At their retreat on April 27 and 28, 2001 the Milton Academy Board of Trustees adopted a comprehensive strategic initiative intended to assure the continuation at Milton of the most advanced and effective teaching and learning environment, as well as an enhanced campus life, educationally rich and rewarding for students and faculty alike. Together, these two major thrusts of the strategic plan will invigorate the whole school, and deepen the quality of a Milton education. The first component is the master plan to renovate and add to our academic facilities. The second is the plan to strengthen the Milton Academy boarding experience.
The Board’s strategic initiative will effect changes at Milton in phases, over the next five to seven years. The board will vote to implement each phase separately, as trustees ensure that funding is available and that the strategic direction remains appropriate. At the meeting last weekend, the board set the plan into action, voting unanimously in favor of following motion:
Move that the board authorize renovating Caroline Saltonstall Gymnasium, demolishing the Link, constructing the Crossroads building, and renovating Warren Hall as the start of an overall program directed at implementing the goals of the master plan for Milton Academy facilities and adjusting the balance of boarding and day students in Classes I – IV so that they are at parity.
The practical effect of the vote is as follows. The Caroline Saltonstall Gymnasium renovations, which will provide space for the relocation of business, development and admissions, will begin this summer, and the Link will be demolished this fall. Construction will then begin on the Crossroads building, and completed in January 2003. Warren Hall will undergo renovations during the summer of 2002.
With regard to the plan to strengthen the boarding program, we will move forward in several ways:
- Continue and intensify the work already begun on programmatic changes to student life, especially to boarding life, including such things as: fully implementing a closed weekend program over the next two years; extending affective education; implementing more effective weekend activities; and planning for an increased faculty presence on campus.
- Implement a marketing program to increase the awareness of and appreciation for Milton among prospective families, as well as those within our community (current faculty and staff, parents, students, alumni, etc.).
- Study further the timing for building new dormitories; strategies for recruiting and adding new boarding students; and a plan to reduce overall day student numbers while preserving admits from the most competitive day student pool.
- Establish a committee to study the middle school, with the charge to make recommendations to the board next year at this time. The committee will study curriculum, size, staffing, structure, extracurricular activities including athletics, admissions and the gateway to Class IV
- The board’s decision-making considered carefully faculty commentary and recommendations on a number of issues. For example:
- The K-12 school is the model affirmed by the board, and the middle school is the area of focus for study and change.
- Building renovations have begun that will ultimately add classroom space, solve deferred maintenance problems, make buildings accessible, provide appropriate levels of technology, help integrate day and boarding life, improve the faculty work environment, and support relationships between faculty and students.
- Programmatic changes will continue and increase, while efforts to “tell the Milton story” more broadly and effectively will proceed. Both initiatives will precede any changes in the numbers of boarding and day students.
This is a bold and imaginative step on the board’s part, that reflects their love of the School, their optimism about its future and their trust in and immense respect for the faculty, all of which was clearly articulated by the trustees. This is also a decision that allows us to fully study and evaluate each step, making deliberateprogress but allowing us to do things correctly, and with the highest expectations for success.
Thank you for taking the time to express your ideas and concern. You are at the center of what we will do together to make tangible our hopes and dreams for the future.