financial sustainability." Our institutional priorities include developing a curriculum and culture to foster a sense of "global citizenship," a value that will be critical in the 21st Century. In addition we will reinforce our efforts to attract and nurture an outstanding student body, support an excellent team of faculty, administration and staff, continue our diversity initiatives, strengthen our communications, maintain our facilities and foster good governance.
The strategic planning process was effectively led by Board of Trustees member Lori Fogarty and a committee of nineteen, including Trustees, administrators, faculty, parents and alumni. Working over a full year, the committee's work was extensive, inclusive, and transparent. Surveys of students, employees, parents, and alumni enabled the committee to assess our School, and to identify areas where improvements are needed. We held forums with the Parents Association in each of the divisions using a "SWOT" analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Many committees of the Board provided further input including Development, Diversity & Student Life, Education Policy, Facilities, Finance, and Governance. Three faculty and administration committees-Curriculum, Global Citizenship, and Faculty Compensation-offered important insights, as did the Alumni Council. On April 16, 2009, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Committee's recommendation.
The Strategic Plan will shape our annual agenda and establish priorities for our work. We are confident that with the plan as a guide, we will be able to move confidently and securely through the next five years and beyond.
Paul Chapman, Head of School (1984-2010)
Robert Stein, Chair, Board of Trustees (2006-2009)
Head-Royce continues to work on the strategic initiatives detailed here under the leadership of new Head of School Rob Lake and Board Chair Charles Freiberg.
1. Sustainability--Strengthen our initiatives to become a sustainable, model green school in all areas of program, operations, finance and facilities.
Rationale: According to the National Association of Independent Schools we must squarely face the challenge of sustainability in the 21st century in five key areas: local demographics, academic program, global citizenship, ecological sustainability and school finance. By setting long-term objectives in each of these areas, we will ensure that the School is both affordable and accessible. Additionally, our academic program aspires to develop global citizens who can help us create a model green school and make a difference in the world.
1. Create a long-range financial model that keeps the School affordable and accessible by determining appropriate staffing and enrollment levels in each division, strengthening the resources derived from sources other than tuition, and building community-wide understanding.
2. Determine the potential untapped market for K-12 independent school education within the School's geographic area and strengthen the presentation of School's unique culture and offerings to prospective families.
3. Build on the School's initial efforts to become a model green school by reducing the School's carbon footprint, improving the efficient use of resources and promoting the healthy food program.
4. Strengthen the curriculum for eco-literacy by further developing courses, units and interdisciplinary studies to promote environmental understanding and a love of nature.
2. Students--Attract, educate, retain, and graduate an academically accomplished and diverse student body that values and demonstrates leadership and responsible global citizenship.
Rationale: Students are the heart of Head-Royce. We attract outstanding students who embrace our core values of scholarship, citizenship and diversity. Our goal is to inspire each student to reach his or her individual potential through a challenging and supportive school environment. Our focus on the whole child requires that students engage in a dynamic academic and extra-curricular program that emphasizes disciplined, critical thinking, ethical behavior, a respect for the opinions of others, a passion for the arts, a love of nature and a personal commitment to physical fitness.
1. Actively recruit and retain talented and motivated students who can benefit from the School's offerings and actively celebrate academic excellence.
2. Emphasize K-12 academic excellence within a community that provides opportunities for academic enrichment as well as learning support for those who can meet the School's performance expectations.
3. Provide an educational program that supports, motivates and excites students who are well-matched to the challenging program offered by the School.
4. Increase opportunities for student leadership K-12 to prepare students for global stewardship, ethical conduct, democratic involvement and technological advancements.
5. Evaluate and improve age-appropriate advising and counseling for academic and social issues, including college counseling and academic tutoring
6. Facilitate communication and collaboration among the various programs to ensure the smooth flow of information between academic teachers and extra curricular areas in order to provide a balanced educational experience.
3. Faculty, Administration and Staff--Recruit, develop and retain an outstanding and diverse team of leaders who will provide an excellent and innovative educational experience for our students.
Rationale: The quality of a truly top-notch school is measured by an outstanding faculty, administration and staff. Based on survey data, our parents and students continue to praise our faculty for excellence in teaching and our administration for strong School management. In order to continue to meet the demands of a competitive marketplace and retain the best employees, the School must offer a strong compensation package, provide access to innovative professional development opportunities and set high standards in hiring and evaluation.
