Strategic Planning Update – December

Dear Members of the MICDS Community,

As the holiday season approaches and, along with it, the midpoint of the school year, we can certainly marvel at how quickly time passes. This fall, along with the daily business of school life, we have been deeply engaged in the important work of strategic planning, an effort that will allow us to craft our next roadmap for MICDS.

The work of the Strategic Planning Committee has been grounded in the enduring principles and core values that have long defined our School. Throughout the planning process, which began last spring we have invited input from all School constituencies. Over the course of the last few months, key priorities have emerged and been affirmed.

We were fortunate to begin this process using the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan as the foundation on which to imagine and build the next exciting chapter for our School. Board Chair Julie Lilly ’86 and Board Vice-Chair Bill Polk ’74 have led the Steering Committee, which includes several past Board Chairs. The Steering Committee conducted a careful and comprehensive review of many resources, including the recent ISACS Self-Study and Visiting Team Report; Portraits of a MICDS Graduate created by faculty, staff, board members and parents; and rich parent and alumni survey data. Armed with a deep understanding of what we as a community value most about our past experiences and our strong aspirations for the future, the Steering Committee developed a broad set of three categories for Priority Committees to consider.

These emerging priorities expand upon key objectives of the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan, and will doubtless feel familiar to those who’ve been involved with our School: Transformative Student Experience, Faculty Excellence, Spectacular Programming and Pedagogy; and Ensuring A Vibrant School Future. Priority Committees made up of alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees members have been hard at work developing strategies and tactics that will help us make a measureable impact on our goals. The recent, full-community, online Jam Session provided additional information and useful analytics.

Over the coming months, we will work to refine our next strategic plan under Steering Committee oversight with input from the full board, administrative team, faculty and staff, parents, current students and alumni. Just as we did in the past, we will hold a number of small group discussions in the morning over coffee and in the early evening on campus to vet and share the draft language, as follows:

Monday, January 12, 2015 – 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Presentation Room in Olson Hall
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 – 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Presentation Room in Olson Hall
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 – 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Presentation Room in Olson Hall
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 – 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Presentation Room in Olson Hall

In addition, we will host a virtual town hall gathering similar to the Jam Session format on Friday, January 23, for those who can’t make the meetings on campus.

Please mark your calendars for one of the above dates as it is my sincere hope you will consider sharing your insight with us through one of these forums – every voice matters in this process. Following these community discussions and final work by the Steering Committee, the Board will then move to endorse the next strategic plan for the upcoming five to seven years.

I am confident that, because of this thorough and thoughtful process, our next strategic plan will guide us to even greater successes and help us realize our highest aspirations for our students.

The ultimate goal of this effort is to create a roadmap that will allow us to muster the focused discipline necessary to live into our most deeply held values and our highest aspirations for this institution.

With deepest gratitude for your commitment to our School,

Lisa Lyle