About A-S

Strategic Planning

Update on the Process - May 23, 2021

Last January I shared with you Looking Back, Looking Ahead, a position paper that summarized the recommendations of our two-year strategic planning process and the accomplishments of our exciting construction project. Subsequently, I announced a number of initiatives that would extend these planning efforts. I am pleased now to share with you a second position paper entitled Younger, Longer, Better, which describes how we think about "deeper learning" at Allen-Stevenson.
 
In "The most fundamental skill: intentional learning and the career advantage," an article published by McKinsey & Company, the authors describe learning itself as a skill. They point out that developing that skill is critical to long-term career success. For them, learning includes two mindsets: one of growth and the other of curiosity. Both must be practiced intentionally to foster deeper learning. They assert, "The pandemic has only heightened the urgency of doubling down on skill building, either to keep up with the speed of transformation now underway or to manage the particulars of working in new ways." At Allen-Stevenson this approach should differentiate all that we do.
 
You should look for our Spring 2021 Lamplighter, which arrives in your mailboxes shortly. It addresses deeper learning in greater depth, as does the newly published web page about learning at Allen-Stevenson. These pieces show just how we cultivate "Passionate Learners, Compassionate Achievers" here at Allen-Stevenson. As we move towards a post-pandemic approach to the educational process, we know that we can use much of what we have learned this last year in thinking about educating boys for the future.
 
In addition, the restructuring of Allen-Stevenson into two divisions—Lower and Upper—with three teaching sections per grade will provide greater opportunities for deeper learning in smaller class sizes. Our intent is to focus our resources on teaching and learning as much as possible and to use our magnificent new facilities for their originally intended purposes. Further, we are developing a new schedule to support a better balance of Academics, Athletics and the Arts and to provide longer blocks of time to support collaborative and interdisciplinary learning.
 
Though perhaps not the truest indicator, one sign of Allen-Stevenson’s lasting impact on our students might be their remarkable high school alternatives. It is very gratifying that our boys will be matriculating in the fall at superb institutions that are well matched to what they need. More important, they embark on this next chapter in their education with all the enthusiasm and self-confidence they have gained through a variety of deeper learning experiences before the challenges of secondary school and college. That’s what Younger, Longer, Better describes!
 
Seeking stability and continuity, but taking change as a given, Younger, Longer, Better provides some background for considering three central questions I have posed previously:
 
  1. What makes Allen-Stevenson’s educational experience profoundly relevant, valuable and transformative for our boys?
  2. What can make the components of their educational experience better, even stronger?
  3. What should be the right balance between stability and change?
 
Since 1883, Allen-Stevenson has bound us together as a community. It delights me to watch younger boys mature and eventually become adults, sending their sons or grandsons to Allen-Stevenson, and even taking on the roles of stewardship for the School. On behalf of all of us who are part of this great institution, I sincerely thank you for your dedication to the work we do together.
 
Fortiter et Recte!
 
 
David R. Trower
Head of School

Strategic Plan Communication

List of 5 items.

  • Strategic Plan Update - 1.28.21

    Here is the link to a position paper that looks back on our achievements as well as ahead to consider the future success of this School we so love. The position paper outlines strategic priorities that are the result of months of work by the Strategic Planning Committee with input from the whole community. It also includes a strategic overview of our transformative building project. A subsequent position paper will address “Educating the Whole Boy,” one of the pillars of our strategic work.
     
    In my years of experience at Allen-Stevenson and with other school groups, working together has been this community’s distinctive hallmark. I emphatically want to thank Trustee Jim Wilson and Winnie Barnes, Director of Organizational Initiatives, who led us through the strategic planning process. Thanks also to Board President Metin Negrin and Charlie Parente, our Owners Representative, who with Winnie Barnes and Hydée Bressler, Director of Finance and Operations, have overseen the building project. Through our collective efforts in the present, the institution of the School will continue to thrive and serve many future generations.
     
    Seeking stability and continuity, but taking change as a given, the position paper provides some background for considering the following central questions: 

    1. What makes Allen-Stevenson’s educational experience profoundly relevant, valuable and transformative for our boys?
    2. What can make the components of their educational experience better, even stronger?
    3. What should be the right balance between stability and change? 

    Reflecting the School’s remarkable accomplishments, the worthwhile work yet to be done, and our exciting future, we acknowledge that some of our initiatives will be carried on by those who succeed us—those who hold the future in trust for generations that follow. In a school setting like Allen-Stevenson, no one individual pursues such exciting goals alone. 
     
    Since 1883, Allen-Stevenson has bound us together as a community. It delights me to watch younger boys mature and eventually become adults, sending their sons or grandsons to Allen-Stevenson, and even taking on the roles of stewardship for the School. On behalf of all of us who are part of this great institution, I sincerely thank you for your dedication to the work we do together. 

    Fortiter et Recte!
     
    David R. Trower
    Head of School
  • Strategic Plan Update - 2.6.20

    Over the past few months, we have continued to carefully comb through and analyze the extensive data collected during numerous workshops and interviews, and from surveys and the Community Design Day. Thank you to all of you who participated in these information gathering efforts and our dynamic Design Day.
     
    After further assessment, along with the valuable guidance of our external consulting partner Leadership+Design, we consolidated our initial ideas into the following three strategic priorities and related goals:



    These strategic priorities and goals will provide the structure for our strategic plan and are guiding our decision-making. And, of course, a foundation of financial sustainability is an essential component in our plans for the School’s future.
     
