Strategic Plan Design Teams Shape Country School’s Future

Nearly 70 members of the NCCS community, representing a variety of perspectives, met several times this winter to help chart the school’s strategic roadmap for the next 3-5 years. They divided into three Design Teams, each focused on a key strategic focus area: Redefining Childhood Education for the Future, Cultivating our Community, and Scaling for a Sustainable Future.
 
At the kick-off in February, Head of School Aaron Cooper highlighted the depth and breadth of the group, which included the school’s entire Leadership Team, 12 classroom teachers, 25 trustees, 43 current parents, 23 parents who have had children graduate, and 10 alumni. 

“The person in the group who first became a member of our community did so in the fall of 1970 as a kindergartener,” said Mr. Cooper. “The person who most recently joined our community did so this past fall as a member of our leadership team. Such diversity of perspective, of role, of experience with Country School, and of personal and professional background lends great breadth and depth to this phase of strategy.” 

Mr. Cooper shared his favorite analogy for strategic planning in the famous quote by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, who said, “I do not skate to where the puck is; I skate to where the puck is going to be.” 
“It is this forward-thinking spirit in our dynamic world, with such a talented and diverse cross-section of our community, that gives me great optimism and excitement for this strategic plan, for the future of our school, and most importantly for the ever greater impact Country School will have on its students,” said Mr. Cooper.
The strategic planning process began with a parent survey in spring 2019, and included focus groups convened by the school’s consultant, Ian Symmonds, as well as significant external demographic and market analysis. 

At the conclusion of the six-week Design Team process, each team delivered a set of 5-8 objectives to the full Strategic Plan Steering Committee, which will integrate and synthesize the plan and then present it to the Board of Trustees for adoption this spring.

“The goals and initiatives we develop collectively will form the backbone of our strategic plan and help NCCS be its strongest over the next five years and beyond,” said Strategic Planning Co-Chair Sarah Irwin.
 
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