BFS Hosts Community-Wide Strategic Planning Event
Over 160 community members representing 9 stakeholder groups gathered at Buckingham Friends School on January 12th for a community-wide strategic planning event. Trustees, Faculty, Students, Parents, Alumni, Alumni Parents, Former Faculty, and Friends came together in what served as a mini-reunion for some at Visioning Day to articulate a shared vision for the future of the school.
Visioning Day was months in the making and led by the new Head of School, Paul Lindenmaier, and a Strategic Planning Council formed of Trustees, Faculty, Administrators, Alumni, and current and past parents. Says Lindenmaier, “As an independent school, BFS has the unique opportunity to embark upon a process that will yield a new and shared vision for it’s future. Hallmarks of success plans for school are inclusivity, shared responsibility, accountability, evaluation, and on-going planning.”
To help lead them in this process, the school hired planning consultant Christina Drouin, Founder and Director of the Center for Strategic Planning. Christina – a recognized leader, author, and thirty-five year practitioner of nonprofit planning and marketing – worked with the Council to gather community input last fall from hundreds of online surveys and numerous community forums to discuss what members valued most at the school and priorities for it’s future. To ensure a holistic view for the School, Christina and the Council examined external influencing factors such as local, state, national economic and environmental data, as well as emerging trends in education, parenting, and technology. This information was synthesized in a report for Visioning Day registrants in preparation for the community-wide event.
The turnout for Visioning Day far exceeded expectations. Old friends, retired teachers and students reunited in the morning over breakfast, but everyone quickly got down to work, breaking up in to 15 working groups to brainstorm and craft vision statements and over 180 strategies for the future of the school. The community then reassembled and groups presented their ideas, which were affirmed by consensus. The School will now finalize and present the new Strategic Plan to the community this year. Says Paul Lindenmaier, “Everyone’s individual and collective passion for the school was demonstrated at Visioning Day, and we are grateful for their hard work, creativity, thoughtfulness, thinking, and respect for one another and our process. The quality of their engagement was represented in the breadth of input and outcomes that were the result of our collective endeavor.” To learn more about BFS, visit www.bfs.org or schedule a private tour with the Director of Admissions, Melissa Clayton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.