Strategic Planning: Share Your Point of View
What will Milton prioritize over the next 10 years? Earlier this year our head of school and president of the board both highlighted an upcoming strategic planning process. That broad-based planning effort is now underway. Our great opportunity and challenge, as Todd Bland and Brad Bloom see the endeavor, is to identify Milton’s long-term vision. As Todd said last fall, “I’m confident that this planning will channel our creativity, energy and resources on shaping the future of the School.”
A steering committee that includes trustees, administrators, faculty and staff worked last fall on an approach to planning, and the process began in January. It includes and relies upon consulting with Milton faculty, students, parents and alumni. Ultimately, the plan’s recommendations will have roots in a multi-faceted conversation about the School.
Together, we are asking key questions about how we should assure that Milton’s mission and values are renewed, revitalized and relevant. Both in asking and answering these questions, we are taking into account the important self-studies that Milton has completed over the last several years: findings from the re-accreditation process (NEASC); the AIM study (Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism); and the Milton Academy Comprehensive Survey. Many of you remember taking the opportunity to voice your opinions in the comprehensive survey that Todd Bland sent to every Milton constituent last winter. By participating then, you helped shape the strategic planning that is progressing right now.
Three Task Forces (made up of trustees, administrators, faculty and staff), and a Resources Working Group began meeting in January and will continue over the course of the winter and spring. They are each centered on areas of inquiry that emerged from all Milton constituencies. Their focus areas will not surprise you: faculty, education, and student life. While these are familiar areas, we need to consider them explicitly in today’s context: educating for our students’ future.
For example, the Faculty Task Force is considering how Milton makes sure that transformative teaching continues as Milton’s hallmark, especially as we recruit and develop a new and diverse generation of educators. The goal of the Education Task Force is to match the traditional quality of a Milton education with the skills students need to succeed in their world. What should our students’ program include? The Student Life Task Force wants to identify what should be in place to make sure that every one of our students finds intellectual and personal growth. Finally, the Resources Planning Group is focused on how we manage our fixed financial responsibilities, at the same time that we support key strategic initiatives.
As Todd travels throughout the country and internationally this winter and spring, he is engaging alumni and parents in considering these core questions. In addition, with Todd and Marshall Carter, a number of parents’ meetings between now and the end of School will focus on the planning issues. Your opinions are important to all of us.
A strategic planning overview, updates and feedback opportunity—for all Milton constituencies—is on the Milton Web site: www.milton.edu/about/planning
That Web page includes the names of Task Force and Working Group members; you can see which K–8 faculty are involved directly in the planning work. The open feedback link is another important feature of this Web page. We encourage parents to use that link and to encourage other parents to do the same. Your opinions are important to all of us.
The trustees, the administration, and the faculty and staff working in the various planning groups want to make sure that everyone who wishes to share his or her opinions, at any point during the process, takes the opportunity to do so. The Task Force or Resource Working Group co-chairs will receive the feedback from the site.
Ultimately, the Task Forces and Working Group will make recommendations to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. The Committee will work with those recommendations to develop the draft set of priorities for the board’s consideration.
Those priorities, and their related initiatives, will be ambitious, inspirational and realistic. They will define a ten-year vision and a five-year planning horizon. At the close of the process, the Milton Academy Board of Trustees will articulate the plan to achieve Milton Academy’s vision and strategies for the coming decade.