Strategic Plan Update May 2015

It's always fun to plan, but the real joy comes when it's time to implement. And that's where Westtown is now.

The optimism and energy are palpable around campus. We have a compelling vision that both captures our essence and directs us into an unscripted future. We have a host of new initiatives designed to bring that vision into reality. We've persevered through some challenging times and have emerged stronger.

It is clearer than ever that a deliberate, progressive independent school like Westtown will be able to provide a service and value that other schools simply will not be able to provide. Many schools lack Westtown’s core values, tradition and bold vision and as such will not be able to respond to the new day deliberately and with discipline. Westtown will because this is what we are. The stakes are too high and our history is too rich for us to miss this urgent call to action.

Westtown offers a rare education that prepares students for lives of purpose, success and conscience. Our academic program continues to evolve and innovate while we sustain and deepen our culture that values attributes that our society desperately needs – reflection, action and attention in a world of busy-ness and strife. Today we are poised to move forward towards a robust future for a flourishing Westtown that lives up to its principles.

The World Needs More Westonians is engineered to secure Westtown's ability to prepare future generations of leaders and stewards. It both honors our history and leans into a future that looks and acts very differently than the past or present. The plan is built around five imperatives.

Imperative One: Program

Develop signature programs inspired by our Quaker roots and by the needs of the next generation of learners.

In order to develop the next generation of globally engaged, scientifically literate, spiritually grounded, and ethically responsible leaders and stewards of a better world, we need to accelerate and amplify our efforts to create a distinct and high caliber faculty culture and curricular approach. Over the next four years, we will focus on faculty excellence, accountability and creativity as well as program development around our distinctive Action-Based Education design.

Goal 1: To deepen our faculty culture that prizes student engagement and achievement, parent communication, inter and intra-disciplinary collaboration

Goal 2: To create a one-of-a-kind, cohesively blended Pre K-12 day and residential community

Goal 3: To introduce and develop Westtown’s Action-Based Education, our signature Pre K-12 academic language and architecture, and to intensify a thoughtful interweaving of innovative approaches with traditional methods

Goal 4: To become a recognized leader in STEAM education, design thinking and social entrepreneurship

Goal 5: To become known by students, families and the larger community as a generator of ethical global leadership and multicultural understanding

Goal 6: To advance the Quaker character and spirit of Westtown as a school community and center of Friends education

Goal 7: To reinforce and deepen our commitment to Sustainability as an academic pursuit and institutional priority

Goal 8: To develop vibrant, inclusive and compelling athletics and arts programs as engines of creativity, collaboration and achievement

Imperative Two: Enrollment

Stabilize our enrollment between 650-675 Pre K-12 students.

Inspirational, vibrant, life-changing institutions must have a stable platform to accomplish their mission. For Westtown, we require this not simply for the health of the school but to serve the greater global good. To live up to this imperative for action, we will focus our energies on developing a program, community and culture that attract and retain students who benefit from and contribute to our distinctive and mission-based school. We will refine our tuition and financial aid models so they allow us to continuously grow while also generating the revenue we need to invest in our priorities, which include financial aid, faculty and staff compensation and programmatic enhancements. The future of Westtown depends on steady enrollment increases over the next years.

Goal 1: To ensure that all program development is mission-driven and market-aware

Goal 2: To improve retention rates to above NAIS averages in all divisions

Goal 3: To enhance local market's understanding of Westtown as a day and boarding school by clearly communicating what a Westtown education delivers

Goal 4: To enhance our local and distant markets' understanding of Westtown's residential program

Imperative Three: Engagement

Engage our parents, alumni and friends by providing meaningful services for them and welcoming their talents, time and resources.

To make our strategic vision a reality, we will need the commitment and support of the larger Westtown community, which means all our constituents must feel invested, included and respected. In the next four years, Westtown must continue and expand its efforts to engage our community so its members feel a part of the larger project of strengthening our school. Together, we will ensure that Westtown lives its historic mission and identity as a premier Quaker school and achieves its strategic vision to be a national leader in developing the next generation of leaders and stewards of a better world.

Goal 1: To ensure that alumni, parents and friends feel welcome at and invested in our school

Goal 2: To create deep affinity and affection by making Westtown a primary source of connection, help and support for alumni and parents outside of their work with the school

Goal 3: To ensure that alumni parent and friends have easy and effective ways to contribute their talents and resources to Westtown School

Goal 4: To ensure our community knows about the health of the school and its programs, and knows how to connect

Goal 5: To optimize the effectiveness and frequency of parent and alumni engagement initiatives

Imperative Four: A Culture of Philanthropy

Transform lives through philanthropy.

As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the wealth and generosity of others. At the same time, we teach our students the Quaker values of simplicity and mindfulness, which the material world can clearly challenge. This is a central and healthy tension in our community that we will hold closely as we strengthen our culture of philanthropy that emphasizes the power of giving to transform the lives of both the recipient and the donor. If Westtown is to achieve its vision and serve as an agent of good in the world, we will need more resources from donors, and we will need to make the case that giving to Westtown is an immediate and profoundly gratifying way to improve lives.

Goal 1: To develop a culture of giving that clearly articulates the mutually beneficial nature of giving to Westtown

Goal 2: To significantly increase philanthropic contributions to the endowment and annual giving in order to achieve a more sustainable economic model that will strengthen the school’s unique combination of academic excellence, accessibility, and spiritual depth

Goal 3: To increase the participation and average gift size of donations to the Westtown Fund, and identify more high capacity prospects for major and planned gifts

Imperative Five: Financial Sustainability

Craft a sustainable financial model so that Westtown can achieve its immediate goals and so that it can be handed to the next generation of school leaders intact and poised for future consequence.

The World Needs More Westonians tells the story of how Westtown will thrive in this era of intense competition and tumult and how we’ll use our mission to guide us. We start with deepening our program, which will help us attract and retain students of talent and impact. We’ll then engage these students and their families as well as our beloved alumni who in turn will feel connected to and an essential part of Westtown’s future. Their giving will strengthen the school, allowing us to invest more in financial aid, innovative programming, faculty and staff compensation and facilities upkeep. The end result: a financially sustainable Westtown able to continue its essential work in the years ahead.

Goal 1: To maintain financial equilibrium as enrollment grows and stabilizes

Goal 2: To update the campus master plan with programmatic needs, auxiliary revenue and the new day-boarding model in mind

Goal 3: To increase non-tuition, auxiliary program net revenue

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