1. Provide a compensation package that seeks to maintain faculty and administration salaries and benefits in the top 25% of selected Bay Area benchmark independent schools and that recognizes performance.
2. Evaluate faculty load in light of financial sustainability and benchmark data including a review of overall student and course load for teachers.
3. Continue to strengthen the professional development program by ensuring adequate funding to meet demand and growing professional development costs, and to support program innovation.
4. Review administrative staff structure to align with School needs and strengthen staff evaluation procedures to include clear and comprehensive performance standards.
4. Educational Program--Offer an excellent, challenging, balanced and integrated, K-12 academic and extracurricular program that uses the latest research to ensure the development of the whole child.
Rationale: Offering a leading academic program that challenges students appropriately, meets the needs of each age level, and successfully prepares students for life in college and beyond is at the core of what we do every day. Using the latest in educational research, our academic and co-curricular program fosters in our students the knowledge, skills and attitudes we believe are essential to develop effective 21st century leaders.
1. Strengthen our innovative and rigorous academic program by implementing the latest educational research and best practices in learning theory to educate each student to his or her greatest personal potential.
2. Expand project-based, experiential learning to bridge disciplines, provide real world experience and connect Head-Royce students with the greater East Bay community.
3. Develop an engaging K-8 co-curricular and After School Program that allows children to develop social, academic, creative and physical skills in a safe and supportive environment and teaches them about self-reliance and independence.
4. Build and promote an outstanding summer academic program, including courses earning high school credit, and potentially develop a summer institute for educators in such areas as global studies, environmental science, and best practices and research in teaching and learning.
5. Use technology to teach students effective and creative skills in research, media literacy, problem solving and collaborative networking and communication.
6. Review the School's physical education and athletics programs to ensure that they are mission-based and appropriately balanced with academic and extracurricular demands.
5. Global Citizenship-Foster the School's commitment to global citizenship and public purpose through partnerships with local and international organizations and development of innovative educational programs.
Rationale: We seek to inspire our students to become effective global citizens by nurturing the values of respect and responsibility and providing all students an opportunity to serve. By developing partnerships locally and globally, we strive to connect Head-Royce to the broader world and to develop a sense of global understanding and service in our students. We hope that our students graduate with a strong sense of their own mission in life.
1. Help our graduates develop their own sense of a personal "calling" and an understanding of their role in and ability to contribute to the local community and the world.
2. Improve the School's various global initiatives and opportunities to support an Upper School "global education certificate" and establish a new Global Education Center to support curriculum development, faculty professional development, summer institutes and exchange programs.
3. Emphasize in the academic program connections between political engagement, respect for diverse viewpoints, social responsibility and helping to establish a more just society.
4. Strengthen and better integrate into the curriculum the K-12 service learning program, particularly emphasizing the local community.
6. Community and Communication--Strengthen both internal and external communication with parents, staff, students and alumni, and improve outreach and marketing to enhance the School's visibility and reputation in the community.
Rationale: A strong sense of community supports students in their learning and creates an environment where all are welcome: parents, alumni and new visitors to the campus. In order to build a welcoming environment and attract the strongest families to the School, Head-Royce must develop innovative approaches to marketing and outreach and examine the best ways to communicate both internally and externally.
1. Develop a unified School-wide communication plan for academic and extracurricular activities to the full Head-Royce community with assigned roles for staff, Board, parents and alumni.
2. Establish a consistent brand platform that is carried throughout all internal and external communications and marketing initiatives, grounded in the School's mission and values.
3. Evaluate and implement mechanisms for ongoing parent feedback to and response from the School.
4. Review School-employee communication vehicles to enhance communication and coordination between divisions and between administration, faculty and staff.
5. Promote the School's accomplishments to the internal and external communities through the Web site, public relations efforts, and traditional and innovative marketing materials.
6. Strengthen the alignment between the School and the Parents Association.
7. Diversity--Respect, nurture and promote the School's commitment to diversity and its importance in the education and development of our students and their understanding of the wider world.