    As part of our efforts, we have been working with the School’s leadership team to assess initiatives that can help the School to achieve these goals and priorities. Over the next several months, we will continue to evaluate these initiatives and start to identify specific tasks. Our aim is to communicate the details of our visionary new plan in the fall of 2020.  
     
    We cannot thank you enough for all of your input and ideas. Your enthusiastic participation has been critical to the development of the plan, and your support and encouragement will be essential as we move ahead.
  • Strategic Plan Update - 10.25.19

    We are excited about all of the great work and progress that we have made on the Strategic Plan.   
     
    First, a big thank you to the many for participating in the numerous workshops, interviews, surveys, and well-attended community day that have been organized or distributed since we started the strategic planning process in January. More than 50% of our school community has contributed ideas thus far and we thank you for your input, feedback and time. Although we have made significant progress, there is more to do, and we look forward to continued involvement from our community.  
     
    All of the work that we have done together has resulted in a significant amount of quantitative data and qualitative information and feedback. With our external consulting partner, Leadership+Design, our goal has been to run a comprehensive and best practices process that yields a result that is best suited for the future of our school and our boys in particular.  
     
    Over the summer, a working group, including our Headmaster, read through all of the information that we have gathered in our discovery process and analyzed it to identify key themes that appeared. Those themes were presented to our volunteer Strategic Planning Team that includes parents, teachers, administrators, alumni and trustees this past week. It has also been presented to our Board of Trustees. The initial themes include:
    • Educating the Whole Boy
    • Being Experts on Boys Education
    • Professional Learning and Development for our Faculty and Administration
    • An Engaged Community 
    • A Connected Campus 
    We are excited to explore these themes further and will continue to engage with the broader community over the coming months to create a vision, goals, objectives and initiatives together to support them. We welcome your input, so please keep a look out for additional invitations, events and surveys. In the meantime, if you have any questions, thoughts or ideas, please submit them through our Strategic Plan suggestion form or reach out to Jim Wilson or Winnie Barnes
  • Strategic Plan Update - 4.9.19

    On January 7, the School announced the start of a comprehensive strategic planning process.
     
    In December, in preparation for the launch, the Strategic Planning Team read Change by Design by Tim Brown. The book provided an overview of the design thinking process, which is the approach the School is using for the planning process. We were also fortunate to have Tim Fish, Chief Innovation Officer at NAIS, visit the School on Sunday, December 9, during which he shared trends and innovations in independent schools so that the Board of Trustees, senior administration and the Strategic Planning Team had the tools to better understand the state of the market.
     
    In January, Leadership & Design (L+D), a leading strategic planning firm with whom we are working to guide us through the process, started to gather information to help formulate our priorities by holding in-depth interviews with faculty & staff. In early March, L+D led parents and faculty through strategic exercises in a series of three Think Tanks. L+D also had the opportunity to shadow two students through their daily schedule.
     
    At the first planning session on February 1, L+D facilitated a series of exploratory exercises for the Strategic Planning Team. At the conclusion of this meeting, the Team created several smaller Inquiry Groups based on initial data gathered and further information to explore.  
     
    These Inquiry Groups have been collecting additional data from all community constituent groups (e.g., current and past parents, faculty and staff, students, and alumni) by conducting discovery interviews, sending out surveys and reviewing existing data. The Strategic Planning Team reconvened at the beginning of March to review the findings of the Inquiry Groups and to identify next steps for our April meeting.
     
    On April 5, the Strategic Planning Team met again, this time to share additional findings from the Inquiry Groups and then, using all data collected to date, formulate strategic priorities.
     
    On May 4, all members of the A-S community will have the chance to explore these strategic priorities at our Community Design Day. We are looking for everyone, students as well, to participate in this day. Childcare will be available. Since this is an all-community event, we hope that you will join us in this important process.
     
  • Strategic Plan - Letter to the Community

    Following Allen-Stevenson's most recent reaccreditation in 2017 and our transformative building expansion project, we have begun a Strategic Planning process. We expect this plan will reflect the aims of our Mission Statement and influence how we think about teaching and learning as well as the future direction of Allen-Stevenson.

    Allen-Stevenson will officially kick off its Strategic Planning process in January. The Steering Committee will work hand-in-hand with the Strategic Planning Team which is comprised of trustees, administrators, faculty members, alumni, and current and past parents, who bring a wide variety of experience and expertise to the planning. To help guide us through this year-long process, we have partnered with Leadership+Design, a leading strategic planning firm with extensive experience guiding independent schools on the path of designing their future.
     
    Your Involvement
    We want the planning process to be inclusive, giving members of the community – parents, students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Allen-Stevenson – the chance to share their thoughts about the direction they envision for the School going forward.
     
    There will be multiple ways to be involved from interviews, forums and focus groups to community-wide surveys to an open and collaborative Community Design Day on May 4.
     
    Our Goal
    As a community, we will create a Strategic Plan that will guide us as we ensure our school is building boys who make the world a better place. We hope that you will participate in the development of this plan throughout the various steps that will get us there.
     
    We look forward to working with all members of the Allen-Stevenson community. Please continue to follow the Strategic Planning updates as they are shared with you by email, on the website and in meetings. Watch this space for periodic updates.
     

    Fortiter et Recte!
     
    Mark Greene, President, Board of Trustees
    David R. Trower, Headmaster
    Jim Wilson, Trustee, and Chair, Strategic Planning Committee


Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.