Strategic School Planning at Fay
It’s an odd quote attributed to Henry Ford, but it makes you think about long-term strategy, innovation, and intention. “If I had asked people what they wanted,” he said, “they would have said faster horses.” With our strategic planning process underway, we wanted to review some of the reasons why The Fay School will benefit from the strategic plan.
A thoughtfully crafted strategic plan affords an organization to consider and access advantages that it might not otherwise like the above quotation points out. For a school organization like Fay, the National Association of Independent Schools broadly lays out seven distinct advantages for schools with a strategic plan:
1. Control their future.
Schools in today’s world cannot simply drift along, nor can they change their long-term course haphazardly. Strategic plans allow the school to:
- Examine and consider emerging educational and societal trends to chart the best path for the school at a given moment in its lifecycle
- Plan for contingencies
- Be nimble and adaptable through smart innovation
2. Maximize Resources.
Resources, both human and financial, are tight for almost every school. Planning can help establish resource-allocation priorities to meet the school’s needs best and ensure its long-term health.
3. Develop and sustain a shared sense of direction.
As the various school constituencies work together on the plan, they develop a shared understanding of direction. This synergy can increase the probability of the plan’s success.
4. Adjust or prepare for a capital campaign.
Strategic planning should either allow a school to adjust a current capital campaign or be the precursor of a capital campaign. A strategic plan establishes the “why” that underlies the campaign’s case statement and allows the Board of Trustees to set funding priorities.
5. Inspire motivation for accomplishing the strategic plan's activities.
If the strategic planning process includes all school constituencies, it can motivate people to achieve established goals. Those involved in the planning process ultimately feel a sense of ownership of the plan and want it to succeed.
6. Instill or strengthen quality and accountability.
A strategic plan highlights the crucial importance of excellence in all that it does and establishes ongoing procedures that evaluate the level of quality. The Board of Trustees can hold the Head of School accountable for the fulfillment of, or progress toward, the strategic plan’s predetermined benchmarks. The Board can assess its performance by establishing an annual plan for the work the Board does to support the strategic plan.
7. Enhance Public Relations
An intentional process and the resulting plan can help a school’s constituencies articulate where the school is going and why. Establishing clarity of vision while setting measurable goals allows everyone to tell the school’s story internally and externally.
In short, having a strategic plan is one enormous step in re-committing to our leading beliefs and thoughts on early childhood and elementary education. As Fay approaches its 30th Anniversary in the 2020-2021 school year, we want to ensure that our vision of deliberately creating the future leaders of the world remains a reality for your children and beyond.
About Morgan B. Scoville: Today, when not supporting students on the Fay campus, Morgan is an avid runner who has logged thousands of miles preparing for multiple marathon races each year—including the Boston Marathon. He hopes that his experience as an athlete may serve as an inspiration to those around him.