Rationale: As one of the three core tenets of our mission, our goal is to embrace diversity in its broadest sense, including a focus on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. We strive to attract diverse community of students and employees, to develop and teach an inclusive curriculum and to welcome and embrace families from many communities and backgrounds. Our challenge is to ensure the School is welcoming to all members and to continually model and teach respect and understanding for a multicultural world.
1. Continue to recruit and retain outstanding teachers from underrepresented backgrounds with a particular focus on African American and Latino educators.
2. Develop a proactive educational program in which discussions about diversity become an expected and regular part of the learning experience.
3. Examine the allocation of financial aid in order to ensure our socio-economic goals.
4. Ensure the educational experience helps students appreciate, articulate and respect diverse points of view.
8. Facilities--Maintain and fully utilize the School's beautiful new facilities, and develop plans for further improvements to support School's academic and extracurricular programs.
Rationale: With the substantial completion of the School's Master Plan in 2008, Head-Royce enjoys one of the finest K-12 campuses in the region. To maintain the quality of these facilities, we will need to undertake additional improvement projects and to focus on making the School environmentally sustainable. The efficient use of the plant to generate additional income for the School and maintenance of good community relations are also important to our effective use of the plant.
1. Pursue the efforts to "green" the campus, including achieving LEED silver or gold certification on all existing buildings and efforts to operate the School in a more sustainable, efficient manner, including the installation of more solar panels.
2. Develop further the campus facilities, including consideration and prioritization of the following items: Lower/Middle School patio redesign; Pavilion science facilities upgrade; grades 2-5 building acoustic improvements; MEW redesign or replacement; potential pool upgrade or relocation; Rotunda building upgrade; and installation of artificial turf on field.
3. Enhance community relations, including long-term parking solutions, security and Lincoln Avenue improvements.
4. Increase the utilization of the campus to generate non-tuition revenue by renting the gymnasium and other facilities.
9. Governance--Attract, develop and retain an outstanding Board of Trustees that supports the mission, develops strategic policies and focuses on the School's long-term financial sustainability.
Rationale: The Board of Trustees holds the Head-Royce School in trust. The Board's focus on the mission, the development of strong and clear policies, and support for the students and employees is vital to the School's success. To fulfill its vital stewardship role, the Board will implement the new Strategic Plan, shape the long-range financial plan to ensure the School's financial stability, develop new initiatives to expand the endowment and maintain its strong partnership with the administration.
1. Strengthen the School's financial stability by regularly updating a long-range finance plan and by launching an endowment campaign.
2. Improve regular communication to the broader School community about the work of the Board and the School's vision and mission.
3. Implement the Strategic Plan by developing annual priorities in collaboration with the School's administration.
4. Recruit and develop a talented and diverse team of stewards who embrace the School's mission.
5. Nurture the Board/administration partnership for strong School governance by improving communication and coordination between Board committees.
6. Ensure that the Board has an understanding of broader issues facing the current K-12 educational community and independent schools.
7. Select and support a new Head of School.
10. Finance and Development--Secure the School's financial strength, improve access and affordability and maintain sound fiscal management to ensure the School's long-term financial sustainability.
Rationale: While the School's finances are sound, the nation's current economic challenges make it more important than ever that the School develop a plan for financial sustainability in the areas of tuition, financial aid and compensation. The Board of Trustees will lead the way to ensure that the School has the proper resources to ensure the overall excellence of its program.
1. Revamp the long-range plan to identify new financial models for long-term sustainability and increase understanding of the School's financial model by staff, faculty and parents.
2. Increase non-tuition/fee revenue from the current level of approximately 18% to 25% of the total operating revenue through contributed and earned revenue.
3. Analyze, prioritize, and increase earned revenues, specifically focusing on the summer program, the food service, facilities rental and other revenue generating activities.
4. Increase constituent participation and support for the Annual Fund to place each of the School's constituencies in the top 25% of a benchmark peer group including Bay Area schools and K-12 schools nationwide.
5. Seek to increase overall endowment to ensure that Head-Royce is in the top 25% of a benchmark peer group including Bay Area schools and K-12 schools nationwide in per student endowment support.
6. Continue the commitment to operate the School with a balanced budget, including a contingency fund and gradual rebuilding of reserves.