The Planning Process
A Comprehensive Process Leads to Shared Goals and Action Plans
Milton Academy’s strategic planning process began in September 2011. Milton’s board of trustees adopted the resulting priorities, objectives and implementation plans in January 2013. A successful reaccreditation process with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) immediately preceded strategic planning.
Milton approached strategic planning from a position of strength. Developing a strategic plan to guide decisions and action for the next five years was a critical step in a several-year period of reflection, discussion and analysis at Milton. Under the leadership of the trustees and Todd Bland, head of school, the strategic plan sets clear priorities for Milton and provides a foundation for an upcoming fundraising campaign.
An extensive and consistent communication effort secured valuable input from every Milton constituency over the course of the planning. Milton shared the emerging themes and content of the planning with faculty, staff, parents, students and alumni. A strategic planning Web site with feedback tools provided extensive and timely information, and also garnered the perspectives of people from around the globe who care about Milton. Communication included two years of events—national and international—online newsletters, Web site articles, letters, and two live webcasts with opportunities for live questions and feedback.
Strategic planning involved many Milton faculty, administrators and trustees. Principal planning groups included:
Strategic Planning Steering Committee—trustees, faculty and administrators who met throughout the process to shape the planning agenda, review intermediate analysis, and offer feedback on priorities and goals (eight meetings).
Strategic Planning Task Forces on Education, Student Life and Faculty—Task Forces, with administrators, faculty, trustees and staff, met from January to April 2012, and presented recommendations to the trustees in May 2012 (13 Task Force meetings and three sessions with Task Force co-chairs).
Resources Working Group—trustees and administrators who convened during the planning to discuss crosscutting financial topics and link the strategic planning to work in budget, facilities and campaign planning (five meetings).
Faculty—met as a whole, and as K–8 and Upper School groups, to discuss strategic planning topics in fall 2011, spring 2012, and fall 2012 (three meetings in each division). Twenty-eight faculty members also participated in the Task Forces.
Integration Team—the Task Force and Resources Working Group co-chairs, the Steering Committee chair, and administrative leadership met over the summer and early fall 2012 to review the work of the Task Forces, incorporate trustee and Steering Committee input, and develop a draft set of priorities (nine meetings).
Trustees—held planning sessions in January, May, and October 2012.
Members in these planning groups also represented the perspectives of parents, parents of graduates, and alumni.