Lincoln Academy plans to unveil a strategic plan this spring.
The plan is the product of a nearly year-long process involving a strategic planning committee and a half-dozen work groups with participation from a broad spectrum of community members from both inside and outside the school.
Lincoln Academy Trustee Rob Nelson chairs the strategic planning committee.
“A lot of it is really thinking about what the school does, how it does it, looking at our mission, looking at what we do, and making sure we’re serving our mission,” Nelson said.
The plan will give the school a benchmark by which to measure its progress.
“We will elucidate our goals and then we’re able to measure our success toward those goals and hold ourselves accountable as far as whether we’re achieving those goals for ourselves, and I think that’s going to be very powerful,” Nelson said.
The planning process started in April 2015 and has involved alumni, current students, and parents; faculty, staff, and trustees; and even members of the community without an immediate connection to the school.
“That inclusivity piece was really important for us,” said Associate Head for Advancement Matt Goetting.
“The process of creating the plan is important because it gets people to think about issues in a broad way and builds consensus about what the issues in the school are,” Nelson said.
The process has included the collection of data, including surveys of faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni.
The school plans to release the plan between late March and early May, according to Goetting.
“The work groups identified issues and goals,” Nelson said. “We’re now drafting those into a plan, which we’re hoping will be ready for the board to approve pretty soon here.”
“Before the end of the school year, we’ll have a public rollout of the plan,” Nelson said.
“This is a process schools often do and probably should do every five years,” Lincoln Academy Head of School David Sturdevant said.
Lincoln Academy’s most recent strategic plan is about 10 years old.
“I think there was some really good work done in that, some thoughtful work,” Nelson said. “It didn’t have the impact that it should have had, and that’s one thing that we’re conscious of. We’re determined that this plan will remain alive, off the shelf, serving to guide what we do as a school.”
The new strategic plan will provide guidance for the school through the next several years, and Nelson sees another important long-term benefit – the creation of a “planning culture” at Lincoln.
“As much as the actual goals, which are very important and will get us to focus on some things that we can really move the school forward on, it’s also to build that capacity for planning,” Nelson said.
“In some ways, finishing the plan is just the start of the work,” Nelson said. “It’s been a lot of work getting this plan together and getting all the people working on it, but it’s really just the beginning of the larger process of moving forward as a school.”